Merck VirusExpress Lentiviral Production Platform

Thursday, 15 October, 2020 | Supplied by: Merck Pty Ltd

Merck has bolstered its viral vector manufacturing capabilities with the launch of its VirusExpress Lentiviral Production Platform, designed to get lifesaving cell and gene therapies to patients quickly. The platform helps to overcome lentiviral production challenges and can reduce process development time by approximately 40%, according to the company.

By using a suspension cell line rather than an adherent-based production, coupled with a chemically defined cell culture media and process with built-in scalability, the platform is designed to meet multiple market needs. In addition to accelerating process development, the suspension culture format allows each batch of virus to be larger, yielding more patient doses. Additionally, suspension culture is amenable to true scale-up, while being less labour-intensive. The chemically defined medium also eliminates the safety, regulatory and supply chain concerns related to animal- and human-derived materials.

The platform offers a simplified upstream workflow, making processes easy to manage, adjust and scale. Flexible licensing allows companies to manufacture vectors by using either Merck’s contract manufacturing capabilities, a third-party contract development and manufacturing organisation, or in-house development.

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