LSHTM researchers obtain £2m funding to develop novel vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics



Researchers from the London Faculty of Hygiene & Tropical Medication (LSHTM) have been awarded £2m funding via the UK Analysis and Innovation’s (UKRI) Know-how Missions Fund, to develop novel vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.

The funding is a part of a £12.3 million award to develop a GlycoCell Engineering Biology Mission Hub, primarily based on the College of Nottingham.

The Hub will convey collectively a variety of specialists from completely different fields to unlock the potential of glycans, sugar-based biomolecules that operate inside our cells and proteins. 

Glycans have an enormous affect on our biology, are integral to the best way that our immune system interacts with pathogens and make sure that many fashionable prescribed drugs operate correctly. Nonetheless, they’re presently very troublesome to review and manufacture, and are typically known as the “darkish matter” of biology.

With the brand new funding, The Hub will deal with additional research of their interactions, in addition to exploiting fashionable applied sciences to allow their bio-manufacture. The workforce hope this can speed up vaccine discovery and manufacturing, generate new therapeutics and diagnostics, and dramatically cut back the manufacturing prices of superior medicine.

Glycans or sugars play key roles in each basic biology and biotechnology. 


The GlycoCell consortium will exploit novel Engineering Biology approaches to supply simpler glycan-based therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.”


Professor Brendan Wren, Co-Director of each the GlycoCell Engineering Biology Mission Hub and LSHTM’s Vaccine Centre

Professor Wren’s fellow co-director and precept investigator for the Hub, Dr John Heap, from the Faculty of Life Sciences on the College of Nottingham, mentioned: 

“We’re delighted to obtain this important funding from DSIT and UKRI to take the GlycoCell Hub ahead. 

“It can make a number one, transformative contribution to bringing a few more healthy, extra sustainable, equitable and affluent future.”

Alongside the College of Nottingham, the undertaking will likely be a collaboration between researchers at Imperial School London, the College of Dundee, the Quadram Institute, and the College of Exeter and three industrial companions – Iceni Glycoscience, Synthace Restricted, Incepta Prescribed drugs Ltd.

The Hub is considered one of six new Engineering Biology Mission Hubs and 22 Mission Award initiatives introduced by the Science, Analysis and Innovation Minister, Andrew Griffith, designed to unlock the potential of Engineering Biology.  

GlycoCell will:

  • Unlock our skill to program glycan sugars, opening a world of analysis alternatives in biology and medical biotechnology.
  • Design, check and make many new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines in opposition to pathogens that impression human and animal well being.
  • Improve our epidemic preparedness.
  • Counteract antimicrobial resistance by creating vaccines in opposition to bacterial and fungal pathogens, lowering our reliance on antibiotics to fight these threats.
  • Develop the know-how to maneuver manufacturing of superior medicine to microbial hosts, significantly lowering their price due to scalable manufacturing.
  • Construct and deploy GlycoForge, a specialist automated facility, as a UK nationwide asset that may routinely develop vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, and will likely be able to ship a 100-day fast response to new pandemic threats.
  • Prepare the present technology and develop future leaders in Engineering Biology for academia, trade and the general public sector.

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