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Industries & Expertise

Animal Models

Imperial's world-class animal facility offers a wide range of in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical vaccine development and anti-infective testing capabilities. The highly experienced team can also provide protocol development, data analysis and 'write up' for publications.

The team, led by Dr John Tregoning, use well established animal models to provide effective read outs of vaccine or anti-infectives efficacy.

Animal challenges are carried out using human disease strains, instead of mouse-adapted strains, that may not be as translatable - plus well-validated immunogenicity assays are used to assess immune responses, which are interpreted by scientists with many years experience in immunology.



Our services


In vitro evaluation of anti-infectives

  • Efficacy of anti-viral or anti-bacterial agents can be tested in vitro on our well- established assays allowing for quantification of bacterial or viral load post treatment.
  • Assessment of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and determination of doses to be used in vivo.

Vaccine Protocol and Regimen Development

  • Determination of frequency of dosing and interval length between doses
  • Adjuvant selection
  • Formulation of vaccine
  • Vaccine stability testing at various temperatures

Vaccine and anti-infective agent efficacy determination via human disease challenge studies

  • Well established and validated human disease mouse models:
Viral pathogens: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  Seasonal influenza (multiple serotypes including H1, H3 and B)
Bacterial pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus (both MRSA and MSSA),
  non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI)
  Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Vaccine  and drug delivery via various routes that include: intramuscular, intranasal, intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, intradermal, oral gavage, tattooing and intravenous.
  • In vivo observations of vaccine protection or drug responses including animal weight and clinical symptoms or pathology.
  • Monitoring of immunogenicity readouts over course of vaccination or drug regimen.



Immunogenicity Assessment

  • Variety of immunoassays for evaluation of both B and T cell responses.
  • Custom Flow Cytometry panels to examine relevant cell types or immune cell activation and proliferation.
  • Intracellular cytokine staining, ELISA or multiplex analysis of cytokines/chemokines produced.
  • Evaluation of neutralising antibody activity.
  • Viral titre or bacterial counts as readouts of protection or efficacy of anti-infective drugs.
  • Histology and assessment of bronchoalveolar cellular infiltration.

We worked with Dr Tregoning to test our POD vaccine for immunogenicity and protection against influenza. This was as part of an Innovate UK funded study which was designed and developed in as a public-private partnership. We worked together to successfully deliver the project goals and we very happy with the high quality results produced by Dr Tregoning and his team who worked to the highest level. Working with Dr Tregoning and his team was an excellent experience.

Research partnerships include:

  • Vaccibody (Norway) - DNA vaccines
  • Novartis/GSK vaccines (Italy)
  • Biontech (Germany) - RNA vaccines
  • Altimmune (UK/USA) - analysis of material from human challenge
  • IDRI (USA)
  • Cell Guidance Systems (UK)
  • Touchlight genetics (UK) - DNA vaccines 
  • Kymab - Bactericidal antibody development
  • CGS - Protein Vaccine 
  • Edixomed: Anti-bacterial 
  • Cilian: Protein Vaccine 


We worked with Dr Tregoning to test our vaccine constructs for protection against influenza. We worked closely together to design and plan the studies. The testing was rigorous and enabled us to compare the efficacy of a range of different vaccine constructs. We were very pleased with the results generated and they were subsequently published. We would recommend working with Dr Tregoning.