COVID-19 project by SIRION Biotech and Universitaetsklinikum Erlangen being accelerated with Bavarian State funding
MUNICH—August 28, 2020 — The Bavarian Research Foundation acknowledges today the progress being made in an ongoing research by SIRION Biotech GmbH (“SIRION”) and the Erlangen University Hospital.1 SIRION is a Munich based world leader in viral vector-based gene delivery technologies for gene and cell therapy. Erlangen is home to a University Hospital founded in 1815 and contributing to making Erlangen the “City of Health and Medicine”.
Viral vector technologies are most sophisticated tools allowing for gene expression in a wide range of applications. Recent results using AAV-mediated expression of anti-HIV antibodies were presented on March 9, 2020, and demonstrated safe and sustained levels of the delivered antibodies in patients’ blood. 2
These data provide evidence that AAV may exhibit protective quantities of virus neutralizing antibodies and this approach can be applied for currently existing SARSCoV2-variants. SIRION and University Hospital of Erlangen use the AAV technology for passive immunization with virus-neutralizing antibodies. The aim is to provide protective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 circulating in blood for a least six month after a single administration. These research findings will serve as a basis for SIRION ’s design of AAV technologies for rapid expression of antibodies or other proteins for further applications. According to the researchers from the University Hospital of Erlangen, first passive vaccinations against coronavirus seem possible already at the end of the year. 3
The acknowledgment by the State of Bavaria confirms SIRION’s strategy to giving priority to research projects aiming at COVID-19 vaccines and therapies despite overall tight capacities in viral vector manufacturing. Of additional relevance are Adenovirus Ad19a/64 vector-based technologies for vaccines as well as constitutive and inducible lentivirus platforms for assay and therapeutics developments.
Gene and cell therapy are among the hottest topics in modern drug development. Viral vectors are the one critical gene editing tool allowing for breakthrough treatments for so far incurable diseases. For drug development to improve on patient safety and affordability, it is most critical to bring down necessary patient dosages. Key is to advance both on vector design and manufacturing protocols; both are SIRION’s core competence after literally thousands of development projects on behalf of drug developers. Its Massachusetts and Paris presences since 2018 have added additional momentum to SIRION’s growth. SIRION on July 1st added its 5th site near the Heidelberg University campus.
About SIRION Biotech GmbH SIRION Biotech was founded in 2005 to lead the next generation of viral vector technologies for gene and cell therapy as well as vaccine development. Now SIRION offers one of the world’s most comprehensive viral vector technology platforms based on lenti-, adeno-, and adeno-associated viruses which expedites gene therapy research and advances drug development. SIRION is becoming a partner of choice in this growing sector. LentiBOOST™ has been used in several clinical trials from early stage clinical Phase 1/2 through late stage clinical Phase 3 trials and demonstrated clinical success in improving transduction of the therapeutic vectors.
1. Bayerische Forschungsstiftung: Zuschüsse von rund 3,3 Millionen Euro für 12 Projekte im Foerderschwerpunkt „COVID-19-Forschung“, August 28, 2020.
2. JP Casazza et al. Durable HIV-1 antibody production in humans after AAV8-mediated gene transfer. Oral presentation at the 2020 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). Presented March 9, 2020.
3. Neue Möglichkeiten für Immundiagnostik und -therapie bei COVID-19, Pressemitteilungen, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, April 22, 2020.
Chief Operating Officer
Investor/Media Contact USA
Assistant Vice President, Integrated Communications
BD & Licensing Contact
Sabine Ott, Ph.D.,
VP Licensing & BD