Meet the Company that Mastered Upscaling Gene Therapy Vectors

15/01/2018 - 2 minutes

Developing biopharmaceutical, and especially cell-based products, on an industrial scale, has long been a challenge in the life sciences industry.

Cevec is a German company that has met this growing demand and focuses on the manufacturing of gene therapy vectors and biopharmaceutical proteins. We have met with its CEO and CSO, Nicole Faust, and have spoken to her about the problems of traditional production systems and the importance of safety measures.

With gene therapy as the current hot topic in biotech, the need for larger batches of gene therapy vectors has increased drastically. Many current systems, however, cannot keep up with the pace of production and there is a dire need for the upscaling of manufacturing processes.

Upscaling production with suspension growth…

Compared to traditional cell lines, such as HEK293 or CHO cells, which grow adherently on substrate, Cevec’s CAP cell line can grow in suspension. The benefits? The growth of adherent cells is limited by the size of the substrate, whereas suspensions can be upscaled in large bioreactors.

Computer Image of Zika Virus

Safety is also a great issue. Cevec’s cell line can prevent replication competent adenoviral (RCA) production, “which is something you absolutely do not want in your cells,” says Nicole. Furthermore, the CAP cells have been thoroughly characterized and undergone extensive safety testing.

Recently, Cevec signed a deal with another company for the development of a vaccine against Zika, as it was discovered that the CAP cells produce tenfold better yields than current systems.

If you want to hear more about this and other projects, watch our interview with Nicole Faust, and discover all about Cevec, the problems in gene therapy, upscaling of manufacturing procedures and the differences between cell lines.