By Mike May
Last month, Belgium-based Exothera launched a new business unit for producing nucleic acids. By partnering with Quantoom Biosciences, Exothera can apply continuous manufacturing to RNA. “Our partnership allows Quantoom’s technology to be leveraged by companies around the world developing and commercializing vaccines or therapeutics in a classic CRDMO model,” says Thibault Jonckheere, Exothera’s CEO.
Known as a producer of viral vectors, Jonckheere says that Exothera moved into nucleic acids to “seamlessly take our clients from small-scale R&D to large-scale clinical and commercial manufacturing, while ensuring a consistent high-quality product.” To accomplish that, Jonckheere and his colleagues searched for a platform, and that spawned the partnership with Quantoom Biosciences. “After careful consideration, we were impressed with the results of Quantoom’s Nfinity technology, which standardizes the RNA process and analytics for our clients, saving them significant time and cost.”
Quantoom’s Nfinity automates the production of short to very long mRNA or small activating RNA (saRNA). Jonckheere emphasizes that the standardized process and use of reagent pre-mixes “negates the need for extensive process development.” This technology also produced a surprise. “We didn’t expect that it could also decrease the cost of goods for our clients two to three times compared to the industry standard,” Jonckheere says.
The mRNA can be manufactured for R&D through GMP. Plus, it’s fast. “Nfinity can make up to 5 g of purified RNA per day at clinical scale, which changes the paradigm of RNA manufacturing with speed and efficiency,” Jonckheere says.
Given the success of mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19, more therapeutics based on these molecules surely lie head. The research on future mRNA-based therapeutics, as well as their development and manufacturing, depends on fast and economical production of RNAs. That’s just what the Exothera-Quantoom Biosciences partnership hopes to provide.