Touchlight receives Gates Foundation funding to advance doggybone DNA vaccine platform

Nov. 30, 2022

Gene therapy CDMO Touchlight announced this week that it has been granted funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance its doggybone DNA vaccine platform.

UK-based Touchlight, founded in 2007, focuses on disrupting existing methods of producing DNA which it says have “inherent limitations in speed, safety, cost, capacity, and scalability.” The company’s solution is its proprietary DNA production platform which offers a novel, synthetic DNA vector (dbDNA™) and enzymatic manufacturing process. 

The biotech uses a fermentation-based process to produce DNA, claiming that its process also helps with eliminating antibiotic-resistance genes that could be present in plasmid DNA. The newly announced Gates-funded research program aims to build on evidence that Touchlight’s rapid enzymatic doggybone DNA vaccines can produce durable T-cell responses. 

Touchlight will also be investigating the performance of its doggybone DNA for therapeutic monoclonal antibody production.