Commercial opportunities in the vaccines industry fall into two broad categories – expanding and improving existing
We’re developing vaccines candidates to combat human cytomegalovirus (CMV) and another major viral pathogen. These are both widespread diseases with life-threatening implications, particularly for babies and children, that currently lack effective treatment or prevention.
We chose these candidates for four reasons:
- They address diseases for which there is a huge and urgent unmet medical need for an effective vaccine.
- They are commercially desirable and could potentially generate blockbuster sales given the size of their target populations and pricing potential.
- Their immunology is well understood, allowing us to demonstrate proof of concept with a very high degree of confidence.
- Progress to develop vaccines for these diseases have in the past lacked the technology that we have at our disposal and want to showcase.
CMV or Human Cytomegalovirus
CMV is the most common virus that most people have never heard of, even though it has now been identified as a high priority for vaccines development by key authorities such as the FDA and Institute of Medicine.
In the developed world, CMV infects 50-80% of adults before they reach their fortieth birthday and around 30% of children under five years old. It is even more widespread in developing countries. Infection is typically asymptomatic and not harmful to healthy individuals. However, the virus can cause serious complications in groups with weak immune systems such as elderly people, transplant recipients and infants infected in utero. In these patients,
Congenital CMV occurs when CMV is transferred from a pregnant woman to her foetus in utero and has a very high disease burden. In many parts of the
It is estimated that the CMV vaccine market could exceed $1 billion of sales annually.
We have reached the pre-clinical process development stage in under two years. A final vaccine candidate has been selected from the lab and both the virus-like particle (VLP) and the CMV antigen are being put through process development to ensure they meet the required criteria in terms of reproducibility, quality, yield and stability. This will then be manufactured to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) which represents the standard to which the clinical vaccine will be produced at scale by our Contract Manufacturing Organisation.