Ins and outs: Avid create viral vector position to lead CGT expansion

CDMO Avid Bioservices has appointed Elie Hanania as vice president, process development, viral vector technologies to lead the company’s efforts in the CGT space. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Ins and outs.

Biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Avid Bioservices turned to the production of viral vectors in October with plans to build a 53,000 square foot viral vector development and GMP manufacturing facility in Costa Mesa, California at a cost of around $75 million.

Now, with thirty years of experience in the cell and gene therapy (CGT) space, Hanania joins Avid to support and lead the CDMO’s expansion in this area.

Image: Stock Photo Secrets

Drew Brannan, general manager, viral vector technologies at Avid told us the aim of Hanania’s newly created role at Avid is “to develop innovative, reliable and cost-effective processes for the production of viral vectors,” though the firm did not comment further on its strategy to reach this goal.

“Hanania brings an enormous amount of experience with many viral expression systems gained over his 30+ years in viral research and development. We will be looking to leverage his vast technical capability to develop highly efficient viral vector processes such that we can reliably scale up and manufacture these innovative therapies for our clients,” said Brannan.

Most recently Hanania served as director, upstream process development for Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. In this role, he led the process development team who were in charge of upstream production for all therapeutic and viral vector proteins.

Hanania has also spent over ten years in senior level process development roles with MilliporeSigma (life science business of Merck KGaA), in which he held position of company’s head of process development for several years.

According to Avid, Hanania’s extensive experience in the field will be “critical” to helping establish Avid as “one of the CDMO industry’s most trusted partners in the area of viral vectors.”

The California facility is expected to come online more rapidly than anticipated, with the potential to be operational during the first quarter of fiscal 2023.

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