Cobra Biologics Forms Gene Therapy Manufacturing Pact

Cobra Biologics, a contract biologics manufacturer based in the UK, andTouchlight, a London-based emerging biotechnology with a enzyme technology for large-scale production of DNA, are collaborating on a project to optimize the manufacture of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors used in the delivery of gene therapy treatments. The collaboration aims to evaluate a platform for the safe and rapid production of AAV vectors, using Touchlight's dbDNA™constructs, in conjunction with Cobra's capabilities. The collaborative project is being led by Cobra and is partially funded by Innovate UK who has awarded £320,000 ($467,000) as part of their ongoing support for regenerative medicine and cell therapy development.

AAV vectors are the current delivery vehicle of choice for a large number of gene-therapy treatments, due to their safety and efficacy. However, the advancement of these therapies into clinical trials is currently hampered by the time and expense required to manufacture the DNA constructs used to generate the viral vectors. This collaboration will use a combination of Cobra and Touchlight's strengths in order to evaluate a platform for the production of AAV vectors. Cobra will bring process development, GMP bioprocessing and quality assurance experience for plasmid DNA and viral vectors coupled with its operational knowledge of large-scale manufacturing processes. Touchlight will supply novel dbDNAâ„¢constructs made using their proprietary enzymatic manufacturing process technology for the production of the AAV vectors. Touchlight's technology is capable of generating large quantities of DNA and is suitable for use with larger DNA inserts and gene sequences that are unstable in plasmid-based systems, according to the companies.

Source: Cobra Biologics

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