Vaccitech receives government grant for COVID-19 vaccine research

OXFORD, England, Aug. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Vaccitech Limited, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing T cell induction products for infectious diseases and cancer, announces today that it has received a non-dilutive Government grant to support research with its next-generation technology platform to protect against COVID-19. The grant is part of the UKRI-NIHR COVID-19 rapid response rolling call for proposals with potential to deliver public health impacts within 12 months.

Preclinical data indicate Vaccitech’s new platform induces leading antibody and cell-mediated immune responses, two arms of the immune system known to protect against disease, when compared with the adenoviral platforms currently in vaccine trials for COVID-19. The preclinical data informed the decision of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and other funders including the World Health Organization (WHO), to support Vaccitech’s research efforts.

Vaccitech was awarded £155k for the first phase of the project worth up to £2.3m in funding. With the grant proceeds, Vaccitech will complete preclinical studies and manufacture sufficient quantities required to initiate a Phase 1 clinical study of its new COVID-19 vaccine candidate in 2021. Depending on clinical success, the vaccine could be a standalone product candidate and/or could be used to improve upon regimens of first-generation COVID-19 vaccines. If successful, the same technology platform could also be used in future epidemics to produce a vaccine against the relevant infectious agent quickly and effectively.

“We are excited with this Government recognition and support to rapidly advance our innovative technologies and potentially bring additional tools in the fight against this global pandemic”, said Bill Enright, Vaccitech Chief Executive Officer.

Vaccitech continues to innovate, refine and optimise its platform technologies to prevent and treat infectious diseases and cancer. The new platform is a result of the company’s research into the cutting-edge of immunotherapy. It is designed for potential synergy with Vaccitech’s existing ChAdOx (prime) and MVA (boost) platform approach.

About Vaccitech Ltd.

Vaccitech is a clinical stage T cell immunotherapy company developing products to treat and prevent cancer and infectious diseases. The company’s proprietary technology platform, comprising Chimpanzee Adenovirus (prime) and MVA (boost) is exceptional at inducing, boosting and maintaining CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, as well as antibodies. The Vaccitech prime-boost platform is licensed from one of the most prestigious vaccine research institutes in the world, the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford. Vaccitech currently has a Phase 2a clinical program for prostate cancer, a Phase 1 clinical program for chronic HBV and is poised to enter the clinic with HPV and NSCLC therapeutics. The company is also co-developing products for MERS coronavirus and Herpes Zoster with international collaborators, and has outlicensed its rights to the first-generation ChAdOx COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford to AstraZeneca. Vaccitech is backed by leading institutions including GV, Sequoia Capital China, Korea Investment Partners and Oxford Sciences Innovation.

For further details, please contact:

Pippa Rathbone

Katja Stout, Scius Communications

About NIHR

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:

  • Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy

The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.