Enesi Pharma has formed a research and development (R&D) alliance with the UK’s Public Health England (PHE) agency over needle-free solid-dose vaccine products for emergent threat pathogens.

Under the collaboration, the partners will primarily develop and assess solid-dose formulation of different PHE vaccine candidates for delivery using Enesi Pharma’s ImplaVax needle-free technology.

The vaccine candidates include Anthrax recombinant Protective Antigen (rPA) and Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).

Enesi Pharma CEO David Hipkiss said: “In entering this new collaboration with Public Health England, we have an opportunity to apply our technology to address serious biological threats that represent a high priority for at-risk personnel and for the wider population.

“PHE has access to world-leading scientific expertise and resources in this area, and we are excited to be working with them on this project to provide further validation of our innovative approach.”

When tested in animal models, ImplaVax-enabled vaccines are reported to have demonstrated regimen sparing and reduced time to achieve threshold immunity, compared to standard liquid vaccines given via a needle and syringe.

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Enesi Pharma noted that the regimen saves both time and money, as well as enables the vaccination of more patients from a fixed available production volume, which in turn may boost emergency response.

“In entering this new collaboration with Public Health England, we have an opportunity to apply our technology to address serious biological threats that represent a high priority.”

ImplaVax-enabled vaccines are also expected to offer a quickly deployable option for people exposed to the target infectious disease.

Their extended thermal stability is set to minimise the end-to-end cold chain logistical challenges, cost, and help with optimised cost-effectiveness of the national strategic stockpile.

PHE deputy director and Research head Miles Carroll said: “The threat of emerging infections is an important public health consideration and we are intrigued by the potential for improvements that Enesi’s ImplaVax technology could bring to the vaccination process.

“These improvements could simplify and accelerate the process, while also providing a rapid means of treating exposed individuals.”

Last month, Enesi Pharma signed a similar R&D agreement with the US’ Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) for the development of a needle-free solid-dose vaccine for the Shigella infection.