Contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Cobra Biologics, bioprocessing vendor Pall Biotech, and independent research and technology organisation, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGTC), were granted a share of £1.5m ($1.9m).
Instigated by government organisation, Innovate UK, the funding will be used to investigate continuous manufacturing methodology for “more efficient production” of adeno-associated virus’ (AAV) – designed to infect cells with gene therapies.
According to Pall Biotech VP, Mario Philips, yields for downstream processing of AAVs are currently low, and the production process is “costly in both time and consumables”.
“With this project, we hope to advance the AAV purification process and affect a 25% or more step change in purification yields,” he added.
CGTC CEO, Keith Thompson, similarly predicts the collaboration to “take a major step” towards a more efficient, continuous process for gene therapy production.
“As we move forward, we will create a scalable continuous process that increases efficiencies in time and cost, to make commercialisation of gene therapies safer, faster, and cheaper than ever before,” he added in a statement.
The announcement comes days after the UK government granted £4.3m to Oxford BioMedica, Autulus, and Arc Trinova, to adopt digital technologies in their manufacturing processes.
The government also announced a separate investment of £3m in the UK’s Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres, to support the delivery of cell and gene therapies.