The grant has been given by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the availability of measles and rubella (M&R) vaccines in low and middle-income countries (LMICs)
Univercells announced today that it has been awarded a $14.3 mn grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the availability of measles and rubella (M&R) vaccines in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Univercells will adapt the process design of its proprietary NevoLine platform to deliver affordable M&R vaccines.
Previously, NevoLine platform had successfully applied for Sabin inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV), which was supported by a $12mn Grand Challenges grant awarded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Viral infectious diseases, such as measles and rubella, still represent a significant global health burden despite preventability via vaccination. Effective vaccination programs in LMICs are impaired by a substantial gap of affordable vaccines. Conventional vaccine manufacturing requires high capital and operating costs and does not provide a sustainable or cost-effective solution for the future.
“Univercells will leverage its NevoLine bioproduction platform to sustainably supply measles and rubella vaccines at an affordable cost by minimizing equipment and facility-related capital investment together with lower operating costs,” stated the company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Univercells will develop a NevoLine platform for the measles and rubella processes and initiate clinical validation. As part of this project, Univercells’ partner Batavia Biosciences will adapt its highly intensified production process to the M&R vaccines and manufacture GMP material. Univercells will also explore utilizing novel vaccine delivery technologies under evaluation by the foundation. Combining innovations could further reduce costs, facilitate the execution of immunization campaigns and improve the accessibility of critical vaccines.
“We are dedicated to delivering a portfolio of viral vaccines such as inactivated polio, measles and rubella and other undersupplied vaccines to further increase the availability of these life – saving products,” said Hugues Bultot, CEO and co-founder of Univercells.
José Castillo, CTO and co-founder of Univercells added, “This second project with the foundation confirms the trust built upon our breakthrough technology. It enables Univercells to demonstrate the potential of our NevoLine manufacturing platform to be a game-changer for global health.”