SpyBiotech, an Oxford University spinout developing a molecular superglue for rapid development of vaccines targeting a range of diseases, secured £4m in seed funding.
The round was led by Oxford Sciences Innovation, the research commercialization company of Oxford University, with participation from GV.
The company – which gets its name from the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes (Spy), the same organism behind a number of infections including strep throat and impetigo – intends to use the funds to develop the technology and get its first candidates ready for Phase I trials.
Led by Mark Howarth, Professor of Protein Nanotechnology; Sumi Biswas, Associate Professor of Vaccinology; Simon Draper, Professor of Vaccinology; and Dr. Jing Jin, SpyBiotech will initially focus on virus-like particles (VLPs), a technology to induce immune responses by vaccination. Its SpyVLP can be combined with a number of antigens, and used to produce stable vaccines that induce antibody responses.
The company plans to target infectious diseases including major viral infections at first, with a view to developing SpyVLP into a universal platform, that can be adapted to target a wide variety of conditions, including future outbreaks and pandemics.