Solentim and ValitaCell announce a total of €3.5m funding to produce an integrated platform to deposit, culture, profile and select optimal cells for the manufacture of life-saving biological medicines. Building on the existing partnership between ValitaCell and Solentim announced in February 2019, Microcoat Biotechnologies GmbH, has joined the consortium to further strengthen manufacturing capability and scale.
Over the next 24 months ValitaCell’s novel platform technology, Valita®PIX, along with Solentim’s proprietary instrumentation, will be deployed to create a unique system enabling the automation of data-driven analysis and selection of top clones during the biologic drug manufacturing process. The new platform technology comprises a hardware component enabling precision sample preparation, on-board imaging and sample tracking of clones and cell samples. When combined with a novel plate consumable, this technology will significantly improve ranking and selection of top clones for manufacturing. Selecting clones earlier will speed time to market, creating cost savings and ultimately accelerating access for patients to new medicines.
“Developing cell lines and protocols for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals is an extremely lengthy process and hasn’t changed in 10 years” said Dr. Jerry Clifford, ValitaCell COO. “By working in partnership with Microcoat and Solentim we are able to utilise our analytical solution, Valita®PIX, to enhance scalability and enable deep cell insights in the biomanufacturing process. This will transform and simplify an extremely complex process”.
“We are delighted to be working with ValitaCell on this exciting collaboration. ValitaCell’s novel assay plate technology enables determination of clone productivity in the cloning plates themselves. Previously, the removal of precious sample volume from the cloning plates for off-line analytics has largely been prohibitive. This novel technology negates the need to remove samples and, uniquely, facilitates an in-line measurement”, commented Dr Ian Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer of Solentim. “This complements our objective of creating a complete suite of products for cell line development, providing a simple turnkey solution for customers from transfection to early selection of best manufacturing clones based on their critical quality attributes”, added Dr Taylor.
The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is part of the EU Horizon 2020 programme and provides funding for close-to-market innovation activities in technology. The funding aims to reduce the time from idea to market and promote close-to-the-market innovation activities open to industry-driven consortia.
Bournemouth, UK and Dublin, Ireland, 27th March 2019