Existing biomanufacturing technology is expensive and inflexible. The production of a single vaccine requires millions of dollars of investment and the setting up of complex infrastructure. This is often financially out of reach for smaller countries and organizations, hindering their ability to respond to local health concerns or disease outbreaks. mRNAbased vaccines provide a potential solution to this problem.
mRNA-based vaccines represent a promising new approach to vaccine development, with big benefits in terms of speed, efficacy, and flexibility. This allows for the rapid development of diverse medicinal products with lower resource and investment requirements.
Ntensify is a line of low-footprint automated production technologies developed by Quantoom Biosciences, a Univercells company. It is designed to be flexible and customizable, providing partners with the capability to meet both pandemic and routine needs.
In June 2022, within the framework of the mRNA Technology Transfer Programme driven by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Quantoom was chosen by Afrigen as the technology partner for the second-generation process and equipment.
Quantoom Biosciences' technology will help Afrigen scale-up the production process that they developed. It will enable commercial production through a system - the NtensifyTM Midi - that requires limited human and capital resource investment and use.
By transferring technology and knowledge to countries with limited resources and infrastructure, the Hub aims to support the decentralization of production and support access to vaccines for all.
NtensifyTM Midi is designed to be ‘free-to-operate’ and allows flexibility in the type and quantity of vaccine product to be produced. Using this technology, the Hub could also pave the way for the development and production of other mRNA-based vaccines which have shown promise in clinical trials for a range of diseases. These include influenza, Zika, and rabies.
NtensifyTM Midi also allows for operation in more resource-constrained settings, with the additional benefits of:
- reduced costs thanks to the minimal requirement for RNA expertise and labor
- a small footprint system that integrates all process steps
- no scale-up required because of unique intensified and chain production processes.