GE Healthcare collaborates to develop ligands for AAV purification

Australian Children’s Medical Research Institute and GE have agreed to develop new affinity ligands for the purification of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors used in gene therapies

Scientists at Children's Medical Research Institute conduct research on AAV vectors for gene therapy (credit: CMRI)

GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Australian Children’s Medical Research Institute have announced that they will jointly drive the development of new affinity ligands for the purification of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors used in gene therapies.

The focus of the collaboration is to bring to market specific ligands for multiple AAV types, enhancing the chromatographic separation of AAV-based vectors.

This will improve the manufacturing efficiency and scalability of gene therapies, enabling the availability of viral vectors on a global scale.

Olivier Loeillot, General Manager, Bioprocess at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, says: “The industry needs better and more personalised technologies to speed biopharmaceuticals through clinical trials and bring them to market. Our long biomanufacturing expertise combined with Children’s Medical Research Institute’s pioneering research will lead to purification technologies that will streamline the production of gene therapies.”

Children’s Medical Research Institute in Australia is globally recognised for its work on microsurgery, cancer research, neurobiology, embryology and gene therapy. The AAV affinity ligands resulting from this collaboration will be compatible with GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ resin-based chromatography portfolio used in the purification of most FDA-approved biopharmaceuticals.

Market demand

With more than 800 gene therapies currently in clinical trials, there is an increasing demand for the raw materials needed in the manufacturing process of viral vectors. AAVs are viral vectors used in more than 70% of the in vivo gene therapy clinical trials.

The collaboration combines the expertise from the latest available research on AAVs with application testing, advancing a comprehensive understanding of the clinical functionality and the commercial opportunities of AAV-based gene therapies.

Children’s Medical Research Institute will share with GE Healthcare Life Sciences AAV capsid variants targeting different tissues.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences will then design and test ligand prototypes, which Children’s Medical Research Institute will assess. Based on the performance results, GE Healthcare Life Sciences will manufacture and commercialise novel improved AAV affinity ligands.

Dr Leszek Lisowski, lead gene therapy scientist at Children’s Medical Research Institute, said: “Bringing the fruits of our work to the patients requires a joint effort between academia and the industry. The collaboration with GE Healthcare Life Sciences will allow us to expedite the development of novel clinical options at a lower cost.”

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