Vector BioMed Launches in Maryland with Gene Therapy Industry Veteran at Helm to Address the Vector Supply Bottleneck with End-to-End Solutions Platform
Jan 31, 2023, Gaithersburg, MD.
Vector BioMed, a leading gene therapy CDMO company specializing in the development and manufacture of lentiviral vectors, has announced its official launch and first financing round led by Viking Global Investors and Casdin Capital. The funds raised will support the acceleration of commercial operations, providing quick access to high-quality lentiviral vectors for pre-clinical development, clinical trials, and commercialization.
Vector BioMed sets itself apart from traditional contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) by providing a complete solution to partners. This includes providing a standard platform process with the necessary capabilities to take their lentiviral vector-based medicinal concepts from an inventor into the clinic and expediting their journey to commercialization. Vector BioMed aims to address the industry’s current vector supply shortage by offering scalable lentiviral vectors, along with turnkey solutions for vector design and optimization, pre-clinical manufacturing, GMP manufacturing, and other support services.
With the launch, co-founder Boro Dropulić, Ph.D., MBA has been named CEO of Vector BioMed. Dr. Dropulić brings over 30 years of leadership and experience in the design, development, manufacturing, clinical translation, regulatory, clinical implementation, and commercialization of Lentiviral vector technology. He was part of the team that first demonstrated the safety of lentiviral vectors in humans, and later founded Lentigen, which developed the lentiviral vector used in the production of Kymriah™, the first FDA-approved gene therapy product. He also co-founded Caring Cross, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development of advanced medicines and access to cures for all patients.
“Now is the perfect time to launch our business,” said Dr. Dropulić. “With the FDA granting approval of several gene therapy products, there is now a tremendous demand for the manufacture of lentiviral vectors, which are critical for clinical trials and commercialization. Vector BioMed aims to transform the industry by providing algorithm-optimized, high-titer, and high-quality Lentiviral vectors for partners that seek to move quickly to clinical trials and commercialization. Our team has decades of experience manufacturing lentiviral viral vectors, providing tremendous value for our partners.”
The exponential demand for custom lentiviral vectors, the preferred method for delivering genes into therapeutic cellular populations, is driven by the success of CAR-T cell therapy in cancer and hematopoietic stem cells for genetic diseases. There is currently an 18–24-month backlog for lentiviral vector manufacturing services. Vector BioMed is poised to meet the significant market need for lentiviral vectors, offering improved solutions such as algorithm-optimized vectors with superior vector titer and function, and a serum-free suspension vector manufacturing process suitable for rapid clinical development and scalable for commercialization.
Co-Founder and board member James Kenny added, “Vector BioMed’s management team has decades of experience in the commercialization of lentiviral vector technologies. I have known Dr. Dropulić for decades, and his reputation in the lentiviral vector space is well-known, having led the first-ever clinical trial that established the safety of lentiviral vectors in humans. He and his team also developed the original lentiviral vector that is used in the production of Kymriah®, the first FDA-approved gene therapy product. We are very excited to be partnering with Viking and Casdin, two world-class organizations, to accelerate Vector BioMed’s capabilities and services.”
Dr. Dropulić added: “We are delighted to be partnered with Viking and Casdin, both highly experienced investors in the cell and gene therapy space. They bring significant resources and expertise to accelerate our goal to become the preferred solution for partners needing Lentiviral vectors for clinical development and commercialization of their therapeutic candidates.”
About Vector BioMed
Vector BioMed is a state-of-the-art vector contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in best-in-class lentiviral vectors to increase efficiencies in clinical development and commercialization of cell and gene therapies. Vector BioMed’s services include turn-key solutions for vector design, vector optimization, pre-clinical manufacturing, validation, and GMP manufacturing to address the biotechnology industry’s current vector supply bottleneck by providing high-titer lentiviral vectors from bench to clinic to commercialization. Vector BioMed is the first company to be originated by Caring Cross, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development of advanced medicines and enabling access to cures for all patients. For more information on Vector Biomed visit https://vectorbiomed.com/.”
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Over the past 11 years, Chris has grown BioBuzz into a respected brand that is recognized for its community building, networking events and news stories about the local biotech industry. In addition, he runs a Recruiting and Marketing Agency that helps companies attract top talent through a blended model that combines employer branding and marketing services together with a high powered recruiting solution.