CHAIN has been awarded two grants to support its therapeutic delivery platform from Innovate UK (IUK), the UK’s innovation agency. The grant-funded projects will focus on the development and testing of two new biotherapeutics using CHAIN’s proprietary delivery platform CADDTM. The projects build on successful IUK funded projects that were used to develop and validate the CADDTM platform. Platform expansion has begun under another IUK project, ‘Developing Clostridium as a Novel Secretion System for Therapeutic Peptides’, now in its final 12 months.
About the projects:
MICRoMED – ‘Microbial restoration of intestinal Metabolite balance for type 2 diabetes’ – aims to produce a natural metabolite of gut bacteria. This metabolite is lacking in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is a 12-month proof of concept project that leverages our skills in metabolic pathway engineering of Clostridium bacteria. In the UK, 90% of 3.7 million diabetes patients suffer from type 2 diabetes, with a further 12 million at risk of developing the illness. Globally, over 400 million people worldwide have diabetes and its prevalence is rising in low-middle income countries.
The second project focuses on novel cancer vaccines, called ‘Mucosal delivery of Clostridium spores encoding recombinant overlapping peptides of HPV antigen as therapeutic vaccines for cancer’. This is a 12-month proof of concept project funded from the IUK Biomedical Catalyst and performed in collaboration with the University of Oxford. We aim to deliver antigenic peptides that stimulate an immune response against human papilloma virus that could lead to a cost-effective vaccine. The gut mucosa offers a novel route for immunisation. HPV is a common virus that will affect 8 in 10 people, largely without symptoms. High risk, sexually transmitted strains of HPV when untreated lead to cancer, the most common of which is cervical cancer. Approximately 3,100 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually, almost all caused by HPV. Vaccines against HPV help the body clear the virus, reducing the risk of cancer development.
Both projects should deliver new live biotherapeutic products that exemplify our platform technology and demonstrate the broad functionality that can be achieved using an engineering approach. CHAIN’s CADDTM technology targeting the gut microbiome is highly differentiated with the potential to transform healthcare across a broad range of chronic and debilitating diseases.
CHAIN has been awarded £0.5M grant funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation agency, to expand its range of biotechnology products. Building on a successful synthetic biology program, the grants support further development of CHAIN’s proprietary Clostridium platform for therapeutic and specialty chemical applications.
A two-year project will focus on the development of novel therapeutics targeting gut-related disease. CHAIN has successfully demonstrated the use of Clostridium to deliver small molecules to the gut. In this project, we will expand the range of therapeutics to include anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory peptides. This work will be carried out in collaboration with leading researchers in Clostridium genetics at the Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) at the University of Nottingham.
The second project focuses on the production of high-value chiral chemicals. CHAIN has already successfully developed a Clostridium strain that produces (R) 1,3 butanediol, an important building block for several nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. In this project, we plan to improve microbial performance and deliver a cost-completive fermentation process for chemical production.
CHAIN is currently focused on the testing and progression of its lead gut microbiome therapeutic for the clinic, targeting inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr Edward Green, Chief Executive at CHAIN comments
“Grant funding supports our highly skilled discovery team, based at the SBRC and strengthens ties with the Centre. Ultimately, this serves to build and accelerate our product discovery pipeline without undue distraction from our lead product.”
This article first appeared on chainbiotech.com on 09/09/2017 and was covered by SynBioBeta synthetic biology news: https://synbiobeta.com/chain-awarded-0-5m-grant-funding-develop-healthcare-platform/.