Gene therapy holds the potential to dramatically change healthcare for the better. Many of these viral therapies address patient populations that have no other options for treatment. AAV is one of the leading viral vectors for gene therapy applications, with a well-characterised safety profile, and (relatively) low immunogenicity. The initial approved gene therapy products on the market, such as Luxturna (2017) and Zolgensma (2019) utilize AAV as the delivery vehicle.
However, while new AAV therapies are being constantly developed, the manufacturing capacity for viral vectors is not able to address the demand. Some estimates indicate, for example, that the entire current capacity of the viral manufacturing industry is only capable of supplying a fraction of the viral vector doses needed to address Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, a single disease indication. Novel solutions need to be applied to bottlenecks within the manufacturing process to supply the needs of patients waiting for these therapies. One of the major bottlenecks, addressed in this webinar, is the problem of low manufacturing yield.
Historically, viral manufacturers will focus on three major categories to increase yield: cell line and vector engineering, media optimization and bioreactor design. These methods often provide substantial increases to yield. However, none of them address antiviral defences in production cells. These defences actively attack and degrade foreign genetic material used to make viruses, as well as the viral products made by the cell. As a result, viral yield on a per-cell basis can be significantly affected.
Register for this webinar to learn about process intensification and the role of antiviral defences in AAV gene therapy systems.
Prof. Amine Kamen, Professor, McGill University
Professor Kamen has expertise in the fields of bioprocess optimization and scale-up, viral vaccine manufacturing, viral vectors and nanoparticles, cell culture engineering and process analytical technologies and process control. Prof. Kamen is the Canada Research Chair in Bioprocessing of Viral Vectors and a Researcher Emeritus with the National Research Council of Canada.
Dr. Sarah Wootton, Associate Professor, University of Guelph
Dr. Sarah Wootton is an Associate Professor of Veterinary Virology in the Department of Pathobiology at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph in 1997, and her PhD in veterinary virology from the same institute in 2002.
Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo, CEO, Virica Biotech
Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo, PhD, is a Scientist with broad expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology, cancer therapeutics and viral immunology. Dr. Diallo is an internationally recognized expert in oncolytic virotherapy and was seminal in the discovery of Viral Sensitizers and its development for virus manufacturing and cancer therapy applications in combination with oncolytic viruses.
Who Should Attend?
Key Decision Makers for Process Development or New Technology Evaluation for:
- Biotech companies
- Vaccine producers
Including positions equivalent to:
- CEO, CFO, CTO, CSO
- VPs of Scientific Operations
- Directors of Product Development and Innovation
- Research Scientists
- Product Managers
What You Will Learn
In this webinar, attendees will learn about:
- AAV biology and its use in cell and gene therapies
- State-of-the-art production of cell and gene therapies
- Current process intensification methodology
- New strategies available to properly attenuate anti-viral defences in the production system: viral sensitizer technology
Virica is the first company to develop and commercialize Viral Sensitizers (VSE™) as a solution to the challenge of Antiviral Defences in the manufacturing of viral vectors. VSEs are patented small molecules, including known drugs and novel synthetic compounds, that transiently attenuate antiviral pathways in cells and, thus, can increase both virus production and therapeutic efficacy of viral medicines.
Virica’s VSE platform evolved from research conducted by Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo, Virica’s Scientific Founder and CEO and a world-recognized leader in oncolytic viral therapies, at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). Dr. Diallo and his team have developed unique high-throughput virology methods that have to date identified over 100+ VSEs.