DiViNe - Sustainable Downstream Processing of Vaccines through Incorporation of Nanobiotechnology: Novel Affinity Ligands and Biomimetic Membranes
Info: H2020-BIOTEC-2014-2015/H2020-LEIT-BIO-2014-1-635770. Funded by the EU.
In the vaccine industry, downstream processing is of extreme importance. Prophylactic vaccines aim at protecting healthy people, so any contaminant has to be discarded with the most drastic measures. But such « negative » approach of eliminating the contaminants comes at the expense of the recovery of product. Yields are poor, thereby inducing a high product cost. Processes are also complex, since they rely on multiple eliminations rather than on recovery of the unique product of interest. Technically, this is mostly due to the lack of specific capture systems that would allow direct, « positive » separation of the vaccine from its environment. Finally, the stringency of such usual processes are deterrent to the product itself, in particular live, enveloped virus-based vaccines. The DIVINE project will tackle the simplicity, yield and cost issues while taking into consideration the diverse environmental conditions for manufacturing, in particular water supply for growing emerging country-based facilities.
DIVINE partners will combine two major Nano/biotechnology innovations to develop an integrated purification process for viral vaccines. This process will mplement Nanofitins (novel custom affinity capture ligands currently used as therapeutic candidates) and Aquaporin-based membranes (biomimetic Forward Osmosis membranes operated in the cleantech industry) for a « positive » purification approach. High yields are expected (data from antibody purification), at affordable cost of goods and with a sustainable approach of water supply.
To enable adoption of this new process, the consortium will work at different scales to generate enough transposition information for it to be used at labscale, pilot scale and industrial scale, in research labs as well as in plants in emerging countries. The ultimate goal for this process is to reach the target sales price of 1$ per dose of vaccine in emerging countries and involves major industrial stakeholders.
The full list of participants in the DiViNe consortium is: iBET (Portugal), Affilogic (France), Aquaporin (Denmark), Merck KGaA (Germany), GenIbet (Portugal) and GSK (Italy).