Bath-based biotech spinout EnsiliTech has raised £1.2m in pre-seed funding for its “fridgeless” technology that keeps vaccines at the right temperature during transportation.
Vaccines typically have to be kept refrigerated. However, EnsiliTech’s “ensilication” technology uses silica to form protection around the active ingredients of a vaccine, which can be broken when needed.
This protective layer keeps vaccines stable at temperatures between -20C to 80C. Most vaccines must normally be kept at sub-zero temperatures, requiring a network of refrigerators and freezers in the supply chain.
The World Health Organisation estimates that half of all vaccines are currently wasted during transport.
“Our goal is to make the transportation of vaccines and other life-saving biological materials more efficient and cost-effective, while also reducing the carbon footprint of this critical supply chain,” said Dr Asel Sartbaeva, co-founder and CEO, EnsiliTech.
Removing the need to keep vaccines cool means vaccine supply isn’t limited by locations within the “cold chain” network.
Pre-seed investment into the University of Bath spinout was led by Science Angel Syndicate (SAS) and the Fink Family Office, with support from QantX, Elbow Beach Capital, Innovate UK and angels.
Dr Johnathan Matlock, director and co-founder, SAS, said: “EnsiliTech has a unique platform that is applicable to a broad range of vaccines and other biologics that could revolutionise how we think about the distribution of these important therapeutics.”