Oxford Biomedica working to optimize vector production platform

Oxford Biomedica is optimizing its vector production system to boost yields and accelerate production in response to growing demand.

The UK gene and gene therapy firm and contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) talked about efforts to improve its vector production platform last week during its Q4 presentation.

The main aim – according to chief scientific officer Kyri Mitrophanous – is to increase viral vector production capacity and remain competitive.

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“We continue to invest in the lentiviral vector platform in order to maintain our lead in this area and to further industrialize the manufacturing processes.

“There is a lot of competition in lenti- technology and manufacturing and we want to make sure we have the best of these either by developing them ourselves or potentially in-licensing.”

Process C

To boost capacity Oxford is working to optimize its bioreactor processes by incorporating technologies that improve yield and quality such as U1/U2 trip and SecNuc systems Mitrophanous said.

“We are calling [this] process C and this will incorporate technologies such as the improved bioreactor processes, U1/U2 that I mentioned TRiP and SecNuc.

“For process C, we are likely to have a menu of technologies to choose from depending on the specific needs of that product. Looking further into the future of process C would encompass technologies, such as producer cell lines as well as aspects of process C.”

He added that the firm is looking to make most products using packaging or producer cell lines as these have better scalability and productivity.

Fine tuning

The CDMO is also investing to try and accelerate production.

Mitrophanous said, “One of the challenges in gene therapy, manufacture is the time to product release. We are investing in technologies such as automation and developing assays that will speed this up.

“We are analyzing our production cells and vectors for their RNA and protein content and also analyzing batches during production. These types of analyses generate huge datasets that are best processed, understood by AI and machine learning.”

Oxford is working with Synthace and Microsoft. The aim is to better understand vector production to improve yield and quality and remove steps that are not needed.

Work on Oxford’s Lentivector platform will – in addition to increasing capacity – also try to improve the quality of vector with a focus on removing impurities.

The CDMO also aims to give users an expanded toolbox Mitrophanous said, explaining “we are seeking to develop vectors that allow regulation of the gene of interest to fine tune the therapeutic effect and also developing targeted vectors to be able to genetically modify specific cells.”

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