Griffith signs MoU with Bio manufacturer to assist COVID-19 vaccine development

Griffith University and Queensland-based Luina Bio has announced they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) targeting the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

Luina Bio said it brings contract manufacture capabilities and experience to the collaboration as one of Australia’s most experienced biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing organisations.

Griffith University’s Centre for Cell Factories and Biopolymers, at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), has developed a rapid response vaccine platform technology that enables the design and manufacture of a particulate viral vaccine.

“The key features of this vaccine platform technology allow for low cost, and large-scale manufacturing of new pilot vaccine candidates ready for pre-clinical and clinical testing against an emerging viral threat,” Les Tillack, CEO of Luina Bio, said.

“Generation of such candidates can occur in a very short time frame, typically 2-3 months from commencement of the vaccine design process. These features make this technology ideally suited for vaccine development against emerging threats such as coronaviruses.

“By joining forces, our two organisations are confident that we are well positioned to take up opportunities to speed up vaccine development in Queensland and Australia. An advantage is that the technology will be simpler and less expensive than other options underway,” Professor Bernd Rehm, Principal Research Leader at GRIDD, said.

Professor Bernd Rehm

“Those combined factors are essential in enabling faster development of a vaccine candidate against pandemic threats such as Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

“That this project is Brisbane-based provides decided benefits for Australians and we are seeing a spike in interest from the scientific community and the biotech industry to fund and exploit this approach,” Mr Tillack said.

“Those of us in the health and medical fields must band together to find solutions to this health crisis and do it expeditiously. The partnership between Griffith University and Luina Bio paves the way for work to deliver vaccine candidates for the public for both the short- and long-term.”