Luina Bio and Griffith University Position to Develop Coronavirus Vaccine

13 March 2020

Luina Bio is delighted to announce they have entered into a MoU with Griffith University targeting the development of a Coronavirus vaccine.

With COVID-19 now declared as a pandemic and world financial markets stumbling, the collaboration between Luina Bio and Griffith University combining Luina Bio’s leadership position in the Australian biopharmaceutical industry with the strength of Griffith University’s rapid response technology has the potential to make a significant contribution towards a COVID-19 vaccine.

Luina Bio brings its wealth of contract manufacture capabilities and experience to the table, an invaluable component in advancing a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate. It is one of Australia’s most experienced biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing organisations, helping bring biomanufacturing projects from early process development to market.

For its part, Griffith University’s Centre for Cell Factories and Biopolymers, at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), has developed a rapid response vaccine platform technology that enables the design and manufacture of a particulate viral vaccine.

The key features of this vaccine platform technology allow for low cost, and large-scale manufacturing of new pilot vaccine candidates ready for pre-clinical and clinical testing against an emerging viral threat. Generation of such candidates can occur in a very short time frame, typically 2-3 months from commencement of the vaccine design process. These features make this technology ideally suited for vaccine development against emerging threats such as the Coronavirus.

“By joining forces, our two organisations are confident that we are well positioned to take up opportunities to speed up vaccine development in Queensland and Australia. An advantage is that the technology will be simpler and less expensive than other options underway,” explained Prof. Bernd Rehm, Principal Research Leader at GRIDD.

“Those combined factors are essential in enabling faster development of a vaccine candidate against emerging pandemic threats such as Coronavirus.”

Under this MoU, Luina Bio and Griffith University aim to work on a variety of vaccine manufacturing projects over the next 5 years. The technology being used is said to provide unique advantages in achieving a viable vaccine that puts it ahead of others in development. Les Tillack, CEO of Luina Bio says the use of E. coli fermentation keeps costs down, can be readily scaled and is a proven technology.

Griffith University has funded proof of principle studies for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate and additional funding is currently being sought through new government initiatives.

“That this project is Brisbane-based provides decided benefits for Australians and we are seeing a spike in interest from the scientific community and the biotech industry to fund and exploit this approach,” he added.

“Those of us in the health and medical fields must band together to find solutions to this health crisis and do it expeditiously. The partnership between Griffith University and Luina Bio paves the way for work to deliver vaccine candidates for the public for both the short- and long-term.”

For further about Luina Bio information, please contact:
Les Tillack Luina Bio CEO


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