In the last decade, outbreaks of SARS, H5N1 (bird flu) and H1N1 (swine flu) have increased awareness of the need for rapid vaccine development in response to emerging viral threats. Replikins' software-driven technology allows for earlier development of vaccine candidates, as well as rapid prototyping and production of the vaccines that emerge from early clinical trials.
Classical vaccine manufacturing techniques are beset by limitations such as difficulties ramping up production volume, contamination of vaccines by a range of antigenic impurities, and even difficulties accurately targeting diseases, such as influenza, whose composition changes from year to year. Synthetic vaccines hold the promise of creating new, highly targeted vaccines from crafted peptide sequences, which could be much more effective than classical vaccines without the side effects.
Synthetic vaccine production is straightforward to ramp up, since it involves standardized peptide manufacturing techniques already in use across multiple industries, with accompanying economies of scale. By contrast, nearly all vaccines sold today are manufactured using early-20th century technologies, such as using live chicken eggs as incubators for tiny batches of highly impure doses.
Replikins, LLC believes that addressing this gap for the world's 7 billion inhabitants represents a massive and underserved business opportunity, one of the largest in the modern biotech/pharmaceutical space. Adjacent opportunities also exist in animal health, where farming on a global scale has led to growing markets for technologies that can maintain the health of fowl, livestock and marine stock.
The company's core software technology and patent portfolio are built around a new class of peptide subsequences, which were named Replikins by its founder, Dr. Samuel Bogoch. Increases in concentration of these subsequences in virus proteins has been found to be associated with rapidly replicating pathogens. These subsequences are consistently present in a wide range of rapidly-replicating viruses, pointing the way towards development of synthetic vaccine candidates.