Virus removal filter paper for cost-efficient and safe biologics manufacturing
The VIREPAP team has invented the world’s first virus removal paper, capable of eliminating even the smallest viruses from protein solutions. EIT Health is supporting work to validate this innovation, which could greatly reduce the cost of producing biologic drugs.
Ensuring drug safety against viruses is the most expensive task in bioprocessing. Uppsala University has traditionally been strong in protein separation and purification science, as well as pharmaceutics. Combining knowledge in cellulosic nanomaterials with an understanding of biologics manufacturing allowed for production of a virus removal filter for bioprocessing using traditional hot-press paper-making technology rather than phase inversion membrane manufacturing.
The project consortium consists of three partners: Uppsala University (project leader); Bayer (global industrial partner); and Nvigorea AB (the start-up commercialising the invention).
The virus removal filter paper that is being validated by this project can allow for a manifold increase in the cost-efficiency of manufacturing biologics, which are drugs produced from, or containing, living organisms. Biologics are used to in vaccines and treatments for a wide range of illnesses, but roughly half the costs of manufacturing these substances are spent on virus clearance measures.
The technology being tested by the VIREPAP project opens possibilities to improve the performance of virus filters to meet the demands of the industry for faster, more productive manufacturing, as well as the demands of governments for lower-priced drugs. Given the conservative nature of the biotechnology industry in adopting new technology, many verification studies are needed to allow for industrial and regulatory acceptance of this solution.
The verification studies conducted by this project will target upstream and downstream bioprocessing. EIT Health funding will be used to validate the paradigm-shifting filter technology in an industrial setting, to demonstrate potential cost savings in real life, and to evaluate business models of commercialisation.
Biologics are unique drugs that improve the life-expectancy and life-quality of the patients with conditions ranging from cancer to hereditary deficiencies to autoimmune diseases. Reducing the manufacturing costs, and subsequently the price, of biologics will have long-lasting positive effects on patients, the drug industry and healthcare systems/payers.
Why this is an EIT Health project
This project is in keeping with EIT Health’s Focus area of Improving Care Pathways because it involves the design and evidence-based implementation of an innovation to improve care and health delivery solutions.
- Nvigorea AB
Partner classification: Education, Research, Tech Transfer, Clusters, Other NGOs
Partner type: Associate Partner
The first university established in the Nordic countries founded in 1477, is an international research university. Uppsala University is ranked #61 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014. World-class research and high at UU benefit society and business on a global level. The University is characterized by diversity and breadth, with international frontline research at nine faculties including 40,000 students, 1,800 teachers and researchers whereof about 670 professors. Comprehensive peer reviews and university rankings consistently show that research at UU is of the highest international standard. Research, education and innovation serve as guiding concepts in connection with cooperation with the business community and society at large
Uppsala University, S:t Olofsgatan, Uppsala, Sweden
Key Activities in Corporate Innovation
Pharma, Med Tech, ICT, Diagnostics, Imaging
Key Activities in Social Innovation
Key Activities in Business Creation
Incubation, Technology Transfer, Business coaching, Testing & Validation
Key Activities in Education
Business Schools, Entrepreneurship training, Technical faculties, Medical faculties, Healthcare professional education/training