How it works
Immunotherapy has demonstrated the ability to effectively combat cancer and offer renewed hope for patients. By leveraging the body's own immune system, this approach activates and enhances its natural defense mechanisms to specifically target and eliminate cancer cells.
With its potential to transform the landscape of cancer treatment, immunotherapy presents a compelling opportunity for our future.
One prominent example is Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, where a patient's T cells are genetically modified (by using lentiviral vectors) to express receptors that specifically target cancer cells, enabling the immune system to recognize and eliminate the cancer more effectively.
Dr. Robert Weinkove on TEDx
Lentiviral Vectors in CAR-T
Responsible for transforming T-cell into CAR-T
Their unique biological properties, such as efficient gene transfer, the ability to integrate genes into a host's genome for stable expression, and capacity to transduce non-dividing cells make lentiviral vectors an essential component in the successful application of CAR-T therapies.
Lentiviral vectors have a large gene-carrying capacity, permitting the accommodation of complex CAR genes, and exhibit reduced immunogenicity, minimizing potential immune reactions that could impact the efficacy of the therapy.
FDA approved CAR-T
There are currently six FDA approved CAR-T therapies
As of June 2023, there are six approved CAR-T drugs: Abecma, Breyanzi, Kymriah, Tecartus, Yescarta, and Carvykti; four of which use lentiviral vectors.
There are a number of other CAR-T therapies that are currently in clinical trials. Some of these therapies are targeting different antigens than the ones that are currently approved, and others are designed to be more specific or to have fewer side effects.
Dr. Marina Rajič - Founder and CEO of BioViros
"The key is that we are not alone. We have a strong network of partners that can cater for the entire journey from the first step of targeting the cancer to the last where patients get treatments. This enables us to develop new treatments with necessary speed.
With passion and expertise from our leadership team we feel that BioViros and our partners can change the way we think about cancer within a few years."
Why Lentiviral Vectors?
LVVs play a key role in CAR-T therapy:
- Efficient Gene Transfer
- Integration into the cells own genome
- Ability to transduce dividing and non-dividing cells
- Large packaging capacity
- Reduced immunogenicity
Why New Zealand?
New Zealand is a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with following benefits:
- Reduced tariffs among member countries
- Enhanced intellectual property rights
- Regulatory coherence streamline regulations among member countries
- Easier access to markets of all member countries
- Supply chain efficiency
- The TPP includes provisions that protect foreign investments
- Higher labor and environmental standards
Once the target is successfully identified potential drug candidates are optimized through preclinical studies. After selecting the most promising candidate from in vitro and early stage animal trials, it is time to advance a promising candidate to Phase I clinical trials.
During Phase 1 trial, the selected therapy will be tested on a small group of healthy volunteers or patients to evaluate safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics. To support this stage of cell therapies, we can produce lentiviral vector in small to medium size batches.
Ensuring the success in Phase I paves the way for further clinical testing, where efficacy and safety are assessed in larger populations.
One Stop Shop For CAR-T Therapy
BioViros has a unique position in New Zealand's biotech ecosystem, enabling customers to access end to end solutions for a gene-modified cell therapy. Through our strategic partnerships our clients can get all inclusive service from plasmid GMP production, to viral vectors and CAR-T manufacturing at scale, through to clinical trial support, and commercial scale manufacturing. To tailor individual needs the best way, we encourage transparent and effective communication and tight collaboration across our network.
- Time is precious - we can streamline CAR-T therapy process
- Mix and match pieces to fit customer's needs the best possible way
- Seamless onboarding and available quotes to support funding applications
- Turning immunotherapy ideas into reality at pace
Consider BioViros as an Investment
We encourage qualified career seekers to join our team.
Hannah Pearce, Ph.D.
Biotech Development Scientist
Process Development Assistant
Student Intern - Berkeley, California
Ellie Torbati, Ph.D.
Biotech Research Scientist
Marina Rajič, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO
Tom VanCott, Ph.D.
Farzad Haerizadeh, Ph.D.
Stephen Chang, Ph.D.