Cancer vaccine firm Oxford Vacmedix announces Innovate UK grant for novel application of ROP technology

Grant will fund joint research by Imperial College, London and Oxford Vacmedix into antimicrobial resistance, in collaboration with the Ditan Hospital in Beijing, China

Oxford, UK – 19th December 2019

Oxford Vacmedix UK Limited (OVM), the UK-based biopharma company focusing on the development of cancer vaccines, announced today the award of an Innovate UK grant to fund research that capitalises on OVM’s proprietary recombinant overlapping peptide (ROP) technology. The research will be carried out in collaboration with Imperial College in London and the Ditan hospital in Beijing, the leading infectious disease hospital in China. The project aims to develop a low-cost diagnostic test to detect bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. This will have advantages in terms of speed, simplicity and cost over DNA sequencing approaches, and will be accessible for low and middle income countries. These prototype assays will be produced at OVM and Imperial College and will be trialled at the Ditan Hospital. Patients in intensive care are at high risk of bacterial infections, a significant proportion of which are resistant to front-line antibiotics.

The need to monitor and control resistance to antimicrobial therapy has been identified as an urgent global priority by both the WHO and UN. The rise in carbapenem resistance is of particular concern given the importance of this class of antibiotics in the intensive care setting, and its role as a marker for multiple antibiotic drug resistance. The availability of an inexpensive and simple test for carbapenem resistance will enable early identification of affected patients in the community. Once identified, patients can be isolated, appropriate treatment started earlier and clinical control measures put in place.

Spun out from the University of Oxford, OVM is commercialising the research on ROPs developed in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford. The principal application of the technology is in the development of a novel type of therapeutic cancer vaccine with potential for increased efficacy, simpler regulatory pathways and lower costs.

This new diagnostic project will run alongside OVM’s main development programmes and will be largely outsourced, allowing the company to focus on the development of its two lead cancer vaccines; OVM-100, an HPV vaccine targeted at cervical cancer; and OVM-200 a new type of vaccine based on survivin that targets solid tumours. Both vaccines address areas of significant unmet medical need and will be tested as single agents and also in combination with other immune-oncology (IO) agents.

Dr Shisong Jiang, CSO and Founder of OVM, said:

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with Imperial College and with the Ditan hospital in Beijing on this important project. This novel application of our recombinant overlapping peptide technology could show real utility in the diagnosis and management of carbapenem resistance and could make a significant difference to the effectiveness of treatment for infectious disease. We very much appreciate the support and funding from Innovate UK for this project”

Professor Xu Xiao-Ning, Chair of Human Immunology at the Imperial College London added:

“This project is an excellent opportunity to widen the applications of the Oxford Vacmedix’s ROP technology and to build on the expertise in immunology and infectious disease at Imperial College. We look forward to a successful collaboration and to developing early diagnosis of carbapenem resistance, to address this real need and benefit a wide population with sometimes limited access to healthcare”.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
William Finch, CEO, Oxford Vacmedix
T: +44 (0)1865 742087 | M: +44(0)7769 903711 | E:

About Oxford Vacmedix

Oxford Vacmedix UK Ltd, based on the Oxford Science Park, UK, is a bio-pharma company that utilizes the novel proprietary platform technology of recombinant overlapping peptides (ROPs) invented by Dr Shisong Jiang. ROPs have been validated as a technology to stimulate broad and strong T cell immunity therefore forming a good platform for cancer therapeutic vaccines and diagnostics. The company is a spin-out of the University of Oxford and has extensive contacts and collaborations in China through Changzhou Bioscience that is using the ROP platform in both diagnostics and adoptive cell therapy for cancer and infectious disease.

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About Imperial College, London

Imperial College London is a world top ten university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, Imperial College is committed to developing the next generation of researchers, scientists and academics through collaboration across disciplines. Located in the heart of London, Imperial College is a multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges.

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