Research & Development

Development of an economically viable Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever virus vaccine for local production

Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus causes a severe disease that outbreaks sporadically in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia. The disease is spread through tick bites or contact with virus-infected animals causing multiple symptoms including liver and kidney damage. Unfortunately less developed countries are poorly equipped to deal with this type of disease.

The CCHF virus is a hazardous pathogen requiring high containment facilities to produce inactivated or attenuated vaccines. Although such vaccines can be derived, they have been shown to have toxic side effects. This project plans to use information about the genetics of the CCHF virus to design a synthetic gene that has the code for making protein components of the virus that can stimulate production of protective antibodies. An insect baculovirus will be used to make the CCHF virus proteins. These proteins will be tested to determine their suitability as a candidate for use as a sub-unit vaccine.

Another aim of this project is to develop CCHF vaccines that can be produced locally, where they are needed – using simple technologies. The technology we develop will also be readily transferable to make virus vaccines for a number of other diseases.

This research was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the UK Vaccine Network (UKVN), a UK Aid programme to develop vaccines for diseases with epidemic potential in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).


OET is currently helping COVID-19 research efforts by producing the recombinant spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 for clients. The protein will be used for further research, diagnostics and potential vaccine production.

OET is also engaged in in-house COVID-19 research and is working on an insect cell-based vaccine using our flashBAC system enabled through funding from Innovate UK/Department of Health through the Vaccines for Global Epidemics:development and manufacture initiative.

OET has recently received further funding from Innovate UK for their collaboration with Vaxine Pty Ltd for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Further details here.

TRANSDIA: Pretransplant gene therapy of pancreatic islet tissue: towards a therapy for Diabetes type I in Mexico

TRANSDIA is a collaboration to establish an islet isolation and transplant program in Mexico to help children and young adults with diabetes type 1. The partners also aim to undertake an innovative pre-clinical study that has potential to overcome current challenges and improve transplantation success.

TRANSDIA involves a collaboration between the Center for Molecular and Cell-based Therapeutics and the NIH Organ Donor Network in Mexico City, and Oxford Expression Technologies Ltd, Oxford Brookes University and the Oxford Islet Transplant Consortium in the UK.

The TRANSDIA project is funded through the Newton Fund – UK-
Mexico Collaborative Industrial R&D Program. In the UK, funding has been provided by Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation agency. In Mexico, funding has been provided by CONACYT.

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