Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Vaccine firm secures 2m funding

Scientist working
Big DNA is developing a hepatitis B vaccine

A Scottish life science firm has secured a further £2m of funding to develop new vaccines.

The company, Big DNA, said Scottish Enterprise had matched £1m already pledged from private investment from Hong Kong and the Channel Islands.

The new £2m will be used to develop clinical trials of its Hepatitis B vaccine.

The company welcomed the funding in what it called a tough financial climate.

Chief executive and co founder Dr John March said: "This new investment will be used to fund the first phase clinical trials of our lead product which we will complete within the next three years."

Dr March and his team at the Roslin Biocentre use bacterial viruses to create vaccines.

These contain the genetic instruction - or DNA - rather than using the disease organism itself, which conventional vaccines rely on.

This method, the company said, offered the potential for rapid development and manufacture using relatively simple processes.

The company, which recently won the Scottish Enterprise Best New Life Science Firm award, said a range of vaccines are currently being developed.

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