Unit DX Biotech Start-Up Imophoron Publish Groundbreaking Refrigeration-Independent Vaccine Platform

Imophoron are developing a next-generation vaccine platform that could eliminate the requirement for the cold chain, making it easier to transport vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. Today, Science Advances published the results of their collaboration with tech giant Oracle. The open-access paper details the company’s use of synthetic biology, cryogenic electron microscopy, and high-performance cloud computing to produce a new candidate vaccine against Chikungunya virus.  

“Our scaffold can be rationally redesigned to produce vaccines for almost any infectious disease imaginable.”

Director and Co-founder Dr Frédéric Garzoni said, “This technology is unique because it’s so stable. Unlike other vaccines, which must be refrigerated on their entire journey from manufacturer to patient, ours can be stored at room temperature, which is vital for countries lacking infrastructure. Our scaffold can be rationally redesigned to produce vaccines for almost any infectious disease imaginable. We’re hoping to revolutionise the way vaccines are designed, developed, and stored.

“Unit DX has been an incredible asset to our company, enabling our growth by providing the space and facilities we need for our research and giving us access to drop-in sessions with industry experts. Having a hub where science entrepreneurs can rub shoulders and share their experience and advice is invaluable: we learn from one another and everyone wins.”   

Frédéric Garzoni and Imre Berger of Imophoron

Dr Harry Destecroix, CEO and Co-founder of Unit DX, said, “Two years ago, Fred showed up in Bristol without his family, having moved to the UK just a month before. It’s been wonderful to see him set up Imophoron at DX and move his family to Bristol. I feel lucky to be an investor in a groundbreaking technology that promises to shake up the vaccine world.”  

Imophoron develop vaccines based on a component of human adenovirus that self assembles into nanoparticles they named ‘ADDomers’. To find out more about their technology, read episode one of our ‘Science Behind the Technology’ series.

Chikungunya virus is spread by mosquitoes and causes infections characterised by fever and joint pain. While the disease is mostly confined to sub-Saharan Africa, it is beginning to spread to Europe and the Americas, and there is currently no vaccine or treatment for it.   

Imophoron joined Unit DX in December 2017 after relocating from France to set up the business. We worked closely with Imophoron to develop their early strategy and helped to lead their first funding round earlier this year.

By | 2019-10-10T12:22:26+01:00 September 26th, 2019|News, Press Releases|