UK-based biotechnology company, Touchlight, has received a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company will use the money to further its pre-clinical development of its doggybone DNA vaccine platform.
The program aims to build on evidence that Touchlight’s rapid enzymatic doggybone DNA vaccines can produce strong neutralizing antibodies and durable T cell responses following vaccine administration in nanoparticles.
Touchlight’s doggybone DNA
As part of the grant, Touchlight will also be investigating the performance of doggybone DNA for therapeutic monoclonal antibody production. Successful demonstration of the doggybone DNA platform’s effectiveness in DNA vaccine and gene therapy applications has the potential to support the global availability of innovative medicines and to further the application of the doggybone platform in enabling rapid pandemic response.
Karen Fallen, CEO of Touchlight, commented: “This grant is further evidence of the potential of our platform. We are excited to start the program, which could potentially demonstrate that the doggybone DNA platform can support a rapid, scalable, durable and thermostable vaccine solution for future pandemic response.”
Torchlight’s enzymatic approach
Touchlight’s enzymatic approach enables the rapid and scalable DNA manufacture in a significantly smaller footprint than can be achieved with fermentation-based processes. In addition, it eliminates antibiotic-resistance genes that could be present in plasmid DNA, improving safety.
Touchlight’s core focus is to enable genetic medicine by providing Contract Development and Manufacturing (CDMO) services to genetic medicine manufacturers, and doggybone DNA is already widely utilized across the genetic medicine market, in areas such as critical starting material for viral vector and mRNA vaccine production, genome editing and DNA vaccine applications.