Midatech, Emergex to develop vaccines against Zika, Dengue and other flavi viruses

Midatech has received an upfront technology access fee and option payment of £450,000 following the licence granted to Emergex Vaccines Limited from January 2016.

Midatech Pharma, the international specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercialising products in oncology, had signed the licensing agreement which covers the use of its proprietary gold nanoparticle platform in the development of vaccines for influenza, meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, Ebola virus, Marburg virus and viruses within the Arbovirus class such Zika and Dengue. Midatech announced on Tuesday the first deployment of its gold nanoparticles as a conventional vaccine for infectious disease.

Under the agreement, the licence, together with the Service and Manufacturing Agreement for both the synthesis and development manufacturing of cGMP material for clinical trials, was novated from Emergex Vaccines Limited to a related entity Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited (“Emergex”), a private UK biotechnology company focused on developing synthetic T-cell vaccines against new and emerging infectious diseases.

Midatech said it will continue to be entitled to receive certain milestone and royalty payments, as well as service fees, as part of the arrangement.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Jim Phillips, CEO of Midatech Pharma, said: “I am pleased to see progress being made in the adaptation of our gold nanoparticle technology for use in vaccines for infectious disease, which perfectly complements our type 1 diabetes collaboration in antigen specific immunotherapy, and our early-stage internal programs which address auto-immune disease and immuno-oncology.”


David Jackson of Emergex added: “The expansion of the Midatech licence with Emergex is important for the development of cross-reactive or universal vaccines against infectious agents sharing common genetic characteristics such as flavi viruses within the Arbovirus group. There were 380 million new cases of Dengue last year and Zika is becoming a global health problem. The licence with Midatech now allows Emergex to develop vaccines that are not restricted to a single flavi virus but potentially act as a universal vaccine against Zika, Dengue and other flavi viruses. This is a continuation of our universal influenza vaccine program which also targets genetic components common to all influenza viruses. Our synthetic T cell mediated vaccines should also be able to safely immunize pregnant women and provide co-immunisation of the foetus which may be required for prevention of the congenital Zika syndrome.”


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