Naobios receives $1.87 million to fund human viral challenge agent

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Vaccines Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation viral vaccines

Naobios, a CDMO providing bioprocess development and GMP production of clinical batches of virus-based products, has received a $1.87 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its vaccine development efforts.

The company will manufacture a human viral challenge agent that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing infections and to accelerate the vaccine development process.
The viral challenge agent, an Omicron variant SARS-CoV-2 virus manufactured by Naobios for the foundation, will be used to conduct a Controlled Human Infection Model (CHIM) study.

According to Naobios, the aim is to support the development of low-cost effective mucosal vaccines to stop respiratory virus transmission, which – with greater breadth – can be deployed to outbreak areas, typically in Low-to-Middle Income Countries (LMICs), to prevent widespread transmission.
The manufacture of Naobios’ viral challenge agent will be followed by stability testing for a period of three years.
“Naobios is excited to receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its drive to accelerate the development and commercialization of novel vaccines and the sustainable manufacture of existing vaccines,” said Eric Le Forestier, general manager at Naobios.

“With our experienced team, BSL3 suite and track record in successfully manufacturing several viral strains of challenge agents, we look forward to delivering on this project.”
CHIM studies are increasingly used in several countries such as the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium to investigate all aspects of the course of an infection.

In response to this growing need, Naobios has invested in extending its current range of services, with the company now offering viral challenge agent manufacturing according to the principles of GMP.

The company believes it is ‘uniquely suited’ for manufacturing human viral challenge agents for the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, as well as academic institutions and international agencies.

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