A Newcastle-based life science business has been awarded funding by Innovate UK to support the production of a Covid-19 vaccine. Alcyomics, based a specialist Newcastle lab facility The Biosphere, has received £50,000 from the UK innovation agency. The company, founded in 2007, will investigate the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It has developed a human skin explant test, called Skimune, to detect adverse immune responses to a variety of drugs, biologics, chemicals, and cosmetic products. This can can predict whether a drug is likely to cause an adverse reaction and is used in the pharmaceutical industry to test drugs prior to entering clinical trials.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has adapted to develop a suite of human-based assays specifically designed to aid research into the virus causing Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2.
“We are proud to be able to assist with the development of a vaccine for Covid-19 by adapting our already successful technology. As a small North East business this fund will allow us to continue critical research that will support the world with its global fight against this virus,” said Professor Anne Dickinson, founder of Alcyomics.
“So many people across the world have been impacted and our screening will identify those most at risk, helping to keep more people safe. This funding has supported us to innovate and comes at a time where support to keep our research going vital.”
Alcyomics is one of three businesses based in The Biosphere to have received a share of the £40m government investment that was awarded to 800 applicants across the UK.