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Rational Design and Construction of Viral Based Products

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SynVaccine (Rational Design and Construction of Viral Based Products)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-09-30

Viruses can be ‘natural vehicles’ to solve many problems. They have been optimised by evolution to carry out exceptional tasks, such as delivering DNA to specific cells, defending the body, or fixing faulty genes. But none of these can be carried out if we can’t get the right viruses, for the right jobs at hand. As an example, current methods of cancer treatment have mostly relied on Chemotherapy; though response rates have been lacking (45%). We now know our immune-response fights cancer best when assisted with oncolytic viruses. Viruses promote an immune response against tumour cells by allowing tumour antigen presentation (in the context of an active viral infection). However, neutralising antiviral responses blocks virus replication and ongoing infection of tumour cells. The key challenge is to fine-tune the immune response to maximise both virus spread and anticancer immunity. In addition, the basic goal of attenuating a virus for vaccination purposes while maintaining its immunogenic properties continues to baffle development research. Existing viral diseases have forced drug researchers to play a constant game of ‘catch-up’ by mutating faster and more efficiently to bypass immunological recognition from previous vaccinations. Livestock have been immensely susceptible to these continuously mutating strains, directly affecting humanity’s staple sources of food for sustenance and growth.

The overall objectives is to investigate the feasibility of commercialising derived products from SynVaccine's proprietary technology SynRAD. And the the most feasible pathway of entrance
The clear market demand for Animal Health vaccines, especially those of innovative technological backgrounds, seeing increased investments by larger and more financially secure pharmaceutical institutions such as Boehringer. In the same vein, increased public resources and sentiments is being vested into these new avenues, of which qualification in live stage trials become key to eventual commercialisation antics.

The importance of first addressing the Animal Health market segment, due to the ability to sell direct to veterinary physicians, farmers, and even household pet owners as a distinctive pull factor in a pharmaceutical industrial roadmap already crowded with regulatory hurdles. This being in direct contrast to tougher price negotiations with governments and insurers in order to sell solutions in human healthcare, as major push factors. The core concern of developmental cost being slashed significantly in Animal Health in comparison to clinical applications – due to less onerous trials, as well as Animal Health products having greater proprietary longevity and less competition on each target application. This further supports our strategy to expedite early monetary returns to our company due to the costly nature of drug development; especially so for a non-manufacturing proprietary technology provider.
SynRAD would derive among the highest-performing synthetic viruses in the market due to its big-data and bottom-up approach, while saving millions of EUR in otherwise sunk cost compared to current lengthy and restrictive viral research technologies. Money spent in existing trial and error methods over a lengthier development phase, pales in comparison to licensing costs paid for SynRAD’s succinct and superior development. SynRAD’s technology would allow for a much shorter development phase (10% to 50% less based on existing in-house tests) and equally important, finally open development pathways for significant unmet needs e.g. improved FMD, African swine fever vaccine etc.