AAV, easy as M-A-b? CEVEC fundraiser to scale-up production

Germany’s CEVEC claims it can produce adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors as easily as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), and has raised funds to expand and commercialize its production platform.

While the total raised from new and existing investors in the Series D financing has not been disclosed, Cologne, Germany-based CEVEC says it will be used to advance its CAP GT-based stable AAV vector production platform and move it towards commercialization.

As more gene therapies enter the clinic, there is high demand for viral vectors as they are used for delivering the gene of interest to the target cells.

Image: iStock/Dr_Microbe

However, “AAV vectors are very complex particles and can only be assembled by living cells,” CEVEC’s CEO Nicole Faust told this publication. “When using traditional production platforms, the building instruction (i.e. genetic information) for the AAV vectors has to be delivered to the producing cells with each production run.”

This, she continued, requires complex technology such as transient transfection or helper viruses, which severely limits the scale and reproducibility of the production process.

The CAP GT-based platform can overcome this as the producer cells “permanently carry the AAV blueprint with assembly instructions, which greatly simplifies the production process,” Faust said.

“CEVEC is the first and only company to offer a solution that makes the production of AAV vectors as easy as the production of monoclonal antibodies.”

Pharma partners and CDMOs

CEVEC works with several pharma companies engaging in gene therapy and many dedicated gene therapy companies in Europe and the US.

“The funding will accelerate the scale-up of the technology to commercial scale and also attract partners looking for mature processes.”

Currently the firm works with preferred partners for its production needs, including Paragon Bioservices – set to be acquired by Catalent for $1.2 billion – and according to Faust continues to expand its strategic manufacturing partnerships.