Novel Vector Discovery

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To create next-generation vectors, we use a multi-step process known as directed evolution. Our directed evolution technology uses a library of engineered AAV capsid genes, which exhibit different properties and capabilities than naturally occurring AAVs. Once we have created an initial pool of millions of different AAVs, we screen the AAVs in the pool for novel properties, e.g., specific transduction of a particular cell type, or the capability to evade pre-existing neutralizing immune response. Once capsids with desirable properties are identified, those capsids are screened to create a smaller pool of optimized vectors which are further screened until we have identified a select number of engineered AAVs with the characteristics we seek.

Manufacturing Process

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Our AAV vector manufacturing process is based on the Baculovirus Expression Vector System (BEVS), which has been used in a number of FDA- and EMA-approved products. This approach is well suited for the production of large quantities of AAVs, as it takes advantage of the efficiency of viral infection coupled with the high density and scalability of insect cells grown in serum-free suspension cultures. Compared to the mammalian cell-based approaches commonly used in the field, our manufacturing process is designed to produce higher yields of vectors per manufacturing campaign in a cost-effective manner.

Our AAV manufacturing method is industrialized, highly scalable and ready for adaptation for commercial stage.