Univercells has completed a 400 sqm extension to its Nivelles, Belgium site to support viral development. Modular Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) and 3 (BSL-3) laboratories were installed in an unusually quick timeframe.
These laboratories are dedicated to process development for client and internal projects developing polio, measles and rubella vaccines at an affordable price.
As a counterpart, Univercells engineering workshop hosts the development of proprietary manufacturing technologies, the scale-X bioreactor portfolio and NevoLine biomanufacturing platform, and are run by mechanical, software and electromechanics engineers.
The deployment of the modular laboratory additions was done with half the amount of time and resources that conventional facility construction usually takes. In less than a year, the portable structures were designed, prefabricated offsite, delivered, and assembled into a full laboratory environment.
"Modular labs and cleanrooms are easily transportable and offer cost-effective, low-footprint facilities, an ideal solution to rapidly accommodate Univercells', and other customers', growth," said Hugues Bultot, CEO and co-founder of Univercells.
Modular labs and cleanrooms are easily transportable and offer cost-effective, low-footprint facilities
"We are excited to show how this technology can be implemented internally, and we believe it will be particularly suited to indicate how we can deliver our NevoLine biomanufacturing solutions globally, and how manufacturers can enable this solution to rapidly implement sustainable production units locally," Bultot added.
With the NevoLine biomanufacturing platform, new viral production capacity can be established in existing or new infrastructure with great time, cost and resource savings.
In January 2019, the first NevoLine platform was built in the Nivelles facility to be later transported and installed at partner company, Batavia Biosciences for validation and scale-up (part of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant extension).
The team continues to work to refine the approach for the installation of modular and traditional facilities, to enable companies to update existing space or build out new facilities in a safe, fast and cost-effective manner.
Univercells aims to deliver products that help make biologics available and affordable to all by overcoming traditional bioprocess challenges. On the technology front, the team has developed a new process design with a low footprint to drastically reduce the investment needed and foster the emergence of new cost-effective facilities. And on the product front, the team continues to align with various partners on the development of polio, measles, rubella and rabies vaccines and other biologics.