The Gosselies-based Univercells received a $12 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a breakthrough vaccine manufacturing platform. The objective is to radically lower costs and increase vaccine availability and affordability in developing countries. The development will be performed by a consortium, including Batavia Biosciences and Natrix Separations.
Hugues Bultot, CEO and co-founder of Univercells says: “We are extremely honored to partner with the Gates Foundation to significantly increase global access to priority vaccines by lowering their manufacturing cost”.
The consortium will focus on developing a manufacturing platform that integrates continuous processing with extremely high process intensification. This combination will allow miniaturization of commercial manufacturing to the point where it can be performed in local, low-cost micro-facilities. The first target is to create a polio vaccine facility, that produces 40 million doses per year, costing only 0.15$ per dose.
José Castillo, CTO and co-founder of Univercells, stated: “We are excited about this partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With Batavia Bioscience and Natrix Separations, our consortium integrates considerable experience, know-how and innovative but proven technologies that tremendously increase manufacturing productivity. As a result, we expect our integrated platform to be a real game-changer for global health."
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