Avalanche Biotechnologies and Lonza have entered a manufacturing collaboration focused on process development and scale-up for adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapy. AAV vectors are promising gene delivery vehicles for the treatment of various diseases including inherited retinal disorders, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), hemophilia B, congestive heart failure, and Parkinson’s disease. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The two companies will make the technology available to third parties and share the revenue. The collaboration will focus on the development and high-yield production of AAV vectors based on a novel technology that uses stable baculovirus. This technology was licensed by Avalanche from Virovek, which will also play a role in the collaboration.
“We are delighted to have such a skilled and reputable manufacturing partner in Lonza to help us advance our robust research and development programs using AAV to treat macular degeneration and other blinding diseases,” said Thomas W. Chalberg, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Avalanche Biotechnologies. “By making our combined technology available to third parties, we hope to allow the entire AAV field to benefit from this best-in-class production process.”
“Lonza’s viral-based therapeutic business specializes in the development, GMP production, and fill and finish of multiple classes of viral vaccines and viral vector-delivered therapeutics,” said David Enloe, Lonza’s head of Viral-based Therapeutics. “With our recent expansion of additional GMP suites that will increase working volumes up to 2,000L, we are poised for the growth we have seen in this sector. We look forward to partnering with Avalanche in this exciting collaboration and we are pleased to be able to add this novel, scalable method for AAV production to our capabilities.”