I recently interviewed Professor Alan Boyd, of Boyd Consultants, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a member of the Stablepharma Ltd Advisory Board. We covered such topics as his work with the University of Oxford & AstraZenca on the COVID-19 programme, Boyds collaboration with Wellcome on a COVID-19 human infection study and Alan’s involvement in Stablepharma, who have developed a novel and disruptive technology that aims to eliminate the need for refrigeration (Cold Chain) of vaccines.
Alan’s career spans over 30 years working as a pharmaceutical physician in large pharma organisations including Glaxo, ICI and Zeneca. He founded Boyd’s Consultancy in 2005 with a clear focus to support early-stage life-science based companies and universities. His biography makes for an engaging read.
Alan explained that Boyd’s involvement with the University of Oxford & AstraZeneca focused on the work they did to support the early-stage regulatory interactions and manufacturing. The team worked on the final submission to the MHRA and other regulatory agencies around the world. ‘We are also working in collaboration with Wellcome on a COVID-19 human infection study to increase our knowledge and understanding of the disease and how we can treat and prevent it – we are delighted to be part of this ongoing research’, said Professor Boyd.
Boyd’s became involved with Stablepharma in 2017 to advise on the regulatory approach to the development of vaccines using Stablepharma’s technology, StablevaX™. Dr Elaine Harper, Director of Programme Management at Boyds has been working with the team at Stablepharma to create a development plan and provide regulatory support. ‘The regulatory procedures for StablevaX™ are not complicated as, compared to an original vaccine development programme, as the development of StablevaX™ mainly involves re-formulation procedures,’ explained Alan. ‘To date StablevaX™ has shown the equivalent immune response, if not higher in some cases, as compared to the standard vaccine’.
Stablepharma’s novel patented StablevaX™ technology can thermally stabilise and deliver a wide range of vaccines without the requirement for refrigeration. A stabilised vaccine solution that could eliminate the need for the cold chain supply and enable stockpiling anywhere in the world. ‘The StablevaX™ technology makes sense given the challenges and costs of the cold chain’, said Alan. ‘Shipping live vaccines all around the world, with varying temperatures and infrastructures is not risk free and often results in supplies of the vaccines being destroyed in the transit process’.
Stablepharma is making significant progress with Tetadif-Td programme in partnership with the European vaccine manufacturer BulBio, and are receiving very encouraging potency data from the animal challenge trials. ‘This positive data has accelerated plans to get Tetadif – StablevaX™ into first-in-human clinical trials’ said Özgür Tuncer, CEO & Executive Director of Stablepharma. As a result, Stablepharma has embarked upon a Series A funding round in order to fund upcoming clinical trials and scale up GMP manufacturing.
So what has COVID-19 done for us? ‘COVID has taught us a lot’, said Alan, ‘particularly as to how we could develop future medicines and vaccines and how we could run clinical studies’. ‘In addition, it has suddenly brought science to the fore – people are discussing vaccines, medicines, clinical studies and science in general conversation – this has to be a good thing’. He added, ‘It is key that we all learn from the Pandemic, with the challenges and roadblocks that we have experienced. We need to prepare for the future and be better placed to prevent such a global event overwhelming us again’.