This week, our guests are Romualda Stragienė, director at Innovation Agency Lithuania and Andrius Sliuzas, export key account manager of high tech industries at Innovation Agency Lithuania; 4basebio CEO Heikki Lanckriet; and Yoshitsugu Shitaka, chief scientific officer at Astellas.
4basebio, a spinout of 2Invest AG in 2020, is a life sciences company engaged in the design, manufacture and supply of application-specific synthetic DNA or mRNA, as well as targeted non-viral vectors for the delivery of nucleic acid payloads, for use in cell and gene therapies and vaccines.
As cell and gene therapies expand, there is an increasing demand for DNA as a therapeutic agent and in the manufacture of mRNA. Existing plasmid DNA supply is produced by way of biofermentation. Synthetic DNA, in contrast, is produced in a matter of weeks using an enzymatically-driven bench top process. 4basebio currently produces four types of DNA constructs, which also offer unique application-specific flexibility and benefits.
4basebio is also developing non-viral delivery technology to overcome some of the challenges associated with commonly used viral vector and LNP (lipid nanoparticle) solutions.
Despite its small population of fewer than 3 million people, the Baltic country Lithuania punches above its weight in the life sciences. A major outlet of the Thermo Fisher Scientific is based in its capital city, Vilnius, for example. And the Life Sciences Center at Vilnius University was added to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory network in 2020, opening the door to major EU investments into biotech research in the center.
More than 400 companies are working in Lithuania’s growing life sciences sector, and the space is growing every year.
Astellas Pharma Inc. is a Japanese-headquartered pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. It utilizes its ‘Focus Area Approach,’ which is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs.
The company recently committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.