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Univercells received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a vaccine manufacturing platform.
Univercells announced on Dec. 15, 2016 that it was awarded a $12-million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a breakthrough vaccine manufacturing platform, with the objective of radically lowering costs and increasing vaccine availability and affordability in developing countries. The development will be performed by a consortium that also includes Batavia Biosciences and Natrix Separations.
Under the terms of the agreement, the consortium will develop a manufacturing platform that integrates continuous processing with extremely high-process intensification. This combination allows miniaturization of commercial manufacturing to the point where it can be performed in locally deployed, self-contained, small footprint, low-cost micro-facilities. The platform will leverage Univercells’ process intensification and integration capabilities and technologies, Natrix’s novel single-use chromatography membrane platform, and Batavia’s vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities. The initial target is to establish a micro-facility for inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV) that can deliver 40 million doses of trivalent vaccine per year at a manufacturing cost of less than $0.15 per dose. The platform concept can be applied to any viral vaccine, and the reduced scale and simplified operations that it delivers will lower the hurdles for vaccine manufacturers in developing countries while maintaining high safety and containment.