Merck Announces VectorY as Winner of its Advance Biotech Grant

19 May 2021 | Wednesday | News

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that VectorY has been selected as the European winner of its 2021 Advance Biotech Grant Program.

  • Novel gene therapy company selected for its development of vectorized antibodies for the treatment of muscular and neurodegenerative disorders
  • Grant awards in-kind products and consultation support for process development and gene therapy manufacturing

The Amsterdam, Netherlands-based biotechnology company was chosen for its development of proprietary and partnered programs based on a novel adeno-associated viruses (AAV) platform for the treatment of muscular and neurodegenerative disorders.

“Our goal is to support the biotech community in bringing the next generation of therapies to the clinic, faster and more efficiently,” said Andrew Bulpin, head of Process Solutions, Life Science, at Merck. “VectorY’s work could be instrumental in developing potential new treatments for muscular and neurodegenerative diseases.”

VectorY has a pipeline of vectorized antibodies, including two in pre-clinical development, targeting muscular and central nervous system diseases with unmet needs. Its next-generation vectors and advanced bioprocess technologies will enable highly scalable manufacturing processes for flexible production, overcoming current challenges in delivery and manufacturability for advanced gene therapies.

The company plans to set up its own multi-product Good Manufacturing Practice manufacturing facilities in Amsterdam later this year.

As part of the grant award, VectorY will receive in-kind Merck products and consultation in upstream processing, sterile and virus filtration, and process development support for gene therapy manufacturing. This award will support acceleration of their candidate development and build further upon the upstream activities already initiated with the Emerging Biotech team at Merck.

“Winning Merck’s Advance Biotech Grant is an incredible honor,” said Anthony Newcombe, COO of VectorY. “The support from the Life Science business of Merck will help us expedite our technology programs and further production scale solutions for next-generation gene therapy manufacturing.”

Since 2014, Merck’s Advance Biotech Grant Program has awarded technologies and consultation to 32 biotechnology companies. These grants have been used to support biotech companies whose missions are to help patients suffering from cancer, brain tumors, infectious diseases, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disorders.


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