Batavia adding 50 jobs in US viral vector and EU cleanroom expansion
The mammalian cell line generation and bioprocess development firm is adding 3,500 sq ft of lab and cleanroom space across the expansions at its GMP site in Leiden, The Netherlands, and at its R&D facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Batavia Biosciences did not divulge the size of the investment but said the expansions were driven by an increase in general demand for its range of bioprocessing services.
These include “developing production and purification processes for vaccines, viral vectors, antibodies and proteins from the earliest product idea via full development to manufacturing of clinical material,” commercial director Vincent Franssen told Biopharma-Reporter.
“With the increased number of projects, the GMP extension fills in the increased need for the production of cell banks, master virus seeds, drug substance and drug product. At the same time, more projects demand more lab space, which is now covered with the creation of a new dedicated viral vector facility in the US. ”
He added the expansions will increase headcount by 50 across the two sites.
The Cambridge expansion will bolster Batavia’s offering to include complete pre-clinical process development capabilities for viral vectors including AAV, Lentivirus, VSV and Adenovirus systems to its portfolio of CHO cell line generation and process development for recombinant proteins and antibodies.
Franssen said Batavia “is continuously attracting new projects and customers” due to its experience in viral vector projects and the growing interest in such products across the biopharma space.
“With the popularity of adenovirus, lentivirus, and AAV for vector vaccines and gene therapy products the demand for Batavia Biosciences’ viral vector work is rapidly increasing.”
Among the projects the firm is involved in is an attempt to produce an affordable rotavirus vaccine through an $8m grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The programme is based on the RV3-BB rotavirus strain, a naturally occurring attenuated strain developed by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and incorporating fixed-bed, high cell density single-use bioreactors instead of more traditional and expensive vessels. Bio Farm, an Indonesia state-owned vaccine producer and distributor, is charged with manufacturing the vaccine itself.