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Poolbeg inks exclusive deal for melioidosis vaccine candidate

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 21 Sep 2022

Poolbeg inks exclusive deal for melioidosis vaccine candidate

(Sharecast News) - Clinical-stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company Poolbeg Pharma has signed an exclusive licence agreement with University College Dublin (UCD), it announced on Wednesday, for a late preclinical-stage vaccine candidate for melioidosis.
The AIM-traded firm said melioidosis had no current approved vaccine available.

It said the vaccine candidate, being developed by Poolbeg as 'POLB 003', was invented following "years of research" by associate professor Siobhán McClean at the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, and was a recipient of a Wellcome Trust Award to aid its development.

McClean completed some of the original research to identify the antigens associated with the melioidosis vaccine candidate at TU Dublin.

It said melioidosis, also known as Whitmore's disease, is caused by the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacterium.

Poolbeg identified the disease as one of interest because of its rising incidence around the world amid climate change, and its resistance to antibiotic treatment.

As a "designated biothreat" under the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company said there was an "increasing global need" to develop effective vaccines and antibiotics to prevent and treat the disease.

As part of the option agreement with UCD, Poolbeg was continuing to evaluate five other potential vaccine candidates being developed by McClean and her team.

"Melioidosis presents a growing threat to global health as an infectious disease with no approved vaccine and a high mortality rate," said chief executive officer Jeremy Skillington.

"POLB 003 is being developed in line with our capital light approach and represents a significant opportunity for Poolbeg.

"Combined with the company's expertise in infectious diseases it provides the perfect combination to contribute to the global response to this unmet-medical need and potential to generate significant returns for our investors."

At 1602 BST, shares in Poolbeg Pharma were down 1.01% at 4.9p.

Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.

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