Univercells and consortium partners Batavia Biosciences and Natrix Separations Received $12 Million Grant by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Radically Reduce Vaccine Costs for Developing Countries

Brussels, Belgium, December 15, 2016 – Univercells announced today that it has been awarded a $12 million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a breakthrough vaccine manufacturing platform with the objective of radically lowering costs and increasing vaccine availability and affordability in developing countries. The development will be performed by a consortium which also includes Batavia Biosciences and Natrix Separations.

Hugues Bultot, CEO and co-founder of Univercells said: “We are extremely honoured to partner with the Gates Foundation to significantly increase global access to priority vaccines by lowering their manufacturing cost”.

Vaccines are a powerful contributor to the improvement of global health, with corresponding economic and societal value in averted costs, productivity gains and poverty reduction. A number of factors limit complete global immunization coverage, including prohibitive costs for procuring and distributing vaccines in lower income countries. A substantial reduction in the cost of manufacturing vaccines could help enable affordable, equitable and sustainable immunization on a global scale.

Under the terms of the agreement, the consortium will develop a manufacturing platform that integrates continuous processing with extremely high process intensification. This combination allows miniaturization of commercial manufacturing to the point where it can be performed in locally deployed, self-contained, small footprint, low-cost micro-facilities. The platform will leverage Univercells’ process intensification and integration capabilities and technologies; Natrix’s novel single-use chromatography membrane platform; and Batavia’s vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities. The initial target is to establish a micro-facility for inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV) that can deliver 40 million doses of trivalent vaccine per year at a manufacturing cost of less than $0.15 per dose. The platform concept can be applied to any viral vaccine and the reduced scale and simplified operations that it delivers will lower the hurdles for vaccine manufacturers in developing countries while maintaining high safety and containment.

José Castillo, CTO and co-founder of Univercells, stated: “We are excited about this partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With Batavia Biosciences and Natrix Separations, our consortium integrates considerable experience, know-how and innovative but proven technologies that tremendously increase manufacturing productivity. As a result, we expect our integrated platform to be a real game-changer for global health.”

Batavia: Lentivirus for first patient NL

It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that we would like to congratulate Leiden University Medical Center and the research team on their recent accomplishment using the lentivirus. Researchers have successfully treated a baby with stem cell gene therapy for severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID). This form of SCID (which often claims the life of the victim before finishing their first year of life), had previously never been treated with gene therapy and now the disease has been successfully cured.

Batavia Biosciences is proud to announce that we were able to play a role in helping reduce human suffering as Batavia produced the lentivirus vector for this incredible project. Professor Frank Staal references the lentivirus vector as the “wheelbarrow that brings the gene to the right place” within the article. It’s apparent that amazing work is being done by the top names in the gene therapy field, and we are honored to be able to contribute with our expertise in viral vectors, specifically, the lentivirus in this project.

Wilfried Bakker, Director of Science and Innovation, states, “To be part of this development, we could not be prouder. Our contribution of the lentivirus vector to treat this form of SCID means a lot to us, but even more to the patient and future patients with this life-threatening form of SCID.”

Read the full press release with the links provided:

Volkskrant Article 
LUMC Press Release

New Head of BD: Ron van Eijsden

With Ron van Eijsden heading the Sales and Business Development team, Batavia expands its Management Team and reinforces its sales activities to support the ambitious expansion plans.

In 2021, Batavia successfully doubled its viral vector process development capacities in Woburn, MA, USA. This year, Batavia will double its infrastructure in Leiden, the Netherlands, to support the growing demand for process development and analytical capabilities in pursuit of viral vaccines and viral vector-based products. As part of its ambition, Batavia also started preparations to build a clinical and commercial manufacturing facility in Leiden, to support its clients. With these expansions, Batavia will offer end-to-end development and manufacturing support to its customers thus living up to its vision in helping to reduce human suffering from infectious diseases and cancer.

Ron van Eijsden commented: “I am excited to be part of the Center of Excellence CDMO Batavia and working to improve the affordability and availability of innovative and life-saving biopharmaceuticals. We work for some of the most exciting biopharma companies, academia, charity organizations and governmental organizations at the forefront of biopharmaceutical development. In my role as head of Business Development I can seamlessly combine my passion for networking and business development whilst making an impact on Global Health and bringing medicines to patients faster. I like that, at Batavia, it is not only about executing what our customers ask for, but about being a thought partner in designing the most optimal development roadmap”.

Ron has a PhD in molecular biology and an extensive career in business development within the red biotech industry. Prior to joining Batavia, Ron has worked in a variety of senior roles in various biopharmaceutical and biotech companies, including DCPrime, Pepscope, HAL Allergy, Catalyst Clinical Research, Linical Accelovance and Medelis Europe.

Increased Capacity in The Netherlands

Leiden, The Netherlands,  June 14, 2022 – Today, Batavia Biosciences announces the expansion of its headquarters and R&D capacities in the Netherlands. The infrastructure increases capacity with another 22,500 sq. ft., firmly demonstrating the company’s commitment to act as pacemakers within the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical market.

The expansion allows the company to increase its R&D activities for viral vector-based product development including Lentivirus, AAV, Adenovirus, and Measles virus vectors. In addition, the increased R&D infrastructure helps to meet increased global demand for vaccine development, be it live-attenuated, whole killed, vectored, or subunit vaccines. The expansion will be finalized by June 2023.

Menzo Havenga, CEO of Batavia Biosciences, states, “At Batavia, we are reminded daily of the urgency of bringing medicines to patients in need. With this infrastructure expansion, our contribution of award-winning process development and clinical manufacturing of vaccines and vector-based products can continue its ascent to new heights. No doubt this will further enable us getting the necessary medicines and therapies into the patients’ hands faster and make them more affordable.”

Chris Yallop, CSO at Batavia Biosciences, adds, “The new laboratory floor space for R&D and analytical capabilities will aid the development capacity for customer projects. The increased allocation for R&D capacity better positions Batavia Biosciences to serve as pacemakers to the community and to continue to bring promising candidate biopharmaceuticals from bench to clinic.”

ViE Award

Washington, April 20, 2022 – Batavia Biosciences was honored this week during the Vaccine Industry Excellence (ViE) Awards show at the World Vaccine Congress with the award for Best Production/Process Development. The ViE Awards provide a time and place to celebrate the industry’s most outstanding achievements showcasing excellence in the global vaccine industry. Being recognized for the award is affirmation and a testament to the employees incredible work at Batavia. Helping to reduce human suffering and provide affordable and equitable access of vaccines to everyone has been and will continue to be our goal.

Judges at the ViE Awards evaluated Batavia and other shortlisted competitors looking for evidence and examples around 5 major areas:

  • Demonstration of ongoing commitment to provide production technology globally and reducing lead times for its customers
  • Demonstration of end-to-end suite solutions to customers
  • Demonstration of outstanding thought leadership and spearheading innovation
  • Raising the bar on process standards
  • Demonstration of quality of relationships with clients

Batavia was able to provide sound evidence for each category and take home the prestigious award. Batavia is a Center of Excellence CDMO and next to providing high quality services, we provide thought partnership, share best practices, perform research, and provide support.

Menzo Havenga, CEO Batavia Biosciences, says: “I am proud of what we have achieved with Batavia in the past 12 years. This award is a great recognition for our efforts to make vaccine manufacturing more affordable to support accessibility for all in need.”

We would also like to congratulate other shortlisted candidates for the Best Productions/Process Development award; Moderna, LumaCyte, Millipore Sigma, Sartorius Stedim Biotech, BD Medical, Pharmaceutical Systems, and Eppendorf.

Batavia manufactures LASV vaccine candidate for IAVI who today announced the first vaccinations of their Lassa fever vaccine candidate

Batavia Biosciences would like to congratulate IAVI on their press release, as today they’ve announced volunteers in Monrovia, Liberia have been vaccinated with IAVI’s novel vaccine candidate against Lassa fever virus (LASV) in a Phase I clinical trial, named IAVI C102, supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

‘LASV causes significant annual outbreaks of an acute viral illness called Lassa fever, which is endemic in many parts of West Africa. Outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Togo have resulted in nearly 6,000 suspected cases and more than 180 deaths since early 2022, according to reports by the World Health Organization (WHO).’

IAVI’s LASV vaccine candidate was manufactured by Batavia in Leiden, The Netherlands. As a contract-development and manufacturing organization focused on delivering sustainable, low-cost manufacturing solutions in the field of infectious disease and cancer, we intend to continue to strengthen our partnership with IAVI and continue to develop an end-to-end platform for more flexible, low-cost production of epidemic preparedness vaccines.

Congratulations to everyone involved in helping reduce human suffering from infectious diseases

Link to IAVI Press Release

Low-cost viral vector manufacturing

High-throughput screening for viral vectors

Viral vector manufacturing

Thermostable viral envelope protein formulation

Maximizing protein expression