SpyBiotech, a biotechnology company spin out from the University of Oxford, announced in March 2023 that it had received a grant of $4,094,561 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to “further develop” its novel SpyVector platform. This platform technology targets infectious diseases, cancer, and chronic diseases. The project will “harness” SpyBiotech’s “plug and display” technology to create a broadly cross-protective coronavirus vaccine.
SpyBiotech describes SpyVector as a platform based on recombinant adenovirus that enables “easy and efficient covalent decoration of the surface of the adenovirus” with pathogen antigens. Furthermore, a recent publication demonstrated that it genetically encodes the antigen.
“The platform increases the quantity of antibodies induced by decorating the adenovirus with the antigen while maintaining the T cell response to the encoded antigen.”
SpyBiotech continues to develop this platform with Principal Scientist Dr Matthew Dicks and team. Dr Sumi Biswas, President and CEO of SpyBiotech, hopes the grant will “showcase” its potential for vaccines “against a wide range of pathogens and therapeutic applications”.
The platform is based on science developed at Oxford, using a proprietary protein “superglue technology”. This “minimises delivery risk and enhances immunogenicity and efficacy”. SpyBiotech suggests that the technology is “potentially one of the safesy and most effective way to create vaccines: cost-effective and highly scalable”.
It therefore has potential for infectious disease use in “challenging environments”, but also potential applications in non-infectious disease settings such as cancer.