The vaccine was co-developed by Oxford spinout Vaccitech and the University’s Jenner Institute (where Vaccitech has its academic origins through co-founders Professor Sarah Gilbert and Professor Adrian Hill).
Vaccitech’s ChAdOx platform uses a replication deficient chimpanzee version of the common cold virus as a vector for the key ingredient – in COVID’s case the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein – that primes the recipient’s immune system to fight off an infection if or when it arrives.
While best known for its role in the battle against COVID, Vaccitech’s technology can also be turned towards a host of other diseases and disease areas, harnessing the power of the immune system’s T cells.
“Vaccitech’s current pipeline includes novel T cell immunotherapeutics, at various stages of development, for hepatitis B, HPV, coeliac disease, prostate cancer and MERS.”
With Vaccitech’s proven scientific expertise and a broad, high-value portfolio, the company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2021 and acquired Avidea Technologies at the beginning of 2022. The Avidea acquisition added the SNAPvax™ platform to Vaccitech’s portfolio; a self-assembling, fully synthetic platform that co-delivers multiple antigens and immunomodulators, and gives the company opportunities to advance into the autoimmune space.
Vaccitech’s current pipeline includes novel T cell immunotherapeutics, at various stages of development, for hepatitis B, HPV, coeliac disease, prostate cancer and MERS. Beyond Vaccitech itself, researchers at universities worldwide are using its proprietary technologies to develop vaccines for deadly and debilitating viruses such as rabies, malaria, HIV and Zika (to name just a few).
The societal and economic impacts of Vaccitech and the Oxford-AZ vaccine are extraordinary. Beyond the immediate benefits of reducing COVID-19’s spread and severity, the vaccine has helped revive economies, reopen societies, and restore a sense of safety and normality to billions of citizens worldwide.