Globally, one in four deaths is the result of infection, with the burden of mortality and morbidity falling disproportionately on resource-poor communities.
Deployment of existing treatments and vaccines and development of new vaccines for these areas is hampered by many causes, including the commercial value of the vaccine.
In addition, antimicrobial resistance poses a grave and unmet medical challenge in both resource-poor and resource-rich countries, with the potential to undermine many of the healthcare advances of the last 50 years.
With a human antibody repertoire, Kymab's mouse antibody platforms provide an experimentally accessible surrogate for assessing normal human immune responses, enabling us to identify therapeutic antibodies and determine vaccine efficacy in pre-clinical models of infection.
Although there are over 70 licensed vaccines targeting about 30 different microbes, many vaccine technologies are old and unable to adapt to the approaches needed to target difficult pathogens or to react rapidly to new infections. A prevailing problem is that it is only when moving to human trials that the identification and relevant pre-clinical evaluation of an immunogen is tested in the real host.
One of the reasons for clinical failures is that traditional vaccine development tests the performance of antigens in rodents. The difference in the immunoglobulin variable genes between species is so extreme that antigen selections made on this basis often do not predict the properties of the corresponding human response. This has halved the success rate of vaccine candidates compared to other biopharmaceuticals.
In our innovative approach, founded on a human immune system, we can use a defined immunogen and then identify and isolate monoclonal antibodies that reliably bind the antigen with desired properties. An appropriate immunogen is therefore a means of eliciting a protective immune response to a given pathogen and a tool for discovering therapeutic antibodies to treat a given disease. Consequently, we are able to build processes for vaccine efficacy development and therapeutic antibody discovery, simultaneously.
Our vaccine programmes have been primed by investment from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and by partnerships with leading academic groups. Together, these shared activities strengthen our unique position to build value as a provider of the best-in-class humanised B-cell repertoire mouse for vaccine development and assessment as a pre-clinical model.