UCL Technology Fund secures partnership with Viralgen, leading gene therapy manufacturer

The UCL Technology Fund and Viralgen Vector Core, a Spanish CDMO offering best-in-class manufacturing for gene therapy, have entered into a partnership agreement to support commercialisation of early-stage research from UCL.

Viralgen, created in 2017 in response to the unmet need for manufacturing of gene therapies, specialises in the production of recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors. Their facility in San Sebastian, Spain offers flexibility for customers using rAAV, as they manufacture from small R&D batches to 500L clinical GMP batches, with commercial capacity in a new expansion facility available in 2022.

The partnership agreement provides access for all UCL Technology Fund-associated companies, as well as UCL-associated companies and academic teams to Viralgen’s manufacturing facilities on preferential terms.

The agreement enables access to industry-leading scalability and reproducibility and thus offers an opportunity to accelerate life-changing gene therapies to patients. This represents another stepping stone in the Fund’s commitment to help support clinical development for the world-class research base at UCL.

We’re delighted to offer UCL spinouts and academic teams an opportunity to work with a high quality, vertically integrated CDMO. This partnership reinforces the UCL Technology Fund’s commitment to invest in and help scale early-stage research projects through to global impact.

Simon Goldman, Investment Director, UCL Technology Fund

The opportunity to support the manufacturing and acceleration of projects coming from a center of innovation of UCL’s calibre is exciting for Viralgen and perfectly aligns with our mission to help therapies reach patients by ensuring these programs have access to a robust platform and capacity. We’re thrilled to begin a productive collaboration.

Andy Holt, Vice President of Business Development, Viralgen

About Viralgen

Viralgen is a CDMO born as a joint venture between Askbio and Columbus Venture Partners, combining decades of technology and drug development experience in multiple platforms to support best-in-class service offerings to the gene therapy market.

Viralgen was created in 2017 to respond to the unmet need for manufacturing of gene therapies, with the goal to help broaden access to these life-saving therapeutics and to contribute to the advancement of health and human welfare around the world. We specialize in the production of rAAV viral vectors, and have built an optimized facility in San Sebastian, Spain that maximizes throughput and efficiency of our proprietary Pro10™ suspension manufacturing platform, enabling industry-leading scalability, reproducibility, and speed to market.

Through our superior technology platform, we deliver industry-leading titers and cGMP-certified quality for all AAV serotypes to our client partners, optimize the cost-of-goods, and accelerate clinical development and commercialization of life-saving genetic medicines.

At the end of 2020 Bayer AG acquired Viralgen in an operation that drives growth and expansion plans in San Sebastian.

Viralgen’s new expansion facility focused on late phase and commercial manufacturing will be in production during 2022 in San Sebastian, Spain.

About UCL Technology Fund

The UCL Technology Fund is dedicated to investing in intellectual property commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base, focusing in particular on the physical and life sciences. The Fund helps UCL academics achieve the full potential of innovations that have prospects for outstanding societal and market impact, right through the development journey from initial proof of concept to practical commercial application. The Fund is managed by AlbionVC, a leading independent venture fund manager in the UK, in collaboration with UCL Business.  AlbionVC is a trading name of Albion Capital Group LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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