CHAIN is pleased to announce a new 18-month research collaboration with Associate Professor John Heap and his research group at the University of Nottingham.
Dr Heap is Associate Professor of Synthetic Biology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham, where he is also part of the newly-formed Biodiscovery Institute and the Green Chemicals Beacon.
John has a background in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. His research group studies the use of natural and engineered metabolism for sustainable biomanufacturing, particularly using unconventional microorganisms with ‘exotic’ metabolic capabilities. The group’s research often involves developing and applying synthetic biology technologies to unlock the potential of these organisms, improve production of valuable chemicals, and enhance other industrially relevant properties.
John moved to the University of Nottingham from Imperial College London in 2019. At Imperial John was a Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Biology in the Department of Life Sciences and his group was based in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology. Prior to 2011, John undertook his PhD and first postdoctoral research position at the University of Nottingham, where he developed breakthrough genetic tools for industrially and medically important Clostridium bacteria. These include the widely used gene editing methods ACE and ClosTron.
“I am delighted that we are working with the Heap lab. John has world leading expertise engineering Clostridium and developed many of the tools that we currently use. Together, we will apply our expertise and capabilities in engineering biology to deliver new functionality to our novel microbiome therapeutic platform. Our focus initially will be on metabolite production including β-hydroxy-butyrate. This new collaboration builds on a long-standing relationship with the University of Nottingham involving collaborations with the Synthetic Biology Research Centre and the School of Medicine” said Dr Edward Green, Chief Executive, CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd.
“I am very pleased to be starting this exciting project with CHAIN Biotech. Metabolic engineering of Clostridium enabled by synthetic biology approaches is a long-standing interest of ours, so it’s great to tackle such industrially relevant challenges. CHAIN’s established platform, team and route to market make this a perfect match.’’ said Dr John Heap.
CHAIN Biotechnology is a UK microbiome therapeutics company founded by biotech entrepreneur Dr Edward Green. The team is based at MediCity, Nottingham with a head office in Marlow, Bucks.
CHAIN has built a proprietary and highly differentiated drug development platform (CADD™) based on a single, but highly effective, Clostridium strain. This platform enables targeted, safe and controllable drug delivery to the colon. CHAIN’s live biotherapeutic products also offer significant advantages including ease of manufacture, low cost of goods and stability of the drug product. CHAIN’s unique genetic engineering capability is used to add therapeutic functionality and the platform supports a pipeline of therapeutic candidates addressing multiple diseases associated with the human gut microbiome. These include inflammatory bowel disease but more recently the company has expanded its work to include vaccines and cancer therapies.
About the University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world’s top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students – Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 25 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia – part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer, proud of our Athena SWAN silver award, and a key industry partner- locally and globally.
Andrew has had a distinguished career at Danisco/DuPont, acting as Chief Scientific Officer (2008–2011) for Danisco and Chief Scientist for DuPont Nutrition & Health (2011–2019). He was appointed a DuPont Fellow in 2016 and played a key role in helping build DuPont’s microbiome platform.
Having retired from DuPont at the end of 2019, Andrew now chairs the UK’s KTN Microbiome Special Interest Group, which aims to raise the visibility and impact of the UK’s world leading microbiome science.
Andrew has a first-class honours degree in Biochemistry and a Doctorate in Microbial Biochemistry & Genetics from the University of Sussex.
“I am delighted that Andrew has joined the team. He brings 40 years’ experience in biosciences innovation in major global science-based companies spanning nutrition, health and agri-food. CHAIN’s microbiome platform technology has broad clinical applicability and we look forward to working with Andrew to develop new therapeutic opportunities and build new strategic partnerships with biotech and pharma. Andrew’s experience in microbial sciences should prove invaluable’’ said Dr Edward Green, Chief Executive, CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd.
“I am extremely pleased to be joining CHAIN Biotech as chief scientific adviser. CHAIN has a unique and impressive technology platform for the development of live medicinal products that combines leading capabilities in Clostridia engineering biology with microbiome science. I believe this has the potential to be a breakthrough technology platform enabling a wide range of microbiome therapeutic applications’’ said Dr Andrew Morgan.
About CHAIN Biotechnology
CHAIN is a UK microbiome therapeutics company founded by biotech entrepreneur Dr Edward Green. The team is based at MediCity, Nottingham with a head office in Marlow, Bucks.
CHAIN has built a proprietary and highly differentiated drug development platform (CADD™) based on a single, but highly effective, Clostridium strain. This platform enables targeted, safe and controllable drug delivery to the colon. CHAIN’s live biotherapeutic products also offer significant advantages including ease of manufacture, low cost of goods and stability of the drug product.
CHAIN’s unique genetic engineering capability is used to add therapeutic functionality and the platform supports a pipeline of therapeutic candidates addressing multiple diseases associated with the human gut microbiome. These include inflammatory bowel disease but more recently the company has expanded its work to include vaccines and cancer therapies.
”An expansive view of design has been adopted at CHAIN Biotechnology, which is developing new therapeutics based on living microbes where the “bug is the drug.” These drugs are based on a single strain of Clostridium bacteria that is naturally found in the gut, but which has been deliberately engineered to carry a therapeutic payload, such as custom metabolites, enzymes, or peptides.”
CHAIN has worked closely with the University of Nottingham since our beginning, and it is our pleasure to announce Anastasiya Buryak the winner of the CHAIN Biotechnology Award for Best Student Ambassador for Biotech and Best Academic Performance. CHAIN attended the award ceremony last week at the University’s Sutton-Bonnington Campus and we caught up with Anastasiya for a quick interview about her thoughts on biotech and her plans for the future.
What do you like about studying biotech?
What fascinates me the most about studying Biotechnology is that it allows the exploration of multiple disciplines, whether it is microbiology, nanotechnology, agriculture or pharmacology. I value that Biotechnology effectively uses biological principles to develop revolutionary technologies and products which positively impact on health, medicine, food and the environment. There are no limits to knowledge exploration and what ideas you can bring to this discipline.
What have you achieved as student ambassador for biotech last year?
Being a student ambassador for biotech is not just about presenting the Biotechnology course and university to visitors, leading a group of prospective students around campus or talking about student life. For me it is so much more: it is about demonstrating how important it is to study science and what benefits it can bring to humanity. What I enjoy the most as a student ambassador is meeting new people and share my passion, views and experiences with them. Sometimes I get a chance to meet ‘academically disoriented’ students, who have a great interest in biology and its applications but struggle to choose a particular course. And I learned to use this opportunity to help them understand what Biotechnology is about and how it revolutionised the scientific world. It is especially relevant to me, as I was at that stage whilst doing my A-levels. Similar to any student, I went through stressful and significant time choosing what I want to do in the future. Importantly whilst doing laboratory demonstrations during open days, I conveyed my enthusiasm in studying biotechnology and learned how to encourage and motivate students to study this course.
What would you like to do after graduation?
I am currently going into my third year of Biotechnology at the University of Nottingham and my career plan is to contribute to the healthcare industry. I have an interest in the pharmaceutical industry, in particular working on the development of novel drugs and cosmetics products, which will significantly advance public health, improve patient care and benefit customer needs. Among the main principles, I live my life by is “Be useful for this world! Target your energy on making this world a healthier and safer place”. Therefore after graduation, I see myself working in a company with a scientific environment among talented individuals. I hope to meet with various every day challenges whilst generating extraordinary and influential ideas, which have the potential to make life better. Constant learning and collaborating with others is what, I believe, will help me and others to achieve a valuable and unique contribution to improving human health.
Oxford, UK – 2nd July 2019
Oxford Vacmedix UK Limited (OVM), the UK-based biopharma company focused on the development of cancer vaccines, announced today the award of an Innovate UK grant to CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd (CHAIN) and the University of Oxford to develop live biotherapeutics that support oral delivery for OVM’s recombinant overlapping peptide (ROP) cancer vaccines. The research will use CHAIN’s proprietary microbiome technology and the world-class research facilities in the University’s department of Oncology.
The project will initially focus on OVM-100 in a research project titled “Mucosal delivery of Clostridium spores encoding recombinant overlapping peptides (ROPs) of HPV antigen as therapeutic vaccines for cervical cancer”. This will bring together University of Oxford’s expertise and CHAIN’s innovative microbial delivery platform to establish the effectiveness of delivering ROPs to the colon for the treatment of cervical cancer.
Spun out from the University of Oxford, OVM holds an exclusive licence for the ROP technology. The technology uses the novel, proprietary platform of ROPs to design and develop therapeutic cancer vaccines and diagnostics with the potential for increased efficacy, lower costs, simpler regulatory pathways and synergy when used in combination with other immune-oncology agents. OVM is developing two cancer vaccines, OVM-100 and OVM-200, focusing on unmet clinical need. OVM-100 is an HPV vaccine targeted at cervical cancer. OVM-200 represents a new type of vaccine utilising survivin, a protein inhibitor of apoptosis, to target solid tumours.
Dr Shisong Jiang, Principal Investigator in the Department of Oncology and Founder of OVM, said:
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with CHAIN on this exciting project. The importance of effective and controlled delivery is key to the development of new cancer vaccine and we are very pleased to have support and funding from Innovate UK for this work on our immunotherapy cancer vaccines.”
Dr Edward Green, Chief Executive and Founder of CHAIN added:
“This project provides a further opportunity to exemplify our Clostridium-Assisted Drug Development (CADDTM) platform for targeted gut delivery of therapeutic peptides. We look forward to a successful collaboration with OVM and to establishing a combination approach that simplifies and accelerates the development of oral cancer vaccines providing significant patient benefits.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 more information, please visit: www.oxfordvacmedix.com/
About CHAIN Biotech
CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd is a UK-based microbiome therapeutic company focused on the development and commercialisation of live biotherapeutic products (LBPs). LBPs are a new class of drug based on living bacteria found in the gut but engineered to deliver specific therapeutic molecules. We specialise in engineering Clostridia bacteria and our proprietary technology platform (CADDTM), based on a single bacterial species, supports multiple therapeutic products. CHAIN’s products address unmet clinical needs for safer, more effective and lower cost drugs. Treatments for diseases associated with the human gut microbiome have the potential to transform healthcare across many chronic and debilitating diseases. CHAIN was founded in 2014, by biotech entrepreneur Dr Edward Green and has labs at MediCity Nottingham with a head office in Marlow. CHAIN has assembled a highly experienced management team and Board comprising biotech and pharma leaders plus expert scientists with skills in microbiology, engineering biology and fermentation.
For more information, please visit: https://chainbiotech.com
CHAIN’s drug delivery platform and lead product, β-hydroxybutyrate, is highlighted in a new report ‘Catalysing Investment and Growth’, released by the BioIndustry Association this week. Our microbiome therapeutics are based on spores of Clostridium bacterial species. We have successfully demonstrated scale-up of bacterial spore production with our partners at Porton Biopharma Ltd as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, through a grant awarded by Innovate UK. The project also investigated the feasibility of developing a production facility with another UK company, Scitech Engineering Ltd.
The report explains how investment and growth is driven by the UK life sciences sector and emphasises the need for further public investment in the sector. The report aims to inform the Government, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and other policymakers as they prepare for the upcoming Spending Review and develop an R&D roadmap to reach the target of raising R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. The full report can be found here.
MARLOW & NOTTINGHAM, UK. — April 8, 2019 – UK microbiome therapeutics company CHAIN Biotechnology has appointed two new non-executive directors, Dr Nel Moore and Dr Robert Haigh to the Board.
Dr Nel Moore has considerable experience in drug development with a track record taking therapeutics to market as former Global Product Vice President at AstraZeneca. Dr Moore led the development, submission and approval of ZaviceftaTM, a combination drug of the antibiotic cephalosporin and a β-lacatamase inhibitor, for the treatment of multidrug resistant bacterial infections. She went on to build up and lead the antibiotics development organisation as part of a semi-autonomous antibiotics business unit within AstraZeneca. Dr Moore has a PhD in Medical Biochemistry from Birmingham University and currently chairs the CARB-X milestone review board.
Dr Robert Haigh has many years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry at management level. Dr Haigh served as COO of Oxford spin-out Neuro-Bio Ltd prior to joining CHAIN and co-founded KalVista Pharmaceuticals in 2011. Dr Haigh began his career with Boehringer Ingelheim before moving through senior management roles within Ferring Pharmaceuticals finishing as CEO of their R&D site in the UK and Board Director of the US R&D site. Dr Haigh then led the spinout of Ferring’s small molecule assets to become founder and CSO of Vantia Ltd, before founding KalVista Pharmaceuticals where he served as COO.
CHAIN Chief Executive Dr Edward Green commented,
“We are delighted that Nel and Robert have joined the team. They both have considerable expertise and experience in drug development and commercialisation that will support our plans to advance our lead drug candidate into the clinic. The drug is a live biotherapeutic product producing a potent anti-inflammatory metabolite in the large intestine and designed to treat ulcerative colitis.”
Dr Nel Moore
CHAIN Biotechnology is a UK microbiome therapeutics company focused on the development and commercialisation of novel microbial technology for the production and delivery of biotherapeutics to the gut. The company’s microbial technology has the potential to be highly disruptive both in terms of cost but also efficacy for the treatment and prevention of chronic and debilitating gut related diseases. CHAIN was founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Dr Edward Green. The Company has bases in Marlow (Head office) and MediCity Nottingham (Research Lab).
CHAIN has been awarded two grants to support its therapeutic delivery platform from Innovate UK (IUK), the UK’s innovation agency. The grant-funded projects will focus on the development and testing of two new biotherapeutics using CHAIN’s proprietary delivery platform CADDTM. The projects build on successful IUK funded projects that were used to develop and validate the CADDTM platform. Platform expansion has begun under another IUK project, ‘Developing Clostridium as a Novel Secretion System for Therapeutic Peptides’, now in its final 12 months.
About the projects:
MICRoMED – ‘Microbial restoration of intestinal Metabolite balance for type 2 diabetes’ – aims to produce a natural metabolite of gut bacteria. This metabolite is lacking in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is a 12-month proof of concept project that leverages our skills in metabolic pathway engineering of Clostridium bacteria. In the UK, 90% of 3.7 million diabetes patients suffer from type 2 diabetes, with a further 12 million at risk of developing the illness. Globally, over 400 million people worldwide have diabetes and its prevalence is rising in low-middle income countries.
The second project focuses on novel cancer vaccines, called ‘Mucosal delivery of Clostridium spores encoding recombinant overlapping peptides of HPV antigen as therapeutic vaccines for cancer’. This is a 12-month proof of concept project funded from the IUK Biomedical Catalyst and performed in collaboration with the University of Oxford. We aim to deliver antigenic peptides that stimulate an immune response against human papilloma virus that could lead to a cost-effective vaccine. The gut mucosa offers a novel route for immunisation. HPV is a common virus that will affect 8 in 10 people, largely without symptoms. High risk, sexually transmitted strains of HPV when untreated lead to cancer, the most common of which is cervical cancer. Approximately 3,100 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually, almost all caused by HPV. Vaccines against HPV help the body clear the virus, reducing the risk of cancer development.
Both projects should deliver new live biotherapeutic products that exemplify our platform technology and demonstrate the broad functionality that can be achieved using an engineering approach. CHAIN’s CADDTM technology targeting the gut microbiome is highly differentiated with the potential to transform healthcare across a broad range of chronic and debilitating diseases.
NOTTINGHAM, UK. — January 9th, 2019 — CHAIN has joined EuropaBio as a full member after placing runner-up in the Biotech SME Awards announced in November. As part of this membership, CHAIN gains access to EuropaBio’s network and will receive updates from working groups operating in diverse areas such as IP, regulatory policy and personalised medicine.
The awards ceremony in Brussels was held on December 3rd where MEP Paul Rübig, who sits on the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy, hosted the awards ceremony. CHAIN Chief Executive Dr Edward Green represented the company giving a presentation. On becoming a member of EuropaBio, Dr Green said, “CHAIN is delighted to be recognised by the EuropaBio SME Awards; we are an early stage UK-based microbiome therapeutics company, so recognition on the European stage is a big boost for us and validation of our innovative technology platform. We hope recognition will raise awareness of CHAIN’s novel and highly differentiated approach to use superior live biotherapeutics to treat chronic and debilitating gut related diseases.”
EuropaBio is the largest biotech advocacy group in Europe, with members including national biotech organisations like the UK’s BioIndustry Association, industry giants Merck and Bayer, and SMEs. EuropaBio are implementing an SME platform where companies can attend workshops and webinars dedicated to providing advice and helping their development.
CHAIN Biotechnology is a UK microbiome company focused on the development and commercialisation of microbial technology for the production and delivery of biotherapeutics to the gut. The company’s microbial technology has the potential to be highly disruptive both in terms of cost but also efficacy for the treatment and prevention of chronic and debilitating gut related diseases. CHAIN was founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Dr Edward Green. The Company has bases in Marlow (Head office) and MediCity Nottingham (Research Lab).
Dr David Kirk
Senior Scientist, CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd
Phone Number: +44 (0) 115 784 0106
In November, CHAIN moved research base from the University of Nottingham into independent lab and office space at the art deco MediCity building in Nottingham. The move coincides with the Company’s expansion, hiring Lab Manager Claire Evans earlier this year to oversee the move and Junior Scientist Matthew Allen more recently to begin work on new grant funded projects beginning in the new year.
The new lab space allows for strain engineering, microbial cultivation, process development and product analysis. Despite the move, we will continue to partner with the Prof. Nigel Minton, a world-leader in clostridial gene technologies, at the University of Nottingham’s Synthetic Biology Research Centre. We are looking forward to fully implementing GMP practices to our processes and advancing our lead product, CHN-1, towards the clinic.
We would like to thank the BioCity Group and MediCity team for all their help and support during the move!