We develop products using a technology platform based on engineered bacteria, proven safe in 10 adult and paediatric clinical trials in the US, UK and Vietnam. Using our expertise in engineering biology and immunology we apply our platform to prevent infectious diseases (Vaxonella) and to treat solid tumours (Onconella). Our safe, engineered bacteria retain their natural ability to survive transiently inside of human cells after being ingested, and we can use this to deliver and produce medicines from inside of the body’s own cells. This has many advantages including oral delivery and stimulation of strong, protective mucosal, antibody-based and cellular immunity.
Bacteria are ingested, pass through the stomach and then traverse the lining of the small intestine via microfold cells (M cells) into lymphatic nodules called Peyer’s patches. There they are phagocytosed by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) such as macrophages and express the antigen genes. The antigens are processed and presented by the APCs to stimulate cellular and humoral immune responses, including mucosal responses.
In this adaption of our platform technologies, we leverage proprietary genetic engineering interventions to build on the natural ability of our bacterial strains to seek out and colonise solid tumours. We have developed attenuated strains capable of targeting tumours without causing pathology in normal tissues. These Onconella strains are also capable of delivering specific immunostimulatory cargo aimed at activating the patient’s immune system to destroy tumours.
Ted took over as Prokarium’s CEO in March 2014 after serving as Development Director since December 2011. Prior to joining Prokarium, he has held positions in clinical research at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and in strategy consulting at Sweden’s Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, where he coordinated the country’s national innovation strategy. Ted holds a PhD from the University of Guelph, Canada, and has been recognised as a leader in biotechnology under the Sloan Foundation funded Synthetic Biology Leadership Accelerator Program (LEAP). He is a member of the international Bacterial Vaccines Network (BactiVac) management board, as well as an active member of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA).
Rocky is the CTO and co-founder of Prokarium. Rocky completed a PhD in genomics of cyanobacteria at Newcastle University in 1997 and joined Cobra Biologics later that year. He spent two years from 1998 at the University of Oxford in a research collaboration, and then relocated to Cobra’s headquarters at Keele, Staffordshire in 2000. Rocky managed Cobra’s molecular biology group, which conducted numerous internal R&D projects and contracts for biopharmaceutical companies in the field of recombinant protein and DNA production. Rocky was involved in spinning Prokarium out from Cobra in 2012, and he has developed and patented several new genetic technologies and vaccine candidates for diseases including Chlamydia, plague, enteric fever and non-typhoidal Salmonella.
Kristen Albright joined Prokarium in 2018 as the VP, Business Development and Translational Research. Prior to joining Prokarium, Kristen was a Life Science Investor at Osage University Partners, a Philadelphia-based venture capital fund focused on academic spinouts from leading research universities. At Osage, Kristen completed multiple deals in the immunology, oncology and rare disease spaces ranging from target validation to clinical-stage companies. Earlier in her career, Kristen worked within Business Development at multiple mid-size companies including Emergent BioSolutions and Cangene Corporation, where she specialized in asset licensing and M&A. In the latter she was involved in the acquisition, integration and regulatory approval of a haemophilia programme. Kristen earned her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and is a licensed pharmacist. She also holds an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University.
Livija joined Prokarium in 2018 as the VP Immunology and Oncology. She is leading the strategic and operational development of Prokarium’s immuno-oncology portfolio. As an immunologist Livija specializes in mucosal and tumour immunology, immunological assay development and immuno-oncology. Prior to joining Prokarium, Livija headed the lead selection and immuno-oncology R&D at Oxford BioTherapeutics where she focused on the target discovery and the development of immunomodulatory antibodies for cancer treatment. She has a MA in Medical Biotechnology and holds a PhD in Basic and Applied Immunology. Livija conducted her research at Cancer Research UK and King’s College London before joining the biotech industry.
Mike is Prokarium’s Head of Clinical Development and brings over 25 years of experience in biopharmaceutial development from the US, UK and Denmark. He was VP bacterial vaccine research at Acambis UK, Chief Development Officer at ACE Biosciences and TD Vaccines in Denmark and has provided independent product development consultancy to pharma, biotech and academic clients. He has a BA in biochemistry and a D.Phil in molecular immunology from the University of Oxford and was a Fogarty International Postdoctoral Fellow at the US National Cancer Institute, NIH. Mike has been involved in the development of a number of vaccines against diarrhoeal diseases and continues to be consulted as Key Opinion Leader by various organisations in the enteric diseases field.
Paola is Prokarium’s Head of Molecular Biology. She joined Prokarium in 2013 as Principal Scientist, following on two years as Senior Scientist at Cobra Biologics within the molecular biology group, where she was involved as lead scientist in a number of collaborative research and development projects. Paola has a PhD in microbial molecular genetics from the University of Palermo, Italy and has worked as postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Experimental Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis in Milan (Italy), the School of Biology of Lund University (Sweden) and the Institute for Life Science of Swansea University (UK). Her research activity has focused mainly on microbiology and microbial molecular genetics.
Steve is Chairman of the Board of Prokarium and brings more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, developing vaccines in small and large businesses, most recently as Executive Vice President, Strategic Investments at Emergent BioSolutions. Steve has also served as Executive Director of the UK Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) and has held posts at Medeva and the Wellcome Foundation. In his career he has focused on the development of products to prevent and treat infectious disease and is internationally recognized as an opinion leader in the vaccines field with more than 100 scientific papers.
Carl-Johan represents Flerie Invest on the board of Prokarium and was its first CEO until Ted Fjällman took over in 2014. He graduated with a doctorate in dental surgery in 1980 and a PhD in pharmacology from the Karolinska institute in 1984. He has since held a number of positions in medical and pharma companies and currently serves as director of several technology development companies. Carl-Johan is Executive VP Development & Technology at Recipharm AB and Executive Director of Cobra Biologics Ltd.
Allan brings more than 40 years of experience in vaccines and biotechnology, most recently as VP Corp Dev at Sanofi Pasteur and VP BD and Strategy at Wyeth. Allan has built several smaller biotech companies as well: In 1980, Allan co-founded Damon Biotech, where he held diverse positions of increasing responsibility from Manager, Molecular Biology to VP Research and VP BD. From 1990 to 1992 he worked at Abbott Labs, as Director of Bus Dev. In 1992 he joined Repligen Corp. in the dual role of VP Business Planning for the parent company and SVP Commercial Development for its wholly owned subsidiary, Amira, Inc. Allan holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics from UC Davis.
Khalid is the CEO of Riyadh Valley Company (RVC) and joined the Prokarium board after investment in Prokarium in January 2018. He is also an Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering at King Saud University (KSU), has conducted consultancy work for the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education, on e.g. IP regulations, and continues to serve as the Director of the IP and Technology Licensing Programme at KSU. He has published numerous papers in the field of Industrial Engineering, is a founding-member of the Saudi Inventors Society and is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) amongst others. Khalid holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from King Saud University and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Birmingham University.
Sangwoo is a Managing Director and Head of Korea Investment Partners’ (KIP’s) US office based in Silicon Valley and joined the Prokarium board after investment in Prokarium in February 2018. He is responsible for the global expansion of Korea Investment Partners and actively explores cross-border investments. Sangwoo currently manages over 10 companies in his investment portfolio and participates on more than 5 boards. His portfolio companies range from biotech/healthcare companies such as Elastagen, Auris Surgical Robotics and KAHR to IT/Fintech companies such as SoFi and Le Tote. Sangwoo has started and grown two startups; Neomtel and Polidigm. Neomtel’s technology became a de-facto standard in Korea in the early 2000s and the company went IPO in 2007. Sangwoo received his B.S. and M.S. in Control and Instrumentation Engineering from Seoul National University.
Ted took over as Prokarium’s CEO in March 2014 after serving as Development Director since the start in December 2011. Prior to joining Prokarium, he has held positions in clinical research at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and in strategy consulting at Sweden’s Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, where he coordinated the country’s national innovation strategy. Ted holds a PhD from the University of Guelph, Canada, and has been recognised as a leader in biotechnology under the Sloan Foundation funded Synthetic Biology Leadership Accelerator Program (LEAP). He is a member of the international Bacterial Vaccines Network (BactiVac) management board, as well as an active member of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA).
R&D at Prokarium and our collaborators are tackling problems with global impact