The partnership will see Univercells Technologies provide support to prepare Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) students for careers in cell and gene therapy.
APHSâ€™ Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET) provides research and training solutions for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing space and is Univercells first US-based training partner.
Under the terms of the deal, of which financial details have not been divulged, Belgian-based firm Univercells is set to give on-site access and training on cutting bioreactor technologies. The company will provide its scale-X hydro and scale-X carbo fixed-bed bioreactor systems as well as collaborate in the development of the related training material and design of the course.
CBET will then â€śtrain the trainerâ€ť on Univercellsâ€™ equipment in the US and provide a beta site for customers wanting to pilot the technology.
â€śThe collaboration offers ACPHS students access to a new and innovative technology platform that they can gain experience on and increase their immediate value when starting their careers in the industry. Their most recent graduating class of 8 students all were immediately hired by well-known pharma companies because this type of expertise is not currently common,â€ť a spokesperson for the firm told BioProcess Insider.
â€śAnd for Univercells Technologies, this helps to increase the exposure of our technology to future leaders in the Cell & Gene Therapy space. It also provides a unique avenue for showing the technology live in a North American demo lab to students, partners and colleagues, and potential customers.â€ť
The initial length of the agreement is three years, but the spokesperson told us that Univercells sees this as a â€ślong-term partnership with no definitive end date.â€ť
ACPHS will invest close to $9 million to renovate laboratory space for quality assurance, quality control, and cell and gene therapy labs. Furthermore, the project will include and support the operation of specialized equipment for contract research and workforce training.
According to CBET, the collaboration with Univercells will help to expand its capabilities in the production of cell lines used in gene therapies and vaccine development. In addition to this, the organization says the technology of the systems provided will enable closed production, therefore reducing costs, complexity, and risks associated with manufacturing.
The spokesperson could not confirm a specific number of how many students are likely to have access to this training but did tell us that â€śthe target is to begin by launching three to four trainings a year.â€ť