Australian tech company EnGeneIC strikes deal with US biotech ImmunityBio for its Covid vaccine & new cancer treatment

Libby-Jane Charleston

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The team at EnGeneIC has patented EDV/ EnGeneIC

EnGeneIC has secured a deal with one of the world’s richest doctors for its Covid vaccine and a revolutionary cancer treatment.

Two decades of hard work has resulted in EnGeneIC's ground breaking technology that has the potential to transform how life threatening illnesses are treated.

The small Australian company has entered a partnership with US biotech ImmunityBio. This follows early results from a clinical trial in adults indicating that the antibodies generated can neutralize COVID-19 and all of its variants, including Delta.

EnGeneIC’s patented EDV (EnGeneIC Dream Vector) nano cell technology also targets and effectively kills cancer cells with minimal toxicity, while stimulating an anti-tumor immune response. Phase I and IIa trials in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer is currently underway. The FDA recently approved another trial in the US.

Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid, EnGeneIC Joint Chief Executive, says the technology is very versatile and has the potential to stimulate an immune system. The Covid 19 virus has what’s known as “spike proteins” which appear as raised bumps on its surface.

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Spike protein and "keys"9 News Australia

Current vaccines use anti bodies to target those spike proteins but they only have a few “keys” to latch on. Similar to Velcro, EnGeneIC’s vaccine has several more keys which are so sticky and strong, it holds on no matter how many times the virus mutates.

It can also be used to target other viruses, and cancer cells. In trials with six healthy patients, the vaccine neutralized 95 percent of all Covid variants.

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A closer look at the multiple "keys"/ 9 News Australia

This Covid EDV vaccine has yet to be tested against the Omicron variant. However, the team at EnGeneIC is planning to send blood samples to South Africa in a bid to determine how effective it will be.

Dr Himanshu Brahmbhatt, EnGeneIC Joint Chief Executive: “The antibodies are capable of locking on in such a way that it hangs on no matter what mutant comes along.”

It is also cheaper and easier to make and deliver; it can be freeze dried and presented as a powder, and you can just add water.

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The team at EnGeneIC has been working on this breakthrough for 20 years/ EnGeneIC

The work of EnGeneIC caught the attention of billionaire businessman, scientist and doctor Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, ImmunityBio’s Executive Chairman. The deal will see EnGeneIC grant ImmunityBio an exclusive, worldwide licence to develop, manufacture and commercialize EDV in combination with its anti-cancer drugs and COVID-19 vaccine.

“We believe this collaboration will result in an effective vaccine, particularly against mutants of concern, being deployed in developing countries where vaccine rollout is logistically challenging,” Dr Brahmbhatt said.

ImmunityBio will build EDV manufacturing facilities in the USA and South Africa, and cover costs associated with clinical trials and regulatory approvals.

The companies have agreed to a 50:50 split on net profit from worldwide sales of EDV-based therapeutics.

Dr Soon-Shiong: “What’s exciting about it is that it’s a whole new approach about how you actually activate the immune system. And, more importantly, it’s an approach where you can actually scale at low cost and generate trillions of these and transfer to under developed places like Africa.”

EDV was originally developed to directly target even the most drug resistant cancer cells. Once trials are completed the vaccine could be available within 12 months.

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I'm a journalist and author writing across a wide range of topics, including tech, travel, history, business/startups, relationships, beauty & fashion, British royal history, & local stories concerning Charleston, S.C (where I have a long family history on my father's side: hence my surname! ) Former HuffPost Assoc Ed, ABC TV, ATV Beijing correspondent and many more. Author of "Fatal Females." Mother of three boys: I will love them until the Statue of Liberty sits down.

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