Gene therapy developers see an expanded viral toolbox

There are still many challenges in gene therapy analytics and manufacturing according to gene therapy developers. Our Global Technical Director,  Alfred Luitjens  was interviewed on this topic by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. The interview was in response to his presentation on the manufacturing of a lentiviral vector for a gene therapy against RAG1-SCID at the PepTalk conference 2020.

Link to  full  article.

Gene therapies push AAV vector production

Several virus types have been studied for use as viral vectors in gene therapy, including adenovirus, lentivirus, retrovirus, and adeno-associated virus (AAV). All platforms have their own advantages over one of the others. The recent successes with AAV and lentivirus give these vectors a boost in development. In combination with the fact that they are well studied, might make them the frontrunner for some therapeutic applications. Our Technical Lead, Kai Touw, has been interviewed by BioPharm International to discuss the potential and challenges of viral vector production for gene therapy.

Link to full article.

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