Touchlight receives funding to develeop DNA vaccine platform

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant will boost potential of nanoparticle-formulated doggybone DNA

Touchlight – a company which focuses on genetic medicine revolution – is furthering pre-clinical development of its proprietary doggybone DNA vaccine platform. Its latest research is being financed by a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The programme aims to reinforce evidence that Touchlight’s rapid enzymatic doggybone DNA vaccines can produce durable T-cell responses following vaccine administration in nanoparticles and strong neutralising antibodies.

In addition, Touchlight will be investigating the performance of doggybone DNA for therapeutic monoclonal antibody production.

If the effectiveness of the doggybone DNA platform is successfully demonstrated in DNA vaccine and gene therapy applications, it has the potential to support the wider global availability of innovative medicines. It will also further the application of the doggybone platform in enabling rapid pandemic response.

Meanwhile, Touchlight’s enzymatic approach is enabling scalable DNA manufacture in a smaller footprint than can be achieved with fermentation-based processes, while also eliminating antibiotic-resistance genes that could be present in plasmid DNA.

Karen Fallen, chief executive officer of Touchlight, explained: “This grant is further evidence of the potential of our doggybone DNA platform. We are excited to start the programme, which could potentially demonstrate that the doggybone DNA platform can support a rapid, scalable, durable and thermostable vaccine solution for future pandemic response.”

Touchlight’s central ambition is to enable genetic medicine by providing contract development and manufacturing services to genetic medicine manufacturers. Doggybone DNA is already widely utilised across the genetic medicine market, in areas such as critical starting material for mRNA vaccine production, DNA vaccine applications and genome editing.

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