Leiden, The Netherlands, February 25, 2019 – Batavia Biosciences announced today that it received a $13.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to manufacture clinical-grade inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV), using its newly developed low-cost polio vaccine manufacturing process (marketed as HIP-Vax) based on the NevoLine™ manufacturing technology developed by Univercells.
In 2016, Univercells and consortium partner Batavia Biosciences received a $12 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a manufacturing platform that integrates continuous processing with extremely high process intensification to radically reduce the footprint and costs of vaccine manufacturing. Within this program, Batavia Biosciences developed the manufacturing process for the polio vaccine, and Univercells developed the NevoLine™ manufacturing technology. The consortium attained the program goals of delivering a trivalent sIPV for less than $0.30 per dose, enabling them to lower the cost of the current vaccine by at least five times.
After successfully completing the pilot-phase process for sIPV, Batavia Biosciences will now use the NevoLine™ system to manufacture clinical-grade sIPV bulks that can be supplied to Developing Country Vaccine Manufacturers (DCVM’s) to accelerate licensure of the low-cost polio vaccine. After a year of preparations, the production is scheduled to start in 2020.
“This manufacturing technology offers the potential to be truly transformational, enabling significant reductions in vaccine prices and lowering the barrier for vaccine manufacturers to construct new facilities. These are two important steps to avoid the estimated 3 million yearly deaths from vaccine preventable diseases”, says Dr Chris Yallop, CSO & COO of Batavia Biosciences.
“We are honored to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They have given us the capability to meet our goal to deliver a system, which will substantially decrease costs and time to market for vaccine manufacturers. This new modular system allows for instance to deliver 40 million trivalent sIPV doses per year per an estimated facility capital cost of less than $25 million”, says Dr Menzo Havenga, President & CEO of Batavia Biosciences.
About Batavia Biosciences
Batavia Biosciences significantly contributes to ease human suffering from infectious diseases by improving the success rate in the translation of candidate medicines from discovery to the clinic. We offer our novel technologies and in-depth know-how in order to help our partners to complete preclinical phases in biopharmaceutical product development at higher speed, reduced costs and increased success. The company focuses on the early stages of product development including cell line generation, upstream process development, purification development, product characterization and clinical manufacturing. Headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, with a subsidiary in Woburn, Massachusetts, and offices in Hong Kong, Batavia Biosciences is privileged to have strong strategic partners worldwide.
Univercells is a business-to-business provider focused on increasing the availability of affordable vaccines and biotherapeutics to address global health challenges. The company is developing turnkey solution for a series of vaccines and biotherapeutics to be delivered at an affordable price. By relying on proprietary core technologies and a continuous process intensification approach, production is achieved with a smaller footprint, and significantly lower overall capital and operational costs.
Univercells was founded in 2013 by experienced entrepreneurs Hugues Bultot, CEO, and José Castillo, CTO, who bring close to 25 years of expertise in the biotechnology and life sciences sectors. Headquartered in Gosselies (Belgium), Univercells benefits from support from the Walloon region, and received €3 million as early seeding from Takeda in 2015. At the end of 2016, the company was awarded a $16 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation