They will develop a scalable and flexible manufacturing process to produce, purify and characterise AAV vectors
Cobra Biologics, an international Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) of biologics and pharmaceuticals, is to work with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a UK-based technology innovation centre in a £1.8m project that will focus on the development of an industrial manufacturing platform for Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) production to support gene therapy and regenerative medicine.
Cobra is leading the project and will focus on AAV vectors which are safe and effective and currently the delivery vehicle of choice for gene therapy treatments. However, the advancement of these therapies into clinical trials is currently hampered by the lack of robust scalability needed to manufacture AAV vectors.
Cobra and CPI will develop in-depth scientific and technical understanding to allow a scalable and flexible manufacturing process to be developed to produce, purify and characterise a range of AAV vectors. This will enable the acceleration of more potential products into clinical testing and ultimately new medicines.
Innovate UK is providing £1.4m of the funding through its 2015 competition for the development of regenerative medicines and cell therapies.
The collaboration between Cobra and CPI will help to address the need for a scalable AAV production process
The project is one of five which together make up an £8m government investment in collaborative R&D projects that address challenges faced by UK companies developing regenerative medicines and cell therapies as clinical treatments and commercial products.
Cobra Biologics' CEO Peter Coleman said: 'Cobra has been a leading organisation in the development of the gene therapy sector for over 15 years now through its plasmid DNA and viral service offerings. We have seen through our customers an extraordinary growth in new potential medicines being put forward that utilise viral vectors as part of their production, such as Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell therapies. The collaboration between Cobra and CPI will help to address the need for a scalable AAV production process to meet the current and future needs of the gene therapy and regenerative medicine community in clinical trials and commercial supply.'
Fergal O’Brien, Director of Biologics at CPI, added: 'We see this project as a key enabler in meeting the current and future needs of the biologics industry and are delighted to be supporting a leading UK company in this sector.'