The Vaccine Group (TVG) is developing a new vaccine technology for use in animals to tackle diseases falling into two broad areas:
- Zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19, Ebola and Lassa fever, which jump from animals to animals, including humans
- Diseases such as bovine tuberculosis and African Swine Fever which impact economically important livestock.
The University of Plymouth spin out’s patented technology is based on benign forms of herpesviruses, a group of viruses that are found in all animals including humans. Vaccines are created by inserting a non-infectious region of DNA from the pathogen being targeted into the herpesvirus. This vaccine then stimulates an immune response against the diseases.
The UK, US and Chinese governments have provided grant funding of more than £9 million to programmes involving TVG, and the Company successfully raised £680,000 in early 2020 in its initial equity fund raising.
Projects TVG is working include those to tackle:
- A vaccine for use in animals against COVID-19 and related coronaviruses to prevent future emergence, or re-emergence, into humans, in partnership with the Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute and Kansas State University
- Ebola and Lassa fever, a project funded by the US Department of Defence
- Streptococcus suis, an emerging zoonotic disease in pigs that can be fatal to humans, backed by the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the Chinese government
- African Swine Fever Virus, a disease currently having a devastating impact on the swine herd in many parts of the world, particularly China
- Bovine tuberculosis, seen as a major animal health threat in the UK and to human health in lower-to-middle income countries.
TVG was founded to commercialise and develop the work of Dr Michael Jarvis, Associate Professor in Virology and Immunology at the University of Plymouth’s School of Biomedical Sciences.