5. November 2020
ABL Europe, University Clinic of Tuebingen and Prime Vector Technologies partner for a 2nd generation COVID-19 vaccine
ILLKIRCH (STRASBOURG), France, Nov. 5, 2020
The University Clinic of Tuebingen (Universitaetsklinikum Tuebingen, (UKT)), a center for high-performance medicine, research and teaching, Prime Vector Technologies (PVT), a Biotech Startup focusing on development of viral vector based vaccines and ABL Europe (ABL), a global Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) and Contract Research Organization (CRO) a subsidiary of the French bioindustrial group Institut Mérieux, announced that they have signed a development agreement. ABL will develop and manufacture UKT’s COVID vaccine candidate in preparation for clinical trials. The vaccine is being developed using a proprietary Orf virus (ORFV). This development effort is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and led by UKT in close alignment with the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. The process was initially developed in collaboration with the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, a university for applied science.
ORFV vector has an excellent safety profile, stable expression and will be well suited for the possibility of multiple dose immunizations. The multivalent vector vaccine will present two different antigens of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, expected to increase the immune response of those immunized with the vaccine. The efficacy of the ORFV platform has been demonstrated in animal models to effectively convey immunity to a variety of infectious diseases.
Dr. Ralf Amann, Project Leader in the ORFV Laboratory at UKT, said „In light of the urgency to find effective therapies against COVID, it is deeply satisfying to have this historical opportunity to take a vaccine candidate from the ORFV platform, on which our labs at the UTK have been diligently working for so many years, into first in human clinical studies.“
Specialized viral vector manufacturing
Due to the urgent need by the German government, ABL and UKT have collaborated to accelerate the timelines designed specifically to accommodate the complex biotechnological manufacturing processes.
„In the fight against this pandemic, ABL is proud to leverage our company’s recent experience manufacturing another COVID vaccines to help UKT accelerate the start of clinical trials with their ORFV COVID vaccine candidate,“ added Dr. Patrick Mahieux, Managing Director of ABL Europe. The plan is to have a final viral vector selected by the end of November 2020, with Phase I/II clinical trial expected to begin in May of 2021.
ABL Europe is the European subsidiary of ABL, Inc. — a leading CDMO and CRO harnessing decades of pioneering science and manufacturing expertise to drive the development of innovative therapies and vaccines. ABL has extensive experience working with diverse organizations — including industry, government, and academic entities — to support their quest in improving public health. ABL, Inc. — a subsidiary of the French bioindustrial group Institut Mérieux, which fights against infectious diseases and cancers, through the complementary approaches of its companies in the fields of diagnosis, immunotherapy, food safety and nutrition — maintains global GMP facilities meeting U.S. and European regulatory standards, providing GMP manufacture of virus-based oncolytic therapies, gene therapies, vaccines, and protein-based immunotherapeutic products. ABL’s CDMO services include bulk drug substance, live virus fill/finish of drug product, process and assay development, and bioanalytical testing.
As a CRO, ABL’s immunologists use an integrated array of optimized immunology and molecular laboratory assay platforms, to extract immunological correlates of activity and response in both preclinical studies and clinical trials. To stay informed on the latest updates, please follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our mailing list.
Prime Vector Technologies is an innovative research company developing next generation vaccines based on the ORFV vector platform. Using a modular brick system, the platform technology offers flexibility to generate polyvalent and thus, highly efficient vaccines. Due to its efficiency and potency to induce strong cellular immune responses, PVT not only uses its proprietary platform for the generation of preventive, but also therapeutic vaccines for human and animal health. The company was founded in 2019 as a spin-off from UKT within the BMWi’s EXIST high-tech startup support program.
Founded in 1805, the University Hospital Tuebingen is one of the leading centres of German university medicine. As one of 34 University Hospitals in Germany, it contributes to a successful combination of top-level medicine, research, and teaching.
More than 450,000 in/outpatients from around the world benefit from this connection of science and practice each year, since the clinics, institutes, and centres unite specialists from all fields under one roof. Its experts collaborate across disciplines and offer state-of-the-art research-based treatment to all patients. The University Hospital does research to improve diagnostics, therapies, and healing processes. Many new cutting-edge treatments are clinically tested and applied in Tuebingen.