EngBio Innovator Spotlight: Prokarium

UK companies are working across a diverse range of applications of engineering biology. Featured in the 'Power of Biology: The UK is engineering biology for global good' report, the following case study highlights Prokarium and gives additional insight into how this transformative technology can be used across healthcare, industry and agriculture. 

Q: What does the company do?

Prokarium is harnessing evolution to cure difficult-to-treat cancers by applying cutting-edge science at the intersection of immunology and engineering biology. The company’s goal is to design the perfect bacteria to be the next cancer immunotherapy platform. Immunotherapies work by using our immune system to fight cancer and the new field of microbial immunotherapy does this by using engineered bacteria.

Q: How does the technology work?

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Prokarium is developing a safe strain of Salmonella Typhi as a microbial cancer immunotherapy. The proposed mechanism of action centres on fighting cancer by training your immune system to fight for you. Prokarium is also engineering their Salmonella to deliver therapeutic cargo molecules. This will combine the bacteria’s ability to generate a powerful activation of the patient’s immune system with delivery of therapeutic molecules to the tumour.

Q: What impact is the technology having?

Prokarium’s lead program is focused on transforming the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer by orchestrating immune-driven, long-lasting antitumor effects. Microbial immunotherapy is the gold standard of care in the treatment of bladder cancer however, high recurrence rates exist, and limited treatment options are currently available for patients. Prokarium’s immunotherapy offers a new and effective treatment to a market that has seen little disruption in over 30 years.

What is the future for the company?

Prokarium is pioneering the field of microbial immunotherapy and are interested in engaging with investors passionate about immunotherapy and synthetic biology.

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