vaccine parenteral vialKymab Group Limited, a leading monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical group, announced that it has received a $9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development of novel vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases, including HIV.

The Gates Foundation will provide the $9 million research and development grant funding during the next 3 years to enable Kymab to strengthen its work to develop treatments and vaccines for infectious disease using its Kymouse antibody platform.

 The Gates Foundation will have the rights to develop and distribute these products to low-income countries and Kymab will retain rights to commercialise the products in developed countries. This funding builds on Kymab’s established work, allowing the parties to further collaborate in the future.

Dr David Chiswell, CEO of Kymab, said: “We are delighted that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has extended our collaboration. We have built a strong infectious disease programme under Professor Paul Kellam, our Vice-President of Vaccines & Infectious Disease, and we share the foundation’s aims to tackle diseases that have significant impact in some of the world’s poorest countries. We look forward to continuing to use our ability to produce human antibodies using our Kymouse technology to support and accelerate vaccine and therapeutic antibody development for global diseases.”

Professor Allan Bradley, Chief Technology Officer of Kymab, said: “It was always clear to me that the Kymouse was a valuable tool in the fight against infectious disease and this was also recognised very early by the Gates Foundation. During the last 2 years, we have worked with the Foundation to realise this ambition and their increased support is a fantastic recognition of Kymab’s continuing effort in testing vaccine candidates for infectious disease prevention and developing therapeutic antibodies for treatment.”

The extension of the collaboration with the Gates Foundation follows publication in Science on 8 September, 2016 of new findings which demonstrated that Kymouse is an effective platform for discovering and testing novel vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases including HIV .

Kymab has been working with the Gates Foundation and its partners since 2014 on programmes in diseases such as malaria, HIV and Typhoid; together, these diseases result in more than one million deaths each year. In addition to the new investment in Kymab’s research, the Foundation has also invested $30 million in Kymab’s Series B and Series C financing, which supported development of the Kymouse platform.