Press release

New endowment to open avenues for the development of Univercells’ innovative antibody manufacturing platform – its ultimate goal being to usher in significant industry advances for cheaper production and broader deployment of biologics worldwide. Future applications of the program include oncology, auto-immune and rare diseases.

Gosselies, January 23, 2018

Univercells SA, a technology company dedicated to delivering innovative and cost-effective biomanufacturing solutions, today announces that it has received a grant from the Walloon Region. Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Vice-President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry, Research Innovation, Digital, Employment and training in the Walloon government, has granted the company EUR 2.4M (USD 2.9M). This funding will enable the company to launch a program aimed at developing its innovative protein platform, paving the way for the cost-effective production of biosimilars. The platform will enable production units to be deployed anywhere in the world, providing access to high-quality biologics independent of location.

The new generation of biologic medicines represents significant progress in healthcare, successfully addressing oncology, auto-immune and rare diseases. However, their prohibitive costs and limited supply lead to unequal access around the world, preventing wide coverage.

The increasing demand for affordable biologics calls for adapted production capacities, capable of drastic cost containment for a significant impact on the commercial price.

Univercells new program fill focus on designing the next generation of production technologies, drastically reducing manufacturing costs while delivering large quantities, answering the growing demand for antibodies.  The resulting low-footprint high-capacity production units are more affordable to build and operate, improving worldwide access to high-quality biologics.

“We are very appreciative of the continuing insight and support from Wallonia,” said Hugues Bultot, co-founder and CEO of Univercells. “The region has supported Univercells since its early days, with a successful earlier project leading to the commercial development of our vaccine micro-facility. We are confident this second platform will demonstrate the same favorable outcome and aid in fostering access to healthcare worldwide.”

Last December, Univercells announced the successful closing of a €3 million ($3.56M) capital increase in a Series-A equity financing round, led by private investors. Prior to that the company received a $12 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and €3 million from Takeda Ventures in 2015.