LONDON, UK – Prokarium today announced it has received an investment of £4.59 million from Wellcome to fund two clinical trials of its lead programme, Entervax™, a bivalent vaccine against enteric fever.
“Funding from a prestigious foundation such as the Wellcome Trust underlines the strength of our approach and provides the support necessary to progress to the clinic,” said Ted Fjallman, Ph.D, Chief Executive Officer, Prokarium. “Entervax™ performed as expected in the preclinical and nonclinical models and we look forward to building on the results we observed previously with our monovalent typhoid vaccine candidate, ZH9. Enteric fever, primarily caused by Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A, is the most common bacterial bloodstream infection in South Asia and causes significant morbidity and mortality in areas with poor sanitation. Our oral vaccine candidate being developed for the prevention of enteric fever could provide a significant public health benefit for these at-risk populations in endemic regions and beyond.”
“This is the first new investment Wellcome has made within its new Affordable Innovations for Global Health Flagship. We’re delighted to build this long-term partnership with Prokarium to reduce the burden of enteric fever by accelerating the development and implementation of new affordable technologies and interventions,” said Sally Nicholas, Partner, the Wellcome Trust.
Entervax™ is based on the Vaxonella® platform and is the combination of Prokarium’s proprietary strain ZH9 (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi ZH9), which has been safely administered to 351 individuals including 101 children in the UK, US and Vietnam, plus a novel strain modified to express antigens specific to Salmonella Paratyphi A. The funding from Wellcome will be used for a Phase 1 study in the UK and a Phase 1b age-descending, dose-escalation study in an endemic region in South Asia. The Phase 1 study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the bivalent vaccine. The company plans to initiate dosing in the first half 2020.