The optimized process uses ‘proprietary chromatographic columns and process’ and has already been successfully used in production of mRNA for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
“BIA’s expertise in chromatographic columns for mRNA purification combined with BioNet’s expertise in the product development of genetic vaccines have, since early 2021, enabled both teams to collaborate on the optimization and upscale of a high-yield mRNA production process,” report the companies.
Need for speed: Four month development process
BioNet is a French-Thai company focusing on the development, manufacturing and supply of genetically-engineered vaccines; while Slovenian purification specialist BIA Separations is a developer and manufacturer of Convective Interaction Media (CIM) monolithic chromatographic columns for the production, purification and analysis of large biomolecules such as viruses, plasmids and mRNA (the company was acquired by Sartorius last year).
It took the companies four months to develop the new process; with work and tech transfer coordinated via teleconferences in the absence of physical meetings and trainings due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The process has been successfully applied to the production of mRNA for vaccine candidate ChulaCov19, which was developed by Chula Vaccine Research Center, Thailand, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, US (the vaccine was found to stimulate the immune system to produce killer T-cells against alpha, delta, beta and gamma SAS-CoV-2 variants in a Phase 1 study in August; and is expected to progress to Phase 2/3 trials soon).
Both BIA and BioNet are now collaborating on other projects aiming to increase development capabilities and production capacity of nucleic acid vaccines in Europe, Australia, and low-middle income countries.