Google is investing in a UK start-up that wants to cure the flu and prostate cancer – Health start-up Vaccitech has now raised £30m since its inception in 2016 | Influenza vaccineJanuary 16, 2018 6:13 am Categorised in: World Headlines
Google is investing in a UK start-up that wants to cure the flu and prostate cancer, University of Oxford | United Kingdom – Oxford, Google UK-based start-up Vaccitech is celebrating today after raising £20m in funding lead by Google’s venture capital arm, GV.
Vaccitech is based in Oxford, at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute. The company was created back in 2016 and has since raised £30m to fund its research into developing a universal flu vaccine. The start-up was founded by Professors Sarah Gilbert and Adrian Hill, based on their research into infectious diseases and how the body responds to vaccinations. The new set of funding from GV, as well as Oxford Sciences Innovation and the Chinese investor, Sequoia China, will be used to push through its current flu vaccine trials. Over 860 people are currently enrolled in the first year of the trial, which aims to improve the flu vaccination protection for people over 65.
As well as the seasonal flu, here are the other diseases Vaccitech wants to cure.
Tom Hulme, general partner at GV explained why Google is interested in investing in Vaccitech. “Vaccitech’s world class team have achieved an incredible amount with relatively little funding to date – the T-cell responses to the company’s viral vector platforms are among the highest that have been achieved in man – we look forward to it being applied to tackle multiple human diseases.”,UK-based start-up Vaccitech is celebrating today after raising £20m in funding lead by Google’s venture capital arm, GV., Influenza vaccine, Google, University of Oxford
1. Prostate cancer Vaccitech’s work on creating a vaccine for prostate cancer is currently in its first phase. According to Cancer Research UK, there are nearly 50,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed every year, so it makes sense the start-up would want to tackle it. The therapeutic cancer vaccine Vaccitech has developed stimulates the body to mount an immune attack against a unique tumour-specific protein. The company is going to begin a phase two study in early 2018. 2. MERS MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome as it is also known, was first reported in Saudi Arabia back in 2012. The disease has a 35 percent mortality rate, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Vaccitech is working on a phase one study into the disease at Oxford University. 3. HPV and HBV The start-up is also working on developing vaccines for HPV, Hepatitis B and other infectious diseases. At the moment, the work on these diseases is all in the late preclinical development stage. Tom Evans, the previous global head of infectious diseases research at pharmaceutical Novartis and CEO of Vaccitech, said: “When you look at the 250 million people chronically infected with Hepatitis B globally, or the number of people killed by the flu each year, it becomes clear just how much potential impact Vaccitech’s portfolio of vaccine products could have on the world.
“You add Oxford into the mix, where you have unprecedented ability to advance products through outstanding vaccine science and tremendous translational medicine capability, and Vaccitech is clearly well positioned to have an important impact on global health.”