The DiViNe project proposes affordable, product- and environment-friendly processes allowing simple and efficient purification of biological drugs.
Social impact : Access to affordable vaccines for emerging countries
Emerging countries are deeply engaged in the process of manufacturing vaccines. Today, emerging-country manufacturers produce about 50% of vaccines purchased by United Nations agencies for use in the developing world, up from less than 10% in 1997. They are also highly concerned about prices, so that vaccines can be affordable at almost 1$ per dose.
The purification process will be simple enough to be readily adopted by any existing manufacturing facility, and compatible with this ultimate 1$ per dose vaccines. Yet, as no concession will be made to quality, this will be achieved by augmenting the yield while keeping the highest standard of purity. The consortium will be advised by an external expert board, notably composed of members from the GSK Vaccines Institute For Global Health and the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), to ensure such cost challenges are properly addressed within DiViNe project to allow broader access to vaccines.
Environmental impact : Preservation of natural resources
Minimal environmental footprint of DiViNe purification process will be achieved by reducing the waste and reducing the water input. This is of utmost importance for manufacturing plants in developed countries but also in emerging countries such as India, where the vaccine manufacturing industry is extremely active, and for which local manufacturing in a water-constrained environment is also an important driver for cost reduction and growth in general. One major asset of the Aquaporin technology is also its extremely low energy consumption, making it all the more amenable with more global energy saving principles and policies.
Economic impact : Establishment of a commercial platform
Identical strategies can be applied for biopharmaceuticals at large. The development of custom affinity capture processes as an established platform is therefore economically relevant, and DiViNe is a first run for the partners to structure it as a commercial offer for downstream processing of biologics. The streamlined Nanofitin® generation platform will serve as the basis for a novel business unit at Affilogic in the field of affinity capture of biologics (starting with, but not limited to, vaccines) and a broader partnership will be considered with Merck KGaA to design, develop and commercialize Nanofitin®-based affinity purification systems as a custom platform.