The proprietary NevoLine platform was initially developed for the production of cost-effective inactivated polio vaccines.
Univercells, Batavia Biosciences and Merck recently participated in a two-year Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge program focused on the development of a new manufacturing system to decrease the cost, footprint and time-to-market for vaccine manufacturing, with the initial target an affordable inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV).
Univercells was responsible for developing the manufacturing platform, Batavia Biosciences the specific polio manufacturing process and Merck the purification membrane. The consortium was able to achieve the production of an sIPV at a very low cost of goods, less than $0.30 per trivalent dose. The three companies are now using funding from an additional $4 million grant to scale-up the manufacturing system and process for clinical and commercial production.
Univercells, meanwhile, has launched its new proprietary manufacturing platform, which it calls the NevoLine bioproduction system for vaccines. According to the company, the automated system is based on a novel process architecture that allows for safer, faster and closed bioprocessing within a much smaller footprint, through the interconnection of intensified unit operations in a continuous process. The yields are higher and the costs lower, leading to a cost per dose that is five times less than that for vaccines produced with current technologies.
The first system will be installed at Batavia Biosciences’ polio-dedicated biosafety level 3 facility in Leiden, the Netherlands. It is self-contained in a 6-m² series of isolators. Four units together can be used to produce 50 million sIPV doses per year for an estimated capital cost of $20M, according to Univercells CEO and co-founder Hugues Bultot.