Our work is currently being funded by an EXIST Transfer of Research (Forschungstransfer) project named CoProVir at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg.
This project is based on research results from two Bioprocess Engineering PhD theses on novel technologies for virus production. The first thesis introduced a tubular bioreactor that can produce viruses continuously, while the second thesis successfully demonstrated the use of membrane-based filters for their purification. Together, these two innovations can increase the productivity of virus manufacturing by up to an order of magnitude compared to currently available technologies.
The goal of our project is to develop and validate a continuous production system for adeno-associated virus (AAV) with the following features:
It generates a monthly virus harvest of at least 100 L.
It is disposable.
It requires practically no set-up times between production runs.
The output meets the technical requirements of gene therapy research.
We are also investigating the possibility that our technology can form the basis of a universal production platform for the most important virus types in gene therapy.
In addition to the Engineering goals, we are establishing partnerships with strategic allies, investors, and potential customers with a view to founding a startup.
By the end of the project we will have a validated production and purification platform for virus particles that can serve pre-clinical trials and is ready for commercialization.
Continuous Tubular Bioreactor: Setting up a 100 liter per month prototype in order to evaluate its AAV production performance.
Membrane Filter: Obtaining feedback from pilot users on our virus purification kit. We are currently offering this opportunity to any research groups using AAV or other cell-culture based viruses.