Oxford University Spinout’s vison of next-generation vaccines.

SpyBiotech, an Oxford University spinout, has established a molecular superglue that can facilitate rapid development of robust and novel vaccines. The spinout has secured £4m seed funding from Oxford Sciences Innovation with participations from GV (formerly Google Ventures). 

The company gets its name from the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes (Spy), the same organism behind several infections including strep throat and impetigo. The team behind SpyBiotech divided Spy into a peptide, SpyTag, and a protein partner, SpyCatcher. Naturally attracted to each other, the two form a covalent bond once combined.

SpyBiotech believes that the bond is the missing link to effective development and production of highly effective vaccines. The company plans to target infectious diseases including major viral infections with a view to developing into a universal platform to target a wide variety of conditions.

Sumi Biswas, Associate Professor at the Jenner Institute, Oxford University, said:

“Researchers in the vaccine field, including us, have struggled to make effective VLPs against many diseases for a long time. We view this superglue technology as a game changer to enable faster development of effective vaccines against major global diseases. We are excited to begin the journey of taking this versatile and innovative approach forward and moving our new vaccines from the laboratory to human clinical testing.”

SpyBiotech will use the first investment for patient trails in Phase I trials and continue with phase II once the founders receive the next round of funding.


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