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Editor of Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
A look at the Univercells' NevoLine bio manufacturing platform, which incorporates principles of automated and continuous bioprocessing.
Europe is the leading region in vaccine production (1); however, if faced with a new epidemic, traditional vaccine infrastructures may struggle to cope with urgent capacity requirements. The Univercells’ NevoLine biomanufacturing platform-initially developed through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2)-has enabled a five-fold cost reduction in the manufacture of a live-attenuated polio vaccine.
“The system consists of a self-contained, single-use, modular, and flexible platform, which incorporates principles of automated and continuous bioprocessing,” says Tania Pereira Chilima, product manager at Univercells. “At its core lies the scale-X bioreactor, a fixed-bed bioreactor which is available on a range of configurations and provides up to 600 m2 of area for cell growth within a 50-L bioreactor. In combination, the systems are capable of producing more than half a million doses of trivalent sIPV per batch.”
Additionally, this ‘smart facility’ concept can be applied to other vaccines and biologic molecules, Pereira Chilima confirms. “We are working on different applications for this facility concept, including its use in the production of affordable and readily available human and veterinary vaccines,” she says. “The platform can also be used to bridge the gaps in viral vector supply in cell and gene therapy. Furthermore, this facility concept can be employed in addressing pricing and availability challenges in the supply of monoclonal antibodies, such as Humira, a trend affecting countries worldwide.”
As part of the Gates Foundation grant to transfer the NevoLine platform along with sIPV process, clinical results, and so on, Univercells is also working on a Global Access Commitments Agreement so that the platform can be implemented in countries in need (3).
1. Vaccines Europe, “The EU Vaccine Industry in Figures,” vaccineseurope.eu, Infographic.
2. Univercells, “$12 million Grant to Develop Breakthrough Vaccine Manufacturing Platform,” Press Release, Dec. 15, 2016.
3. Univercells, “Univercells Introduces Breakthrough Vaccine Manufacturing Platform,” Press Release, Jan. 11, 2019.
Vol. 32, No. 4
When referring to this article, please cite it as F. Thomas, “Continuous Bioprocessing of Vaccines,” BioPharm International 32 (4) 2019.