Posted: 2 February 2022
Cytiva, a global life sciences leader, announces the winner of its first BioChallenge for the Australia and New Zealand region (ANZ). The competition attracted 32 proposals from academic institutions and start-up companies across the region’s biotechnology industry. They were evaluated by a panel of independent judges. VivaZome Therapeutics, an emerging exosome-derived therapies developer, was ultimately awarded the top prize valued at approximately AUD $200,000.
Since the global BioChallenge was launched in 2018, Cytiva has overseen more than 130 projects. The company has provided approximately four million USD of products and services to support research, bioprocessing development, and commercialisation. In the first ANZ BioChallenge, the focus was on empowering biotech researchers and companies in three areas: cell engineering, process development and isolation as well as chromatography and filtration purification.
VivaZome’s winning entry depicted the company’s efforts to develop a universal exosome manufacturing process, with an aim is to produce off-the-shelf regenerative medicines without existing hurdles of delivering live cells to patients. Professor David Haylock, CEO of VivaZome Therapeutics, says “Our team is working to be a global leader in providing novel, valuable and safe exosome-derived therapies for devastating and life-threatening diseases. To make our vision real, we value the opportunity provided by BioChallenge to download industry experience and know-how from Cytiva.”
Jarrod Belcher, Director, Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry Initiative, MTP Connect, says:
“The Cytiva Biochallenge provides funding and services & expertise to winning applicants to help grow local biomanufacturing in Australia. We appreciate industry support like this contributing to the commercialisation efforts of Australia’s world-class research.”
In 2021, Cytiva, along with the Financial Times’ research arm Longitude, compiled a global index based on a survey of 1165 biopharma executives and healthcare policymakers across 20 countries. The Index ranked the ability of the biopharma industry to respond to five major challenges in supply chain, talent, research and development, manufacturing, as well as government policy and regulation. The index identified talent pool and R&D collaboration as restraints to the ANZ biopharma industry to achieving self-sufficiency. As a committed industry leader, Cytiva hopes to support the industry by turning challenges into opportunities.
Tim O’Meara, Project Leader for the ANZ BioChallenge at Cytiva says “excellent research facilities, world-class capabilities and a strong but flexible regulatory regime have made ANZ a powerhouse of biotechnology. We hope BioChallenge can help discover and showcase promising industry researchers and companies with the support of Cytiva’s expertise, products, and services.”
As part of the award, Cytiva will provide VivaZome and the other award-winning companies with its well-sought Fast Trak Services and training worth nearly AUD $360,000 throughout 2022. Cytiva will also seek to nurture and further develop early-stage innovations through joint efforts.
Please stay tuned to the Cytiva Bioprocess Training and Service page for the latest updates.
Cytiva is a global life sciences leader that works with academic and translational researchers, developers and manufacturers of biotherapeutics, cell and gene therapies, and new technologies such as mRNA, to enable the delivery of transformative medicines. Cytiva is a trusted expert with nearly 10 000 associates in 40 countries dedicated to customers’ speed, flexibility, capacity and efficiency in drug discovery, research, and manufacturing.
VivaZome Therapeutics Pty Ltd is a privately held Australian biotech company, with operational headquarters at the La Trobe University Technology Enterprise Centre in Melbourne, Australia. VivaZome aims to develop and commercialize exosome-based therapies for debilitating and/or life-threatening disorders, with an initial focus on ischemia, fibrotic disease and neurological disorders. For more information, please visit www.vivazome.com.