Cytomegalovirus is a member of the Herpesvirus family, and there have been many attempts to apply traditional approaches such as attenuated viruses or single viral antigens to develop a vaccine, yet these efforts have failed to show sufficient efficacy in the clinics.
However, Redbiotec, a Zurich, Switzerland-based biotech firm developing vaccines against Cytomegalovirus using its proprietary rePAX assembly and expression platform, is challenging these approaches by using conformational viral antigen complexes as well as virus-like particles (VLPs).
“VLPs are true virus ‘mimics’ – they are recombinantly built out of the same proteins as the real pathogen and contain only the immunologically relevant antigens,” Redbiotec's Andreas Jurgeit told Biopharma-Reporter.com.
“When presented to the body’s immune system, they are recognized like the real pathogen but they are not infectious. Redbiotec could for the first time show that it is possible to resemble CMV as a VLP and that VLPs can be optimized and produced to assure an optimal immune response.”
To progress its programmes and scale its production from prototype to GMP-compatible large scale bioreactors, the company has chosen single-use technology, and more specifically partnered GE Healthcare for its single-use Wave bioreactor and ReadyToProcess filtration system.
“GE’s solution is not just well integrated but remains flexible enough to adopt it to a variety of different products,” Jurgeit said.
“Besides in-house applications, Redbiotec could show that the processes developed can be readily transferred to external partners using the same platform. This is especially useful to on-demand scale production capacities in short time frames with limited investments.”