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10 August 2017

Plymouth dispenses Vaccine Group

University of Plymouth has launched Vaccine Group, a vaccine developer based on research by Michael Jarvis, associate professor in virology and immunology.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

University of Plymouth created a new spinout, Vaccine Group, on Tuesday to commercialise vaccines for use in infection control and for diseases that spread from animals to humans.

The spinout’s creation was supported by commercialisation firm Frontier IP Group as part of its existing partnership agreement with the institution. Frontier IP obtained a 21% stake in the business.

Vaccine Group is based on technology developed by Michael Jarvis, associate professor in virology and immunology, and will aim to create vaccines based on the herpes virus.

It will initially focus on vaccines for animals to prevent viruses crossing over into humans, but expects to also develop human vaccines in future.

The spinout will target pathogens such as avian flu, Ebola virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) coronavirus as well as Rift Valley fever virus.

Michael Jarvis, chief scientific officer of Vaccine Group, said:  “My laboratory has nearly 20 years’ experience in the development of vaccines based on herpesvirus-based technology.

“Science is a collaborative endeavour, and Vaccine Group provides a new vehicle by which we can interact with fellow scientists, industry and investors to prevent emergence of infectious diseases relevant to global human health and agriculture.”

Neil Crabb, chief executive of Frontier IP, said: "We are delighted to support development of Vaccine Group.

“Emerging infectious diseases are a growing threat to economies and to the global population. A rapid response vaccine platform will be a valuable addition to current management strategies and a critical resource when new diseases emerge."

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