The deal – financial terms of which were not disclosed - is designed to combine Vela’s molecular characterization knowhow with Evercyte’s capabilities in immortalizing cells to create lines that can be used to test the therapeutic potential of candidate biopharmaceuticals.
According to Vela that collaboration has already resulted in the development of a VEGF-responsive cell line (HUVEC) that can be used to assess the potency of bevacizumab (Avastin) biosimilars.
Johannes Grillari, CSO of Evercyte, said that: “The need of product relevant cell lines that can be standardized is ever increasing in view of restrictions on the use of laboratory animal as well as the increased demand for analyzing the biological activity of biosimilars and biopharmaceuticals.”
He added that: “Our cooperation aims to introduce Evercyte’s cell lines into the GMP environment and to establish novel, relevant cell lines, including innovative reporter cell lines, for specific biopharmaceuticals, again for use under GMP conditions.”
This was echoed by Vela labs COO Andreas Nechansky, who said: “Making immortalized cell lines available for GMP testing complements the broad analytical method portfolio we have developed to serve the needs of manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals and biosimilars worldwide.”
The deal with Vela labs comes six months after Evercyte – which was founded in 2011 - was named a member of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) on health issues.
Under the programme the cell line technology firm is responsible for measuring the levels of small non-coding RNAs termed microRNAs from patients´ blood samples in order to identify a biomarker signature with high prognostic value for the risk of frailty.