The bacteriophage vaccination technology originated at Moredun Research Institute when Dr. John March and Dr. Jason Clark were working on production of cheap, stable, efficient vaccines for use in developing countries. Dr March noted that a modified bacteriophage lambda was able to generate an immune response and further studies by Dr March and others confirmed these results. The technology was patent protected by the Moredun Research Institute in 2002/2003.
Proof of Concept funding from Scottish Enterprise enabled the work required to assess the commercial potential of the technology and subsequent seedcorn investment from London-based Imprimatur Capital in 2007 allowed BigDNA to be established at the Roslin Biocentre with its first three employees. The first substantial funding of £1.5 million in late November 2008 allowed the Company to expand rapidly, to recruit additional management and scientific capability and to establish a new Advisory Board. The core Intellectual Property was assigned from Moredun to BigDNA in January 2009 and it was then that the Company established its core strategy and pipeline products.