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The University of Southampton



Partnership to support COVID-19 vaccine

The NHS, academia and the private sector are joining forces with the government to explore and establish human challenge trials in the UK to speed up the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Centre on 290118

Developing head and neck cancer vaccine

Cancer Research UK, the University of Southampton and Touchlight Genetics (a London based biotechnology company) have announced a new clinical development partnership



Epi Gen is a multi-national research consortium focused on how the function of genes can be regulated by environmental factors.

Spin-out Companies

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Health Protection Agency and DSTL – Porton

A local collaboration involving the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) – Porton, University of Southampton and the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, hold the UK’s strongest concentration of capability in translational vaccinology. This relationship has led to several new collaborations; joint funding programmes and Centre developments that celebrate joint capabilities in immunometrics, clinical trials and advanced animal modelling of vaccines for many economically important infectious diseases and cancer.


The Faculty of Medicine has been instrumental in helping medical training company Biocompatibles in evaluating a new product. Biocompatibles is a leader in the field of drug device combination products. The company had created a fluorescent red dye, able to deliver drugs into live cells and stay active for days. Crucially the company had developed a product with no toxicity – which is currently a problem with similar products in the market. The company, however, needed a better understanding of its biological applications and turned to us for expert advice. Our expertise helped the company to evaluate the dye and thoroughly explore potential future uses.


Retroscreen is a company that focuses on human viral challenge models for the development of novel anti-viral therapeutics and vaccines. The group has entered into a long-term collaboration with Southampton focussing on respiratory infections (specifically influenza). Southampton’s unique capabilities in respiratory disease, including unique research platforms, underpin the translational commitment of both Retroscreen and the University. Collaboration with University of Oxford and Retroscreen Virology Our researchers worked closely with teams from the University of Oxford and Retroscreen Virology Ltd to identify key peptides that could lead to a universal vaccine for influenza. Influenza affects hundreds of thousands of people a year and puts an enormous strain on healthcare providers globally.

Retroscreen (continued)

The discovery of a series of peptides found on the internal structures of influenza viruses could lead to the development of a vaccine that gives people immunity against all strains of the disease, including seasonal, avian, and swine flu. Dr Tom Wilkinson, Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine and Associate Director Enterprise at the University of Southampton led the study. He said: "Through this discovery we hope to improve vaccines for future strains of influenza, and potentially protect against the next pandemic." Retroscreen's CEO Kym Denny said: "Retroscreen is delighted that our scientists and doctors have been able to work so closely with two leading universities. This work significantly expands our understanding of the immune response to influenza infection; this could be key in the fight against a future pandemic."

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