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.

 

About CHAIN

 

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.

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: wfinch@oxfordvacmedix.com
https://www.oxfordvacmedix.com

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

 

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.

Dr Edward Green (left) receives award from Paul Rübig MEP

Dr Edward Green (left) receives award from Paul Rübig MEP

About CHAIN:

 

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).

 

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Dr David Kirk
Senior Scientist, CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd
Phone Number: +44 (0) 115 784 0106
Email: david.kirk@chainbiotech.com

UK biotech to manufacture novel medicines for Inflammatory Bowel Disease using spores of gut bacteria

Three leading British biotechnology businesses have obtained grant funding from Innovate UK to investigate the manufacture of a new class of medicines, targeting a range of clinical conditions through interaction with the human microbiome.

The novel and highly innovative approach is to use spores derived from anaerobic bacteria (Clostridia) that are naturally found in our large intestines to deliver targeted anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Bacterial spores are resistant to acid, so when ingested in a tablet or capsule they are able to pass largely unscathed through the stomach before germinating and releasing the anti-inflammatory bio-actives (payload) to where it is needed in the colon, to treat chronic and debilitating inflammatory conditions, such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.

The concept has been proven in pre-clinical tests by the project consortium lead CHAIN Biotechnology, but until now a stumbling block has been the lack of a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the UK, able to scale-up and manufacture Clostridial spore-based medicines to the required standard, following good manufacturing practice (GMP), needed for medicinal products for human testing and use. This is where Porton Biopharma with its knowledge and history of developing and producing bio-therapeutics from various spore-forming bacteria, and Scitech which specialises in design, engineering, construction and validation of facilities within the life-science sector will add their expertise.

Developing and testing the technological approach of microbiome targeted therapeutics, and being first in the market with an advanced medicine manufacturing capability and capacity required for such products, would see CHAIN Biotechnology and the UK taking a step closer to becoming world-leaders in this fast growing emerging health care area.

Dr Basil Omar CHAIN’s Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer said “The output of this feasibility project will support the business case for further investment in a dedicated, advanced manufacturing facility for these breakthrough therapeutic products offering medical treatments and delivering real benefits for long-suffering patients”.

Dr Roger Hinton MD of Porton Biopharma said “This is an ideal fit for us given our history of developing biopharmaceuticals from spore formers, knowledge of GMP manufacture and specialised containment microbiology.  We are very excited by the commercial potential.”

Dave Grant MD of Scitech said “Life sciences are an essential part of the UK government’s new industrial strategy and this award facilitates the creation of much needed new specialist manufacturing industrial infrastructure with new highly-skilled jobs”.

Ends

 

Note to editors:

CHAIN Biotechnology Limited was founded in 2014, by serial entrepreneur Dr Edward Green, to exploit the therapeutic potential of Clostridia bacteria found in the human gut microbiome. CHAIN’s innovative platform technology supports a product pipeline, developed through the identification and delivery of small molecules, peptides and natural metabolites that interact positively with the gut microbiome. CHAIN is targeting a broad range of clinical conditions including control of infection and inflammation in the gut as well as interacting with signalling receptors in the gut which have an effect on the Central Nervous System, with potential new treatments for such conditions as depression and neurological disorders.

Porton Biopharma Limited (PBL) manufactures a number of biopharmaceutical products including the UK’s anthrax vaccine and Erwinase®, a treatment for childhood leukaemia.  It has state-of-the-art cGMP pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities which are licensed by the MHRA & FDA and employs approximately 300 people.  PBL is registered in England and Wales under company number 9331560.  It was commercialised from Public Health England (PHE) in 2015 to enable it to be better placed to develop the business of developing & manufacturing life-saving biopharmaceutical products.

Scitech Engineering Ltd are specialists in design, engineering, construction and validation for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life science sectors.  Formed in 2002 Scitech is an employee owned, highly specialised and skilled business offering a full range of engineering, construction and professional services. 

 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic and debilitating set of diseases characterised by inflammation in the lower digestive tract. The most common conditions are Ulcerative Colitis and Crone’s Disease. In the EU, IBD affects 2.6M people with annual healthcare costs of >£4.5Bn.  IBD is more common in industrialised nations although incidence is rapidly increasing globally, driven by pursuit of ‘westernised’ lifestyles in developing countries.

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk

For more information contact

CHAIN Biotech: Dr Basil Omar, Chief Commercial Officer on 0777 166 0800 basil.omar@chainbiotech.com

Porton Biopharma:  Dr Phil Luton, Commercial & marketing Manager on 01980 619723 or 07342 056193 phil.luton@portonbiopharma.com

Scitech: Rachel Slater, Business Development Manager on 01483 270 524 rachel.slater@scitech.com

CHAIN has been awarded £0.5M grant funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation agency, to expand its range of biotechnology products. Building on a successful synthetic biology program, the grants support further development of CHAIN’s proprietary Clostridium platform for therapeutic and specialty chemical applications.

A two-year project will focus on the development of novel therapeutics targeting gut-related disease. CHAIN has successfully demonstrated the use of Clostridium to deliver small molecules to the gut. In this project, we will expand the range of therapeutics to include anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory peptides. This work will be carried out in collaboration with leading researchers in Clostridium genetics at the Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) at the University of Nottingham.

The second project focuses on the production of high-value chiral chemicals. CHAIN has already successfully developed a Clostridium strain that produces (R) 1,3 butanediol, an important building block for several nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. In this project, we plan to improve microbial performance and deliver a cost-completive fermentation process for chemical production.

CHAIN is currently focused on the testing and progression of its lead gut microbiome therapeutic for the clinic, targeting inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr Edward Green, Chief Executive at CHAIN comments

“Grant funding supports our highly skilled discovery team, based at the SBRC and strengthens ties with the Centre. Ultimately, this serves to build and accelerate our product discovery pipeline without undue distraction from our lead product.”

 

This article first appeared on chainbiotech.com on 09/09/2017 and was covered by SynBioBeta synthetic biology news: https://synbiobeta.com/chain-awarded-0-5m-grant-funding-develop-healthcare-platform/.