Flash drive: French CDMO to scale up viral vector production

Flash Therapeutics has secured a three-year funding deal to help further develop its LentiFlash viral vector tech.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

September 14, 2021

2 Min Read
Flash drive: French CDMO to scale up viral vector production
Image: Stock Photo Secrets

Flash Therapeutics has secured a three-year funding deal to help further develop its LentiFlash viral vector tech and to double its manufacturing capacity.

The Toulouse, France-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) has developed its own lentiviral platform, LentiFlash, for use as a delivery vector in vaccinations, regenerative medicine, and gene-editing applications.

“LentiFlash technology leads to a transient expression mediated by RNA delivery as lentiviral-based therapies leads to stable expression mediated by DNA delivery,” a spokesman from the firm told BioProcess Insider.


Image: Stock Photo Secrets

“Currently available mRNA-liposomes technology leads to a low transduction efficiency of the target cell population. Such resulting antigen expression is adequate to trigger an immune answer. For applications requiring transient modification of a large part of the cell population in a tissue, LentiFlash is more attractive thanks to its natural ability to enter into primary and stem cells.”

With rising demand from biotech for improved vector technology, Flash is looking to expand its offering and scale-up production through a three-year investment program of around €15 million ($18 million) from TechLife Capital and Elaia Partners.

Currently Flash has a platform for producing small-scale clinical batches in Paris, at the Saint-Louis Hospital but the first tranche of investment – €4 million paid in July – will be used for an 800 m2 clinical batch production workshop in Toulouse.

“Our current production capacity is about 100 ml of highly concentrated and purified lentiviral vectors at a functional titer comprised between 1E9 and 8E9 TU/ml depending on the gene of interest,” we were told. “This first investment will allow us to double the capacity of clinical batches manufacturing. At this step we are focused on clinical batches manufacturing dedicated to clinical phases I/II.”

According to the firm, LentiFlash bioproduction mimics the lentiviral vector manufacturing process.

“Both use the same particle but the system that catch the genetic material (either DNA or RNA) is different. For DNA encapsidation into the particle we use the packaging signal of HIV and for RNA encapsidation we use the packaging signal of bacteriophage.”

A second phase expansion is planned to increase the manufacturing area to 2,000 m2 by 2023.

The firm’s goal is to double in size next year, as well as to produce the first LentiFlash messenger RNA clinical batch by the end of 2022.

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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