Dublin (ots/PRNewswire) - Funding to develop high throughput cell
engineering technology to manufacture 'off the shelf' cell therapies.
Project, led by Avectas in partnership with Bluebridge Technologies
and National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training
(NIBRT), would support Ireland's goal of being at the forefront of
cell therapy manufacturing.
Irish cell engineering company, Avectas, is leading a consortium
which will invest EUR7.23 million, including EUR4.4 million awarded
under the Irish Government's Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund
(DTIF), to develop a high-throughput scale of its proprietary cell
engineering platform Solupore®. With consortium partners Bluebridge
Technologies and NIBRT, the project expands Avectas' development
towards commercialising an advanced large-scale, digitalised cell
engineering platform optimised to manufacture 'off-the-shelf'
cell-based therapies for cancer treatment.
The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a EUR500
million fund established under Project Ireland 2040 and run by the
Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment with support from
Headquartered in Ireland, with locations in Toronto, Canada and
Cambridge, USA, Avectas collaborates with leading cell therapy
businesses and research institutes to address their cell engineering
challenges using its patented Solupore technology. Cell therapy is a
rapidly evolving therapeutic approach for cancer. Immune cells are
taken from donors, engineered to make them more effective and then
administered to patients. This award will allow Avectas to expand its
Solupore platform to manufacture next-generation allogeneic products
that can be produced at scale for large numbers of patients.
Bluebridge Technologies will develop a digitalisation dimension for
the platform through the project. They will design, build and test
software components to underpin the manufacturing technology,
highlighting the convergence of cell therapy manufacturing and
digitalisation. NIBRT will test and validate the platform in the
context of an end-to-end manufacturing process and will facilitate
technology adoption by situating the Solupore platform at their
world-class facilities. All parties will work synergistically to
disrupt the manufacture and delivery of cell-based therapeutics to
Avectas has previously won significant award support from the
European Union (under the Horizon 2020 programme). The company is
engaged in work programmes with several therapeutic companies and
leading academic laboratories, including The Simon Laboratory at UC
Davis, California, the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative
Medicine (CCRM) in Toronto and the new NK Cell Centre of Excellence
at Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Speaking today, Dr. Michael Maguire, CEO of Avectas, remarked,
"cell-based therapies offer the extraordinary potential for the
treatment of cancers, and we believe that our Solupore Platform will
disrupt the current cell therapy manufacturing process and help make
Ireland a world centre for this developing area". Prof. Niall Barron
commented, 'NIBRT is delighted to be involved in this exciting
DTIF-funded project which will accelerate the development of
transformative technology for manufacturing revolutionary new
therapies which go beyond being just treatments and in many cases
actually cure patients. This project is a perfect example of the
innovation and ambition that exists in Ireland to be at the forefront
of this exciting new field".
Garret Coady, CEO of Bluebridge Technologies, added, "BlueBridge
Technologies is delighted to be part of this project, which will
showcase the power and promise of digital technologies that have the
potential, not only to enable the delivery of novel therapies but to
do so viably, at scale."
Dr. Maguire thanked the Department of Enterprise, Trade and
Employment for their support: "This is expensive but hugely valuable
work which could not exist without the support of the Department and
the DTIF. We are grateful for that support."
Avectas is a cell engineering company that has pioneered - Solupore -
a proprietary, simple, highly effective automated non-viral cell
engineering system to enable efficient and safe genetic modification,
accelerating the manufacture of cells for the next generation of
The company is partnering its cGMP aligned Solupore clinical-grade
system with cell therapy companies to address emerging cell delivery
challenges associated with multiple cell modifications and
engineering of limited or fragile cells. Additionally, it will
provide regulatory support to partners. Avectas is a private,
international company with research facilities in Dublin, Ireland and
Toronto, Canada, and an office in Cambridge MA, USA. It has over 30
employees, led by a team of highly experienced pharmaceutical
executives supported by a world-class Scientific Advisory Board of
cancer cell therapy experts.
For further information, see www.avectas.com.
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About BlueBridge Technologies
BlueBridge Technologies specialises in safety-critical,
connected-health technology, developing hardware and software
solutions for the biopharma and med-tech sectors, serving clients
such as Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Roche and Medtronic.
For further information, see https://bluebridgetechnologies.com
The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training
(NIBRT) is a global centre of excellence for training and research in
biopharmaceutical manufacturing. NIBRT operates in a world-class
facility in Dublin, Ireland. This facility is purpose-built to
closely replicate a modern bioprocessing plant with state-of-the-art
equipment and enables NIBRT to offer the highest quality training and
research solutions. NIBRT's mission is to support the growth and
development of all aspects of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing
For more information, go to www.nibrt.ie
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