Dr. Andreas Neubert, Chief Science Officer, IDT Biologika
As healthcare professionals begin to administer COVID-19 vaccinations across the globe, the conversation about vector-based treatments has expanded. Viral vectors are relatively new to the industry and even newer to the market, having only been developed 20 years ago, but their value has become more apparent as pharmaceutical technologies and capabilities have evolved.
Viral vectors contain a safe virus carrier that transports extraneous gene information into the vaccinated organism, causing immunological reactions or enabling integration of desired genes into the cells for therapeutic purposes.
In addition to prophylactic vaccines for disease prevention, viral vectors can also be used for gene therapy treatments. Here specific genes are introduced into cells for expression of specific therapeutic proteins. However, the diversity of viral vectors, along with their newness, means many drug manufacturers still do not have the means to scale up their production.
More often than with most traditional biologics, companies must turn to CDMOs to bring vector-based products to market. So, it is important that they know how to assess a CDMO’s capabilities for helping them achieve their goals. It is just as important that CDMOs know how to learn from their clients.