A Name with Purpose

Why has Vaccitech plc changed its name to Barinthus Biotherapeutics plc?

Vaccitech was a name that suggested the company was a purely vaccine focused entity. However, the company has evolved significantly since it was created as spinout from the Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research at the University of Oxford in 2016. Vaccitech IPO’d on NASDAQ in 2021 and acquired Avidea Technologies in December 2021, this has represented a gradual evolution and expansion beyond just focusing on what Vaccitech was best known for: the co-invention of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and the development of other vaccines and therapeutics using the ChAdOx and MVA platforms.

There is discussion about the word vaccine being able to cover the existence of both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines, but mostly only in academia. We want to dispel doubt.

Today the company is very much focused on the development of novel T cell immunotherapeutics, which evolved out of that initial vaccine research, and envelops a broader developmental space with a huge amount of potential for both the company and patients. So, we feel it is the right time to step forwards from Vaccitech, into the next chapter of the company’s story – as Barinthus Biotherapeutics.

What does Barinthus mean and where does it come from?

The name Barinthus comes from a character named in legends relating to King Arthur of Britain, mentioned in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini (Life of Merlin), written 1150 AD, in which the character is noted as a guide and navigator.

Barinthus was the name of the mythological navigator who guided the legendary King Arthur of Britain by ship to the island of Avalon to be healed, when he was wounded.

Why have we chosen Barinthus Biotherapeutics?

The company has evolved significantly since it was created in 2016 and we wanted a new name that reflected the company’s history, would help tell our more recent story and tie-in to the science behind our platforms. We feel that the story of the legendary king being wounded and being guided to a place of healing where he continues to live is mirrored in terms of our proprietary platforms and technology. ChAdOx, MVA, SNAP-TI and SNAP-CI platforms are very much focused on guiding the immune system towards an appropriate, balanced and durable healthy response – whether that is to help overcome immune suppression to clear a chronic HBV infection or dial down an autoimmune response to gluten protein in Celiac Disease.

The inspiration of the name from Arthurian legend nods to our UK-based history, while the strengths of a good guide and navigator very much reflect our company values and technological approach:

  • Leading the way with our passion for science,
  • Having the flexibility to adapt and take advantage of opportunities or avoid obstacles,
  • Empowering employees to navigate for themselves,
  • Being accountable to ensure we are maximizing value to drive innovation,
  • And of course, inspiring trust in the patients who we are working on behalf of.

Barinthus Biotherapeutics aims to help patients’ immune systems navigate their way to overcoming chronic infectious diseases, autoimmunity and cancer.

Has the company’s NASDAQ stock ticker changed?

Yes, it will change from VACC to BRNS to be representative of the new Barinthus Biotherapeutics plc name.