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Henderson Morley PLC (HML)

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Wednesday 30 September, 2009

Henderson Morley PLC

Collaborative Agreement

RNS Number : 8909Z
Henderson Morley PLC
30 September 2009

30 SEPTEMBER 2009 







The Board of Henderson Morley plc ('Henderson Morley' or the 'Company'), the Aim quoted biotechnology company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a collaborative agreement with the University of Georgia Research Foundation, under the leadership of Professor Ralph Tripp, (Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Georgia).

The collaborative agreement is to examine PREPS and L-particles as an adjuvant for naked DNA vaccines against flu virus infections, which will include the H1N1 strain of the flu virus commonly known as swine flu. 

Georgia University is one of five US centres of excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS).

The studies, which will be completed at no cost to Henderson Morley, will be the first such studies to examine the use of PREPS and L particles as a vaccine adjuvant in influenza.

Commenting on the announcement Henderson Morley's Executive Chairman, Andrew Knight said: 'We are delighted to be working with the University of Georgia and specifically Professor Tripp, who is internationally recognised as a leader in his field.'

Professor Tripp of the University of Georgia Research Foundation stated: 'If successful, these studies may offer a route to a new method of vaccination against influenza, and I am pleased to be working with Henderson Morley on this project.'




HENDERSON MORLEY PLC                                                                   0121 442 4600
Andrew Knight, Chairman

BISHOPSGATECOMMUNICATIONS LTD                                            0207 562 3350
Maxine Barnes
Gemma O'Hara

BREWIN DOLPHIN INVESTMENT BANKING                                     0113 241 0126
Neil Baldwin

RIVINGTON STREET CORPORATE FINANCE                                    0207 562 3380
Monisha Varadan

Further information on Henderson Morley plc can be accessed through the Company's website at


Note to Editors

Preps and L-Particles - Simple description

A herpes virus is a fairly simple structure- it has an outer layer called the envelope (like the leather of a football), an indistinct middle layer called the tegument (like the bladder of a football) and an inner core made of genetic material the nucleocapsid (like the air in a football).

When herpes viruses are grown in cells in a culture dish, the cells produce two types of virus particle simultaneously- live virus particles as above, and very similar, 'empty' virus particles. These 'empty' particles are identical to viruses, except that they have no genetic material i
.e. no DNA. The discovery that these particles exist was a major breakthrough, and it was made by the internationally renowned Herpes Virology Group of the Medical Research Council in Glasgow. Because these particles are empty, they are lighter than viruses, hence they were named 'L-particles' for 'Light particles'.

The reason this was a major discovery

Because these L-particles have effectively the same outer structure as a virus, the particle will be taken up into the inside of the cell as if it were a virus. Proteins contained in the particle will thus be delivered to the inside of the cell.

This ability to enter into cells means there is a great deal of potential for L-particles as a vaccine or therapy. If the L-particle was made to express (i.e.carry) a protein that would normally be found on e.g.a cancer cell, and the cell this was delivered to was an immune cell, a strong immune response could be generated.

Also, because HSV has a large DNA core, it is possible to engineer several proteins simultaneously- ie it can deliver several proteins at the same time. This is a very important feature when developing cancer therapies.

Because the L-particle has no DNA it is unable to reproduce, and is therefore much safer than existing virus based therapies that use live viruses ( also known as virus vectors)

The manufacture of L-particles has been adapted to make these particles in a very pure form- there is almost no contamination of the L-particles with viruses. This has been achieved by making the L-particles in the presence of DNA inhibitors. The resulting particles are very slightly different in structure, but retain the important features of L-particles. These highly purified particles are known as PREPS particles.

Henderson Morley have acquired the patents for PREPS and L-particles and are now developing products in several disease areas based on these technologies.

DNA vaccines are made up of a small, circular piece of DNA that has been genetically engineered to produce one or two specific proteins from a micro-organism- in this case from the influenza virus. The vaccine DNA is injected into the cells of the body, where the cell transcribes the DNA into viral proteins and thus helps generate an immune response. One of the problems associated with their usage in the past has been poor uptake by cells, meaning immune responses are less than ideal.

The study due to be completed in Georgia, will examine the role of L-particles as an aid to the efficacy of a DNA vaccine for influenza. Studies completed by Henderson Morley have demonstrated that when L-particles are co-administered with naked DNA, there has been a significant (up to 700%) increase in the levels of DNA entering into cells and being transcribed.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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