Going Dutch: Intravacc paves way for in-country vaccine production

CDMO Intravacc has started a concept design for a so-called ‘Multi-Purpose Vaccine Production Plant’ in response to COVID-19.

Dutch contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Intravacc has signed a letter of intent alongside Bilthoven Biologicals, Poonawalla Science Park and Alt Foundation to begin developing a Multi-Purpose Vaccine Production Plant (MPVPP) at Utrecht Science Park, Bilthoven.

According to Intravacc, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the Netherlands regarding the development and manufacturing of vaccines for its own population.  The firm hopes it will strengthen the Dutch vaccine production and development chain.

Utrecht Science Park. Image c/o Utrecht Science Park website

Initially, the MPVPP will potentially offer a ‘pilot light function’ which can be used immediately in pandemic situations. However, the plant will also be available to produce vaccines by the firm and other companies when normality resumes.

The plans come after the news its pilot production facility is ready for use. In 2019, the firm started building the pilot production facility located at Utrecht It took less than 24 months to build the facility, which is equipped to manufacture candidate vaccines and to support Phase I and II efficacy studies in humans and clinical safety. Work will begin in the second quarter of 2021.

40-200 million batches

The firm said it is possible to construct an MPVPP in 30 months as Utrecht Science Park obtains an extensive environmental permit that is managed by the Alt Foundation.

The site (if approved) will boast a target capacity of between 40 and 200 million doses per year and will operate single-use techniques to enable different vaccine platforms. It will also be suitable to provide fill-finish services and for the formulation and manufacturing of vaccines.

“A new and state-of-the-art MPVPP facility, in combination with the now almost completed pilot plant, would make the Netherlands much less dependent on foreign vaccine production in the event of a future pandemic,” said CEO Jan Groen. “The construction of this MPVPP also contributes to attracting new companies on the Utrecht Science Park site in Bilthoven.”