Aptamer Group and Bio-Works Technologies have entered into an agreement to develop an affinity resin for improved purification and scale up of gene therapy vectors.
Under the agreement, Aptamer Group will develop an Optimer ligand capable of binding and eluting of a viral vector. Bio-Works Technologies will then develop a derivatised resin by coupling the Optimer to its patented WorkBeads agarose beads.
Optimer ligands are nucleic acid-based affinity ligands developed in vitro. The ability to develop highly specific Optimer ligands with no reliance upon the immune system makes them well-suited to development as novel affinity ligands for viral vectors. The ability to tune the Optimer binding profile to allow specific target binding and release conditions can be used to optimise performance in bioprocessing, without compromising the stability or function of the viral vector product.
Arron Tolley, Chief Executive Officer of Aptamer Group, said: “We will be working closely with Bio-Works on the development and assessment of our Optimer ligands on their WorkBeads with the aim to provide an effective solution for gene therapy bioprocessing that can support this industry to scale through more efficient, cost-effective processes.”
Jonathan Royce, Chief Executive Officer at Bio-Works, said: “There is a clear need in the gene therapy market for affinity resins based on a technology other than camelid-antibodies. The current offerings for the affinity purification of viral vectors offer low binding capacity and are not cleanable using standard clean-in-place (CIP) protocols. As viral vector production scales up and matures, more modern solutions are required. We believe that Aptamer Group’s Optimer platform can provide significant improvements in downstream purification of viral vectors. If successful, we also believe that we can collaborate on other affinity targets, since the Optimer technology is a scalable platform which can be tailored to individual targets.”