Serum Institute of India collaborates with Univercells to enhance availability of affordable personalised oncology

Published: 12-Apr-2024

The partnership endeavours to speed up development times and distribute personalised cancer vaccines to all locations globally, rather than just economically developed countries

Serum Institute of India (SII) a global vaccine manufacturer, has joined forces with Univercells, a Belgian company specialising in biotech, targeting a dramatic increase in accessibility to personalised cancer care. This partnership aims to bring treatment options within reach of millions globally.

At present, personalised care options such as novel cancer vaccines and specialised immunotherapies are accessible to a few patients only. These new therapies are developed using genetic material extracted from the patient’s tumours, a process which is both time-consuming and expensive. 

Besides, due to strict regulatory limitations on the sequence, transfer and manufacturing of genetic material, these treatments are only available in a handful of countries. 

The collaboration between SII and Univercells will help in addressing these challenges, with a view to capturing a proportion of the global cancer care market.

“We are excited about this collaboration with Univercells with an aim to strengthen the accessibility of cancer care therapies, which may prove to be a boon for cancer treatment across the world, especially in the LMIC’s,” said Dr. Umesh Shaligram, Executive Director, R&D, SII

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“Relapse rates for many cancers are very high, especially for patients who are diagnosed at a later stage. To address this, we are developing unique point-of-care cancer treatment using mRNA in combination with our Recombinant BCG (VPM1002).”

“Our technology can cut months off the time to create a personalized therapeutic without compromising quality.” said José Castillo, Chief Technology Officer & co-founder of Univercells. “We’ve completely redesigned the manufacturing process from first principles and believe that we can save up to 90% of costs of producing these medicines compared to traditional approaches.”

Longer term, Univercells and SII believe that they can accelerate the progress of new medicines, allowing patients to receive therapies rapidly. At present, the average time for a cancer therapy to go from patenting to use by patients is close to 15 years in the UK.



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