Imutex, a joint venture company of SEEK (formerly PepTcell) and hVIVO, is developing a protein-based vaccine against mosquito-borne diseases, including Zika virus, malaria, dengue and West Nile virus. The company's approach is based on the assumption that exposure to molecules in mosquito saliva could provide immunological protection against infections transmitted by mosquitoes. The company is determining if there are mosquito proteins that are involved in the infection process, and whether a targeted immune response could be induced against such proteins. It is hypothesised that immunisation with the vaccine would provide simultaneous protection against several different mosquito-borne diseases. In addition to providing disease protection in the vaccinated individual, ingestion of blood from the vaccinated individual by a mosquito could interact with antibody targets inside the insect, potentially reducing survival of the mosquito population. Preclinical development is underway in the UK.
In December 2010, PepTcell changed its name to SEEK  .
As at July 2016, no recent reports of development had been identified for research development in Parasitic-infections (Prevention) in United Kingdom, research development in Viral-infections (Prevention) in United Kingdom.
As at May 2020, no recent reports of development had been identified for preclinical development in Zika-virus-infection in United Kingdom.
In April 2016, SEEK granted Imutex a worldwide license of the flu and mosquito-borne disease vaccine platforms, and will provide services in exchange for £7 million in cash consideration and a downstream commercialisation royalty  .
Key Development Milestones
Imutex, in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), plans to conduct a "First in Man" phase I study of Zika virus vaccine in the US  .