Press Release

Grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support Univercells and partner Batavia Biosciences to develop a cost-effective manufacturing process and proceed towards the successful commercialization of measles and rubella vaccines

Brussels, BELGIUM - June, 13 2019

Univercells announced today that it has been awarded a $14.3 million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase the availability of measles and rubella (M&R) vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Univercells will adapt the process design of its proprietary NevoLine™ platform to deliver affordable M&R vaccines. This novel manufacturing platform has already proven success with its initial application for Sabin inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV), supported by a $12M Grand Challenges grant awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Viral infectious diseases, such as measles and rubella, still represent a significant global health burden despite preventability via vaccination. Effective vaccination programs in LMICs are impaired by a substantial gap of affordable vaccines. Conventional vaccine manufacturing requires high capital and operating costs and does not provide a sustainable or cost-effective solution for the future. Univercells will leverage its NevoLine bioproduction platform to sustainably supply measles and rubella vaccines at an affordable cost by minimizing equipment and facility related capital investment together with lower operating costs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Univercells will develop a NevoLine platform for the measles and rubella processes and initiate clinical validation. As part of this project, Univercells’ partner Batavia Biosciences will adapt its highly intensified production process to the M&R vaccines and manufacture GMP material. Univercells will also explore utilizing novel vaccine delivery technologies under evaluation by the foundation. Combining innovations could further reduce costs, facilitate the execution of immunization campaigns and improve accessibility of critical vaccines.

“We are very honored to receive this grant and work once again with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase affordability of the measles-rubella vaccine, another critical vaccine especially in view of the recent outbreaks worldwide”, said Hugues Bultot, CEO and co-founder of Univercells. “We are dedicated to delivering a portfolio of viral vaccines such as inactivated polio, measles and rubella and other undersupplied vaccines to further increase the availability of these life-saving products.”

José Castillo, CTO and co-founder of Univercells added “This second project with the foundation confirms the trust built upon our breakthrough technology. It enables Univercells to demonstrate the potential of our NevoLine manufacturing platform to be a game-changer for global health”.

About Univercells

Univercells is a business-to-business provider focused on increasing the availability of affordable vaccines and biotherapeutics to address global health challenges. The company is developing turnkey solutions for a series of vaccines and biotherapeutics to be delivered at an affordable price. By relying on proprietary core technologies and a continuous process intensification approach, production is achieved with a smaller footprint, and significantly lower overall capital and operational costs.

Global company headquartered in Gosselies (Belgium), Univercells benefits from the support regional and national players as well as from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Health Investment Fund and other international players in the health and vaccine industry.

Univercells logo - biologics for all! Biotech Belgium

About Batavia Biosciences 

Batavia Biosciences significantly contributes to easing human suffering from infectious diseases by improving the success rate in the translation of candidate medicines from discovery to the clinic. We offer our novel technologies and in-depth know-how in order to help our partners to complete preclinical phases in biopharmaceutical product development at higher speed, reduced costs and increased success. The company focuses on the early stages of product development including cell line generation, upstream process development (mammalian & microbial), purification development, product characterization and clinical manufacturing. Headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, with a subsidiary in Woburn, Massachusetts, and offices in Hong Kong, Batavia Biosciences is privileged to have strong strategic partners worldwide.

Batavia Biosciences logo consortium partner Univercells

  • Univercells granted $14.3 Million to deliver affordable measles and rubella vaccines

    EN version

  • Univercells reçoit 14,3M $ pour fournir des vaccins rougeole et rubéole

    FR version

  • Univercells wordt $14,3M toegekend om een betaalbare vaccine tegen mazelen en rodehond te leveren

    NL version