Enesi Pharma and University of Oxford collaborate to target plague with a novel ImplaVax®-enabled adenovirus-based solid dose vaccine

OXFORD, UK – 09 April 2019 – Enesi Pharma (“Enesi”), an innovative pharmaceutical company developing unique injectable solid dose drug-device vaccine products and scientists at the world-renowned Oxford Vaccine Group (“OVG”) at the University of Oxford, announce they have entered into a collaborative agreement to create and test a solid dose vaccine against plague. The collaboration will leverage Enesi’s ImplaVax® needle-free technology and a proprietary vaccine against the bacteria causing plague (Yersinia pestis) developed by OVG, based on a ChAdOx adenovirus vector.

Plague is a serious infectious disease with a high mortality rate unless treated early with antibiotics. There is no approved vaccine available.

According to the World Health Organization, most cases of plague since 1990 have occurred in Africa (particularly in Madagascar), however, outbreaks have been reported worldwide including in the United States. Plague is recognised by public health authorities globally as a potential agent of bioterrorism with Y. pestis classed as a Category A priority pathogen by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and considered a priority pathogen by the UK Vaccine Network based on the high risk that plague poses to national security and public health.

The collaboration between Enesi and OVG aims to create a stable and easy-to-use solid dose plague vaccine for use in areas around the world where outbreaks occur as well as for building strategic stockpiles as part of government preparedness for rapid deployment in the event of a bioterrorism incident.

David Hipkiss, Enesi CEO, commented:

“We are thrilled to enter this new collaboration with Professor Christine Rollier and the University of Oxford. This is our first collaboration to develop vaccines for infectious diseases based on adenovirus vectors and represents important progress with our broad strategy to assess the potential of our ImplaVax technology with the major immunogenic platforms on which global vaccines are based. Plague is a clear priority for governments and public health organisations around the world and there is a real need for a vaccine where none currently exists. We look forward to advancing this exciting project with OVG and benefiting from their insight to the requirements for successful vaccine development.”

 Professor Christine Rollier at the Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford, added:

“Vaccination represents a foundation of healthcare globally and our goal at OVG is to apply innovation to ensure people are protected from serious but preventable diseases wherever they live. We are pleased therefore that the collaboration with Enesi, through ImplaVax and solid dose vaccines, potentially offers an approach that could help address this challenge.”

ImplaVax® is a novel formulation and needle-free device technology that enables solid dose vaccine implants to be delivered quickly under the skin. The aim of the technology is for healthcare providers or individuals themselves to administer the vaccine using this simple, convenient and reusable needle-free device. ImplaVax® also has the potential to generate improved immune responses, and implants benefit from extended thermal stability, which can make a significant contribution to reducing the end-to-end cold chain logistical challenges and distribution costs.

Abbreviation: ChAdOx – chimpanzee adenovirus Oxford