545 Eskdale Road
Rod Richards, CEO
Microscience Ltd. focuses on the discovery and development of antibacterial vaccines, using its proprietary functional genomics and vaccine technology.
Its functional genomics technology, Signature Tagged Mutagenesis (STM), is a direct method for identifying virulence genes in bacteria. Rather than knocking out one gene after another and separately testing the ability of each mutant to cause infection, STM makes it possible to screen large numbers of mutants in a single animal. Each mutant is tagged with a DNA identifier, or signature, which can be used to identify those mutants capable of replication.
Microscience is applying the technique in three ways: knocking out the virulence gene to produce an attenuated bacteria for use as a vaccine; using the product of the virulence gene as a subunit vaccine; and using the protein that the virulence gene switches on in the host as the target for antimicrobial drugs.
Other company technologies include the protein vaccinology discovery platform, a method for identifying bacterial proteins suitable for vaccine use, and the spi-VEC oral delivery system, a technological extension of the company’s typhoid vaccine in which the immunogenicity and oral delivery capabilities of the typhoid vaccine are harnessed to delivery antigens related to other diseases through gene expression.
Microscience has five vaccines in development, in the areas of Group B Streptococcus, hepatitis B, meningitis B, enterotoxigenic E. coli and typhoid. The company is reviewing new oral treatment approaches for bacterial, viral and fungal diseases, and in cancer. Its animal vaccine division is developing new vaccines with partners. Microscience intends to retain and fund the in-house human vaccine programs until the successful completion of Phase II trials, and then partner them out.
Licensed technology for high-speed identification of virulence genes for use in a Helicobacter pylori vaccine program: Anadis Ltd.
Collaborations utilizing Microscience’s patented STM technology to develop a Salmonella vaccine for chickens to prevent the spread of disease to humans and to prevent the pathogen Pasturella multocida in meat turkeys: Merial SAS.
Salmonella vaccine manufacturing agreement for first clinical study: Zeneca Life Science Molecules.