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Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2017 | Status: Active

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What is Omniose?

Omniose is an early-stage biotechnology company developing polysaccharide conjugate vaccines against serious bacterial threats using its proprietary bioconjugation platform.

They are expanding the range of bacterial targets that can be addressed with bioconjugate vaccines. Bioconjugation relies on single cells that simultaneously produce a polysaccharide antigen along with an engineered carrier protein and a conjugating enzyme to precisely link them together. This is a much simpler process than conventional chemical conjugation methods and has the potential to produce higher quality vaccines. However, the enzymes used for bioconjugation thus far could only address a limited range of bacterial targets.

Their platform enables the precise enzymatic attachment of virtually any bacterial polysaccharide (sugar) antigen to engineered carrier proteins within a single E. coli cell. Hence the name Omniose, “all sugars.”

Company Leadership

Christian Harding

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Harding is the primary innovator and driver behind Omniose’s R&D activity and bioconjugation platform development. For more than five years, Dr. Harding has helped refine Omniose’s bioconjugation platform for use in developing bioconjugate vaccines against different bacterial threats. He has been awarded multiple federally funded SBIR and STTR grants, authored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts in distinguished journals, and is the inventor of multiple issued Omniose patents.

Dr. Harding conducted his Postdoctoral Fellowship under Dr. Mario Feldman’s mentorship at Washington University in St. Louis focusing on microbial glycobiology. He earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from The Ohio State University and a B.S. from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Christine Szymanski


Dr. Szymanski is a Professor at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center and Associate Department Head of Microbiology at the University of Georgia. She has been exploring bacterial glycomics for three decades. She combines her expertise in food safety and animal health with novel therapeutic diagnostic platforms developed during her postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Medical Research Center vaccine program, the key findings while employed at the National Research Council of Canada, and the translational advances during her tenure as an Alberta Innovates Technology Futures Scholar at the University of Alberta where she cofounded VaxAlta, a company creating glycoconjugate vaccines for livestock and human health applications.

Dr. Szymanski has published over 100 publications and has served as President of the Society for Glycobiology and President of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and has received the Peter Gallagher Memorial Glycomics Award for Contributions to Health and Medical Research.

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Roman Fleck, Ph.D., MBA


Dr. Fleck is the CEO of Janpix, which was recently merged into Centessa Pharmaceutical. He was previously a Venture Partner/Advisor to Medicxi after having been a Principal at Index Ventures Life Sciences, Medicxi’s predecessor company. He invested in and represented Index Ventures on the boards of GlycoVaxyn (sold to GSK), Versartis (NASDQ: VSAS), and Novocure (NASDQ: NVCR). Earlier at Index Ventures he was also involved with Funxional Therapeutics (sold to Boehringer Ingelheim) and Micromet (sold to Amgen). He started his career at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in Connecticut where he led drug development projects in oncology, inflammation and cardiovascular disease, advancing several compounds from pre-clinical to clinical stage.

Dr. Fleck received a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from MIT as well as an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business. He has authored or co-authored numerous publications in prestigious journals as well as many issued patents.

Mario Feldman

Co-Founder & Scientific Advisory Board Member

Mario F. Feldman is a Professor of Molecular Microbiology in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine, in St Louis. He graduated with a B.S. in Biotechnology from the National University of Rosario, Argentina and received a Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He then held postdoctoral positions at the University of Basel and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland. Before joining Washington University, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada, where he cofounded VaxAlta, a spin-off company dedicated to livestock vaccines. Dr. Feldman’s current research focuses on the pathogenesis of the multi-drug resistant bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii. He is recognized for his work characterizing secretion systems, microbial glycans, and outer membrane vesicles. He has coauthored over 80 publications in prestigious journals and he has been awarded with multiple NIH grants.

Dr. Feldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. He received the Canadian Institute of Health New Investigator Award.

Timothy Cooke, Ph.D., MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Cooke has over thirty years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with a focus on vaccines. He was previously CEO of NovaDigm Therapeutics, CEO of Mojave Therapeutics, COO at AVANT Immunotherapeutics, and SVP at Ology Bioservices. Prior to his leadership roles in the biotechnology industry, he held several positions at Merck establishing a global vaccine-focused marketing and sales organization.

Dr. Cooke has been the Biotechnology Industry Representative to the U.S. National Vaccine Advisory Committee since 2015. He is on the Advisory Board of Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) and is an observer on the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Vaccines and Antimicrobial Resistance. He was previously Co-Chair of the BIO Vaccine Policy Advisory Committee and was on the Incentives for Vaccines Working Group of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Dr. Cooke was the Vaccine Industry Representative to the Working Group of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance during its formation in 2000.

Dr. Cooke has a Ph.D. in bio-organic chemistry and an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.S. from Saint Joseph’s University.

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