Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Cambridge start-up aims to trial COVID-19 vaccine by June


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: March 25th, 2020

A spinout from Cambridge University is seeking a partner in Big Pharma to support the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

DIOSynVax believes that with enough funding and the right industry partner, it could have a vaccine developed and ready for human clinical trials by June. Jonathan Heeney, professor at Cambridge and founder of DIOSynVax, says that his company’s approach, which involves computer modeling the virus structure, is much faster than current vaccine development methods.

“Our vaccine designs are made so that they can be easily integrated into any proprietary vaccine platform that a pharmaceutical company may have ready,” says Heeney. “We need a Big Pharma partner to help us scale up our activities.”

DIOSynVax uses its computer technology to identify chinks in the virus’ armor, thus paving the way for a vaccine that would be able to disable the virus without making the infection worse.

“A vaccine strategy needs to be laser specific, targeting those domains of the virus’ structure that are absolutely critical for docking with a cell, while avoiding the parts that could make things worse,” says Heeney. “Our technology does just that.”

The start-up’s next step is to test the vaccine in pre-clinical trials in mice, with the goal of securing a major investment and landing an industry partner to help get the vaccine to the public.

Source: Business Weekly

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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