Aptamer and Bio-Works collaborate on gene therapy scale up project

Under the agreement, Aptamer will develop an Optimer ligand capable of binding and eluting of a viral vector

Aptamer Group, developer of the proprietary Optimer platform, and Bio-Works Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of agarose-based purification technologies, will co-develop an affinity resin for improved purification and scale up of gene therapy vectors.

Under the agreement, Aptamer will develop an Optimer ligand capable of binding and eluting of a viral vector. Bio-Works Technologies will then develop a derivatised resin by coupling the Optimer to its WorkBeads agarose beads.

Optimer ligands are nucleic acid-based affinity ligands developed in vitro. The ability to develop highly specific ligands with no reliance upon the immune system makes them suited to development as novel affinity ligands for viral vectors, Aptamer says. The ligands’ binding profiles can be tuned to allow specific target binding and release conditions, which allows the companies to optimise performance in bioprocessing, without compromising the stability or function of the viral vector product.

Arron Tolley, Chief Executive Officer of Aptamer Group said, “We are really excited to be partnering with Bio-Works Technologies AB to enable improved biomanufacturing processes in this exciting field of gene therapy. We will be working closely with Bio-Works on the development and assessment of our Optimer ligands on their WorkBeads with the aim to provide an effective solution for gene therapy bioprocessing that can support this industry to scale through more efficient, cost-effective processes.”

Jonathan Royce, Chief Executive Officer at Bio-Works said, “There is a clear need in the gene therapy market for affinity resins based on a technology other than camelid-antibodies. The current offerings for the affinity purification of viral vectors offer low binding capacity and are not cleanable using standard clean-in-place (CIP) protocols. As viral vector production scales up and matures, more modern solutions are required. We believe that Aptamer Group’s Optimer platform can provide significant improvements in downstream purification of viral vectors. If successful, we also believe that we can collaborate on other affinity targets, since the Optimer technology is a scalable platform which can be tailored to individual targets.”

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