Cobra Biologics, an international contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) based in Keele with a focus on advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), has won a £1.5m shared grant from Innnovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Co-winners Pall Corporation, a global leader in filtration, separation and purification, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, an independent research and technology organisation focused on advancing the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, will work with Cobra Biologics to investigate continuous manufacturing of adeno-associated virus (AAV) for gene therapy applications.
Peter Coleman, Chief Executive Officer of Cobra Biologics, said:
“In light of the unprecedented clinical successes with a number of ATMPs, we are looking forward to working with Pall and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. Together we will develop innovative in-process analytical techniques and manufacturing approaches based on continuous chromatography platforms to significantly increase process yields, and, in doing so, make these advanced therapies more accessible to patients.”
Mario Philips, Vice President & General Manager of Pall Biotech, commented:
“Yields for downstream processing of AAV are currently very 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. The Pall Cadence™ BioSMB system will be investigated for its ability to increase yields and decrease cost, while using novel analytical procedures to enhance the purification process.”
Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, added:
“Our shared vision is to take a major step towards continuous processing for gene therapy production. We each bring strengths and a unique perspective to this collaborative R&D project. 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. We are excited to play a key role in increasing patient access to these potentially life-changing therapies and to further establish best practices in manufacturing.”
The transition from batch to continuous chromatography will be planned and managed by all parties. The project began in September 2018.
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