Below is our recent interview with Ted Fjällman, Chief Executive Officer at Prokarium:
Q: What is Prokarium? For those who have never heard of it, tell us something more?
A: Prokarium is a venture backed clinical stage biotechnology company based in London, UK. Our team are experts in immunology and engineering biology, and thus are able to engineer safe microbes that can perform functions inside the body, such as training the immune system to defend against infectious disease or training the immune system to recognise and remove cancer cells.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your platform?
A: Prokarium has two platforms, Onconella for fighting cancer and Vaxonella for preventing infectious disease. Both platforms are based on safe microbes, a form of Salmonella, which have been proven safe as vaccines in 11 clinical trials in the US, UK and Vietnam in almost 400 people including children.
Q: What’s the best thing about Prokarium that people might not know about?
A: We have the first innovation in 30 years that could replace the current standard of care for bladder cancer and we were the first in the world to take a combination typhoid-paratyphoid vaccine into the clinic earlier this year!
Q: You’ve recently raised $21,000,000 in Series B funding; can you tell us something more?
A: This financial support comes from four investors who are active in investments across the globe. This round was led by Korea Investment Partners who have taken numerous companies to the public markets and have around $2.5bn of assets under management. The investment round was followed by the UK Governments Future Fund administered by the British Business Bank, Flerie Invest of Sweden, and Riyadh Valley Company (RVC) from Saudi Arabia. Flerie and RVC also have a lot of specialist experience building companies in the life science space.
Q: What is next on the roadmap for Prokarium?
A: We will take our bladder cancer treatment, Vesibax, into the clinic in 2022 and this will require building out our clinical and regulatory team further. We also have funding from the Wellcome Trust to conduct another clinical study for our lead vaccine, Entervax, that will prevent typhoid and paratyphoid (combined known as Enteric Fever), a disease that kills more than 200,000 people every year globally.