A public-private partnership between UZ Ghent and Ziphius Vaccines, a firm producing vaccines and treatments based on self-amplifying RNA (saRNA), has been announced. The collaboration entails scaling up and producing prophylactic self-amplifying RNA vaccines in accordance with GMP guidelines.
The partnership, in which a university hospital makes preventive saRNA vaccines of GMP quality for an industry partner, is unique in Europe. The collaboration fits the Belgian government’s R&D Biopharma agenda, which promotes collaboration and coordination to hasten Belgium’s participation in a few key breakthrough platforms, including mRNA.
Together, Ziphius and UZ Ghent want to strengthen Belgium’s status as a top global biopharma hub and make investments to be ready for emerging health challenges such as pandemic preparedness.
Self-amplifying RNA and carrier technologies from Ziphius are built to support effective, adaptable, and quick responses to health concerns. The multi-antigenic platform enables simultaneous coding of several different proteins of interest as well as extended expression at lower levels, thereby minimising side effects.
Based on encouraging results, the platform is being used to quickly grow the company’s pipeline and advance a number of development initiatives, such as preventative vaccines for communicable diseases and gene supplement therapies for the cure of uncommon genetic disorders.
They believe it is crucial to allow trials for potentially game-changing vaccines because COVID-19 has severely affected the healthcare industry, according to director of GMP Unit Cell Therapy, Professor Dr. Bart Vandekerckhove. By doing this, they are building the framework for a large population to have access to these protective immunizations.
This PPP is an illustration of how collaboration may result in value being created. According to Chris Cardon, CEO of Ziphius Vaccines, they strive for faster velocity and efficiency through the lab-to-patient route, and this with a superior product. He continued, it is not just the government’s but also their responsibility to be equipped for the next pandemic.