Collaboration boosts AAV vectors for gene therapy

May 23, 2012
Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports

Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc. and Lonza have announced a manufacturing collaboration focused on process development and scale-up efforts for the manufacturing of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapy.

San Francisco and Basel, Switzerland-Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc. and Lonza have announced a manufacturing collaboration focused on process development and scale-up efforts for the manufacturing of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapy.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

AAV vectors are becoming a promising gene delivery vehicle for the treatment of various diseases, including inherited retinal disorders and age-related macular degeneration.

As part of the agreement, Avalanche and Lonza will make the technology available to third parties and share in the revenue. The Avalanche/Lonza manufacturing collaboration will focus on the development and high-yield production of AAV vectors based on technology that uses stable baculovirus. This technology was licensed by Avalanche from Virovek, which also will play a key role in the collaboration.

“We are delighted to have such a skilled and reputable manufacturing partner in Lonza to help us advance our robust research and development programs using AAV to treat macular degeneration and other blinding diseases,” said Thomas W. Chalberg, PhD, chief executive officer, Avalanche Biotechnologies. “By making our combined technology available to third parties, we hope to allow the entire AAV field to benefit from this best-in-class production process.”

Avalanche Biotechnologies is a privately held biotechnology company that develops technologies and products for sustained delivery of therapeutic proteins to the eye. Lonza is a supplier to the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and life science industries.

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