Univercells Technologies in tie-up with Chinese player on viral vectors for CGT and vaccine sectors

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/metamorworks
© GettyImages/metamorworks

Related tags Viral vectors Vaccine cell and gene therapy

Belgium’s Univercells Technologies and China’s VectorBuilder have entered a strategic global partnership for custom viral vector production.

Univercells Technologies, which provides biomanufacturing technologies for flexible and scalable viral vector production, will work with VectorBuilder’s manufacturing center in Guangzhou to develop and optimize protocols for intensified and continuous viral vector production for cell and gene therapies (CGTs) and vaccine applications. 

With rapid advances in CGTs in recent years as well as intensified interests in recombinant viral vaccines brought on by COVID-19, the demand for custom viral vectors, especially GMP-grade vectors, has significantly increased. Yet traditional manufacturing technologies lack the cost-effectiveness and scalability to accommodate this growing demand, said the partners. 

NevoLine Upstream platform - Univercells Technologies (4)
Univercells Technologies' Nevoline upstream platform © White Matter Comms

The alliance is targeted at a worldwide customer base:

“The objective of the collaboration is to develop best-in-class manufacturing processes for the production of viral vectors for the global market. Indeed, VectorBuilder has a large customer base outside of China. Through this partnership, both parties expect to see convergence of an international pool of customers aiming to advance from R&D to clinical testing and subsequently commercialization,”​ Marie Jourdan, VP marketing and product management, Univercells Technologies, told us.

VectorBuilder, a company focused on vector design, optimization and manufacturing, will also support customers willing to outsource their viral vector bioproduction, either within China or more globally through technology transfer projects, she said.

She outlined the roles of each partner in the collaborative project:

“Univercells Technologies delivers intensified and automated technologies for upstream and midstream manufacturing of viral vectors: the scale-X bioreactor system and NevoLine Upstream platform. These novel technologies are indeed particularly suited for process design and optimization as they enable the culture of adherent and suspension cell lines for low footprint and low cost production of a range of viral products.

"Univercells Technologies will support VectorBuilder in process optimization activities via its recently launched integrated services offering. The bioprocess specialists will leverage their experience and expertise on Univercells Technologies’ equipment to help design optimal manufacturing strategies for viral vector products.

“VectorBuilder's role is to optimize manufacturing processes for different types of viral vectors using Univercells Technologies’ hardware and single-use systems. To that intent, it will leverage its online-to-offline (O2O) platform which provides a holistic solution to viral processing. It willcomplement its range of GMP manufacturing services with this series of optimized protocols based on [our] platforms​." 

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