Pioneering the Field of Microbial Immunotherapy

Prokarium is pioneering the field of microbial immunotherapy. Our pipeline is designed to unlock the next level of immuno-oncology by building on the most recent advances in cancer immunology. Prokarium’s lead program is focused on transforming the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer by orchestrating immune-driven, long-lasting antitumor effects.

Technology

In this adaption of our platform technology, 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 strains are also capable of delivering specific immunostimulatory cargo aimed at activating the patient’s immune system to destroy tumours.

Therapeutic

Prophylactic

Pipeline

Indication

Program

Drug Discovery

Preclinical

Early Clinical Development

Late Clinical Development

NMIBC

+

NMIBC Therapeutic

Bladder cancer represents 5% of all new cancer cases in the US and accounts for 550,000 new cases yearly worldwide. The clinical staging is determined by the depth of invasion into the bladder wall and more than 70% of cases are diagnosed at an early-stage, also known as Non Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC). Despite the early diagnosis, the only approved therapies are Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), which often faces shortages, and chemotherapy, both delivered intravescically. Because of its high incidence and the low number of treatment options, a huge unmet medical need remains in NMIBC.

S. Typhi

Solid Tumours

+

Undisclosed

Prokarium is investigating the use of engineered bacteria as immunotherapy to treat solid tumours. Onconella has the ability to sense and kill tumour cells and, in addition, to boost the natural anti-tumoral activity of the immune system.

Undisclosed

Enteric Fever

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S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A Vaccine

FIH Phase 1 Readout
1H2021

Enteric fever, a preventable illness caused by Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A, is the most common bacterial bloodstream infection in South Asia. It has been estimated to cause >15 million illnesses and nearly 153,000 deaths worldwide annually.

Entervax™, a novel, oral bivalent vaccine against enteric fever, is based on the Vaxonella® platform and is the combination of our proprietary strain ZH9 (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi ZH9), plus a novel strain modified to express antigens specific to S. Paratyphi A.

Entervax

Pipeline

Program

Phase

NMIBC

S. Typhi

+

NMIBC Therapeutic

Bladder cancer represents 5% of all new cancer cases in the US and accounts for 550,000 new cases yearly worldwide. The clinical staging is determined by the depth of invasion into the bladder wall and more than 70% of cases are diagnosed at an early-stage, also known as Non Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC). Despite the early diagnosis, the only approved therapies are Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), which often faces shortages, and chemotherapy, both delivered intravescically. Because of its high incidence and the low number of treatment options, a huge unmet medical need remains in NMIBC.

Preclinical

Therapeutic

Solid Tumours

Undisclosed

+

Undisclosed

Prokarium is investigating the use of engineered bacteria as immunotherapy to treat solid tumours. Onconella has the ability to sense and kill tumour cells and, in addition, to boost the natural anti-tumoral activity of the immune system.

Drug Discovery

Enteric Fever

Entervax

+

S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A Vaccine

FIH Phase 1
1Q2020

Enteric fever, a preventable illness caused by Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A, is the most common bacterial bloodstream infection in South Asia. It has been estimated to cause >15 million illnesses and nearly 153,000 deaths worldwide annually.

Entervax™, a novel, oral bivalent vaccine against enteric fever, is based on the Vaxonella® platform and is the combination of our proprietary strain ZH9 (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi ZH9), plus a novel strain modified to express antigens specific to S. Paratyphi A.

Early Clinical Development

Prophylactic

Covid-19

SARS-CoV-2

Drug Discovery

News

Careers

Situated within one of the largest hubs of life science and biotechnology companies in the UK, Prokarium offers a multitude of career opportunities within the microbial immunotherapy space. We are working hard to bring novel therapies for bladder cancer and other solid tumours into the clinic to improve cancer patients’ lives.

Join our team to unlock the next level of immuno-oncology!

Kristen Albright

CEO

Kristen Albright

CEO

Kristen joined Prokarium in 2018, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer, and has led Prokarium’s expanding development efforts in oncology while also securing an investment from The Wellcome Trust to fund the company’s lead vaccine program into clinical development. Prior to Prokarium, Kristen was an investor at Osage University Partners, where she led several investments into life sciences companies. Earlier in her career, she worked within business development at Emergent BioSolutions and Cangene Corporation, where she specialized in asset licensing and mergers and acquisitions. She started her industry career as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Centocor. Kristen holds an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University and earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Uz Stammberger

CMO

Uz Stammberger

CMO

Uz joined Prokarium in 2021 from the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where he oversaw the MAPK assets in Translational Clinical Oncology and generated several PoCs/PoMs in different genetically defined solid tumors. Prior to his role at Novartis, Uz was a Clinical Lead at Merck KGaA, responsible for Tepotinib, a small molecule inhibitor of c-Met which is approved in the US and Japan for MetEx14 skip mutant NSCLC. Earlier in his career, he held various positions at Roche and Boehringer Ingelheim. Uz received his Doctor of Medicine as well as the Venia docendi (Adj. Professor of General Thoracic Surgery) from the University of Bern and is a board-certified GP and surgeon. He holds the position of Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Bern.

Livija Deban

VP Research

Livija Deban

VP Research

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.

Thomas Eldered

Chairman

Thomas Eldered

Chairman

Thomas brings over 30 years of leadership and executive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, successfully leading biotech innovation from early-stage research through commercialization. Thomas is President of Flerie Invest, a life science investment group which has financed over 20 venture and growth stage companies engaged in drug development and associated tools or applications tackling major medical challenges. Over the course of his career, he co-founded Recipharm AB and went on to serve as its CEO, leading the company through a successful IPO in 2014. Recipharm AB remains among the top five CDMOs in the world and now includes around 30 manufacturing and development facilities in Europe, India, Israel and North America. Thomas has a MSc degree in Industrial and Management Engineering from the Linköping Institute of Technology.

Steve Chatfield

Director

Steve Chatfield

Director

Steve brings nearly 40 years’ experience in R&D, executive, board and advisory roles across a number of public and private healthcare organisations. He has a proven track record of success through all stages of product discovery and development leading to registration, and has provided expert advice to industry, government and non-governmental organisations on vaccines and public health issues, including biodefence. Steve is currently a Non-executive Director of the Vaccines Manufacturing & Innovation Centre (VMIC) and is also a Director of the UK Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. At present, he is advisor to the UK Vaccine Taskforce which has been instrumental in the fight against Covid-19.

Previously, Steve served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategic Investments for Emergent BioSolutions, a global vaccine business, and was President and CEO of its UK operation. He was also a Director of Vaccitech, a private UK vaccine specialist, and a Director of the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the UK Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England). Steve holds a PhD in microbiology and his research has led to more than 100 peer reviewed publications, as well as a number of patents.

Allan P. Jarvis

Director

Allan P. Jarvis

Director

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 Al-Saleh

Director

Khalid Al-Saleh

Director

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 Lee

Director

Sangwoo Lee

Director

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.

Hyam Levitsky

Immunotherapy Advisor

Hyam Levitsky

Immunotherapy Advisor

Hyam joined Prokarium in 2019 as advisor in immunology, immunotherapy of cancer and research strategy, and in addition he also serves on the board of directors. Currently, he is President of Research and Development at Century Therapeutics. He was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Juno Therapeutics in Seattle, and before that, Head of Cancer Immunotherapy Experimental Medicine at Roche Pharma Research and Early Development in Switzerland. He received an MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1984, followed by training in internal medicine and medical oncology. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1991, rising to Professor of Oncology, Medicine and Urology in 2001 while working at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center where he served as Scientific Director of the George Santos Bone Marrow Transplant Program. Upon joining industry, he has held an adjunct professorship since 2011. His research has focused on tumour immunology, cancer vaccines, and adoptive T cell therapy. He is a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Stohlman Scholar, a Member of theAmerican Society for Clinical Investigation, and is a founding member of the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium of the Cancer Research Institute.

Ted Fjällman

Director

Ted Fjällman

Director

Ted is Partner at Flerie Invest and operates out of Zurich, Stockholm and London and has been involved in Prokarium since its inception, previously serving on its executive leadership team. He is a board member of several Flerie portfolio companies, including Amarna Therapeutics and Beactica Therapeutics, and heads up their UK investment operations. Earlier in his career Ted 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).

David Holden

Salmonella Advisor

David Holden

Salmonella Advisor

David joined Prokarium in 2019 as advisor in Salmonella biology and engineering strategy. He is Professor of Molecular Microbiology in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London since 1995. David was Director of the Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (MRC CMBI),between 2012 and 2019. In 2016, he was appointed as the first Regius Professor of Infectious Disease in the UK and he is a fellow of the Royal Society, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK), and an EMBO Member. David was co-founder of the biotech company Microscience that developed the Salmonella strain ZH9. He is best known for inventing a technique called signature-tagged mutagenesis (also termed barcoding) for identification of mutants with altered growth in mixed populations. Using STM his group has identified numerous genes of Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and Salmonella that are required for virulence.

Geoff Kitson

Medical Advisor

Geoff Kitson

Medical Advisor

Nigel Woods

CMC Advisor

Nigel Woods

CMC Advisor

Nigel has been working with Prokarium since September 2019 supporting their CMC activities. He has over thirty years’ experience in the process development, scale-up and manufacture of human therapeutics, including live microbial products/vaccines. Nigel has been working as an independent CMC consultant supporting small and medium sized companies with their CMC activities for the last 14 years. Prior to that he worked in a number of roles both within biopharma companies (British Biotech and Oxxon Therapeutics) and for contract manufacturing organisations (Accentus Biologics and Cobra Biologics). Nigel has a BSc in microbiology from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in industrial microbiology from the University of Warwick.