£2 million two-year collaboration announced by Oxford BioMedica

A new consortium, led by Oxford BioMedica, will take part in a two-year, £2m project focused on gene and cell therapy manufacturing.

Other partners include the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Stratophase and Synthace, and the collaboration is co-funded by Innovate UK.

The aim of the collaboration is to explore and apply novel advanced technologies to further evolve OXB’s proprietary suspension LentiVector platform to deliver even higher quality vectors for both clinical and commercial use. The project aims to deliver tangible benefits to patients by shortening the time-to-clinic and time-to-market as well as to improve the cost and access of bringing novel gene and cell therapies to patients.

Each partner in the collaboration holds proprietary technology and know-how that can be used to develop an innovative approach to viral vector manufacturing. The aims of this pioneering project are closely aligned with the current government national priorities to make the UK a global hub for manufacturing advanced therapies, which will benefit economic growth and create and retain more highly skilled employment.

John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford BioMedica, the consortium lead, commented: “Cell and gene therapies offer unprecedented promise for the cure, treatment or long term management of disease and we are delighted that this consortium has been awarded funding from Innovate UK that will help to keep Oxford BioMedica, our partners and the UK, at the forefront of innovation in industrial viral vector manufacturing.

Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, commented: “Collaborating on developing improved process analytic technologies with our partners will help drive productivity in viral vector manufacturing, accelerating the development of these transformative advanced therapies. We have the opportunity to both transform patients’ lives and grow an industry in the UK that we can be proud of.”

Simon Saxby, Chief Executive Officer of Stratophase, commented: “We are looking forward to working as a member of such a strong partnership. We see our inclusion as validation of our Ranger adaptive control technology which is gaining significant traction in the biotech and cell and gene therapy sectors. Overall, we are delighted at the prospect of actively contributing to the accelerated development of novel, cost-effective advanced therapies”.

Sean Ward, Chief Technical Officer of Synthace, commented: “Antha, our high-level language and operating system for biology, was developed to empower researchers to tackle highly complex biological problems. Cell and gene therapies are one of the most challenging and impactful applications of modern biotechnology, and we are excited to be working with our experienced partners to expand the capabilities of Antha to help in this domain.”

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