GeoVax, a biotech company developing human vaccines, will bring its modified vaccine Ankara virus-like particle platform, which mimics a natural viral infection and typically requires only one dose, to the partnership.
While Enesi holds the rights to ImplaVax, a solid-dose formulation and needle-free device, which is used to deliver a single, solid-dose vaccine.
Together, the companies hope to develop the next generation of vaccine products. A spokesperson for Enesi told us that the combined technology “could be used to protect against, or treat, any infectious disease using antigen or DNA-based implants. The company has initiated collaborations in Shigella, Zika and Chikungunya, and emergent threat pathogens (e.g. anthrax) and peanut allergy and is looking at many others.”
One of the key advantages of any vaccine produced through the technology would be its thermostability; Farshad Guirakhoo, GeoVax’s CSO, explained in a statement why this would be beneficial: “We think there is significant scientific rationale for expecting success especially in resource constrained countries where cold chain storage is an issue.”
This is a long-term aim for the industry, as it would mean that the industry could react quicker to the outbreaks of viruses, such as Zika, that occur in low to middle-income countries and typically in rural areas. Often such areas do not have the capabilities for secure cold chain storage.
Last year, the UK government provided funding to an alliance of industry and academic partners to reduce the time to produce vaccines and to develop thermostable vaccines.