UK pharmaceutical links up with Australian biotech to develop needle-free vaccines

22 Nov 2018

Enesi Pharma in the UK and Australian biotechnology firm Sementis have signed a research and development (R&D) collaborative agreement to develop vaccines to treat peanut allergy and mosquito-borne infections.

The collaboration will focus on the development and evaluation of solid-dose versions of Sementis’ peanut hypoallergy vaccine and its single-vectored chikungunya/Zika vaccine candidates to be dispensed via Enesi Pharma’s ImplaVax® technology.

‘Sementis has developed a novel vaccine platform that has demonstrated exciting results in proof-of-concept studies in allergy and infectious diseases,’ says David Hipkiss, CEO of Enesi Pharma, in a company media release.

‘The collaboration to develop a solid-dose version of these vaccines for use with our ImplaVax needle-free device offers the potential to deliver a robust and effective product addressing significant global health challenges.

‘We are seeing increasing interest from all areas of the vaccine and public health industries based on the potential benefits that ImplaVax could provide to improve vaccination. We look forward to advancing multiple collaborations, including this exciting project with Sementis.’

Dr Paul Howley, CEO of Sementis, says the company is confident the ImplaVax technology will work extremely well with Sementis’ vaccine vector technology ‘to reduce, or even eliminate, the reliance on maintaining a cold-chain environment from manufacture to point-of-care, and possibly providing long-term stability to our vaccines’.

‘Also, Enesi’s technology may eliminate the need for highly trained healthcare workers to administer our vaccine as no injection is required.’

‘We will be evaluating this technology with one of our infectious disease vaccines and one of our hypoallergy vaccine candidates and if proven to expectations the ImplaVax technology will be applicable to all of Sementis’ vaccines covering infectious disease, allergies and cancers,’ he says.

Under the terms of the agreement, Enesi Pharma will formulate solid-dose implants based on the Sementis Copenhagen Vector (SCV) vaccine. Sementis will undertake safety and immunogenicity testing and preclinical development.

Pending positive outcomes, this agreement would set the foundation of future commercial opportunities.

Enesi Pharma, which focuses on developing unique injectable solid dose drug-device vaccine products, works in partnership with companies, government agencies and non-governmental organisations globally.

Sementis uses its SCV platform technology to develop vaccine candidates for the prevention of allergies and infectious diseases. SCV is a genetically modified virus designed to encourage the body’s own immune system to fight disease.