Having finalised the research plan and all consortium members completing the consortium and grant agreements, the EncOVac Consortium parties are now entering the next phase to commence the validation of the encapsulation process. The validation is expected to complete in H2 2023.
The news follows Poolbeg’s award of non-dilutive grant funding by the Irish Government’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) in November 2022.
Taking place over three years, the EncOVac Consortium is funded to develop a phase 1 clinical trial ready oral vaccine candidate.
The agreed research plan includes several stages of work and once the encapsulation process, developed by AnaBio Technologies, has been successfully validated, the consortium will proceed to encapsulate vaccine antigen candidates developed by Associate Professor Siobhán McClean at University College Dublin together with adjuvants identified by Professor Ed Lavelle at Trinity College Dublin.
This oral vaccine candidate will then complete all required non-clinical testing in preparation for a phase 1 clinical trial.
According to Poolbeg, is oral vaccine program will possess the capability to generate vaccines for a wide range of diseases and represents a significant commercial opportunity.
The platform has the potential to be licensed to partners or developed internally within Poolbeg, positioning the Company to help tackle a broad range of infectious diseases, which has the potential to make a positive impact on public health.
Dr. Jeremy Skillington, CEO of Poolbeg, said: “The validation of the encapsulation process is a key step in the creation of a Phase I clinical trial ready oral vaccine candidate and Poolbeg is proud to lead the EncOVac Consortium. Delivering oral vaccines to the gut has the potential to revolutionise global protection against infectious disease. In contrast to intramuscular vaccines that generate systemic immunity, oral vaccines induce mucosal immunity, which can induce better protection against pathogens at the site of infection.”
Associate Professor Siobhán McClean, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, added: “Having worked in the fields of chronic infection and vaccine development for many years, this consortium has the potential to be immensely beneficial for the development of oral vaccines. By triggering mucosal immunity, we can target the areas where pathogens enter the body, resulting in more effective and long-lasting protective responses, benefitting both patients and public healthcare systems.”