First Round Funding Led by Viking Global Investors and Casdin Capital
Boro Dropulić, Ph.D., MBA, named Chief Executive Officer of Vector BioMed
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Vector BioMed, a biomanufacturing company specializing in the manufacture of lentiviral vectors, today announced its launch and first financing round led by Viking Global Investors and Casdin Capital. The funds will support the acceleration of commercial operations to provide rapid access to high-quality lentiviral vectors for pre-clinical development, clinical trials, and commercialization.
In contrast to traditional contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), Vector BioMed is a solution provider that will provide partners with the capabilities to take their lentiviral vector-based medicinal concepts into the clinic and accelerate their path to commercialization. Vector BioMed will help address the industry's current vector supply bottleneck by providing lentiviral vectors at scale, while also offering turnkey solutions for vector design and optimization, pre-clinical manufacturing, GMP manufacturing, and other support services.
In conjunction with the funding and launch, co-founder Boro Dropulić, Ph.D., MBA has been named Chief Executive Officer of Vector BioMed. Dr. Dropulić brings more than 30 years of leadership and experience in the design, development, manufacturing, clinical translation, regulatory, clinical implementation, and commercialization of Lentiviral vector technology. Among his career accomplishments, Dr. Dropulić led the team that first demonstrated the safety of lentiviral vectors in humans with his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania. Later he founded Lentigen, which developed the lentiviral vector used to produce Kymriah™, the first FDA-approved gene therapy product. He implemented and directed the company's highly profitable CDMO business model and therapeutic pipeline of gene therapy products. Dr. Dropulić is also a co-founder and Executive Director of Caring Cross, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development of advanced medicines and enabling access to cures for all patients.
"Now is the perfect time to launch our business," said Dr. Dropulić. "With the FDA granting approval of several gene therapy products, there is now a tremendous demand for the manufacture of lentiviral vectors, which are critical for clinical trials and commercialization. Vector BioMed aims to transform the industry by providing algorithm-optimized, high-titer, and high-quality Lentiviral vectors for partners that seek to move quickly to clinical trials and commercialization. Our team has decades of experience manufacturing lentiviral viral vectors, providing tremendous value for our partners."
The commercial success of CAR-T cell therapy in cancer and hematopoietic stem cells for genetic diseases has created an exponential demand for manufacturing capacity and reagents, most notably for custom lentiviral vectors – the preferred method for delivery of genes into therapeutic cellular populations. There is currently an 18–24-month backlog for lentiviral vector manufacturing services. Vector BioMed is positioned to take advantage of the significant market need for lentiviral vectors by providing several improved solutions such as algorithm-optimized vectors that enable superior vector titer and function, and a platform serum-free suspension vector manufacturing process that is suitable for rapid clinical development and scalable for commercialization.
Vector Biomed Co-Founder and board member James Kenny added: "Vector BioMed's management team has decades of experience in the commercialization of lentiviral vector technologies. I have known Dr. Dropulić for decades, and his reputation in the lentiviral vector space is well-known, having led the first-ever clinical trial that established the safety of lentiviral vectors in humans. He and his team also developed the original lentiviral vector that is used in the production of Kymriah®, the first FDA-approved gene therapy product. We are very excited to be partnering with Viking and Casdin, two world-class organizations, to accelerate Vector BioMed's capabilities and services."
Dr. Dropulić added: "We are delighted to be partnered with Viking and Casdin, both highly experienced investors in the cell and gene therapy space. They bring significant resources and expertise to accelerate our goal to become the preferred solution for partners needing Lentiviral vectors for clinical development and commercialization of their therapeutic candidates."
About Vector BioMed
Vector BioMed is a state-of-the-art vector contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in best-in-class lentiviral vectors to increase efficiencies in clinical development and commercialization of cell and gene therapies. Vector BioMed's services include turn-key solutions for vector design, vector optimization, pre-clinical manufacturing, validation, and GMP manufacturing to address the biotechnology industry's current vector supply bottleneck by providing high-titer lentiviral vectors from bench to clinic to commercialization. Vector BioMed is the first company to be originated by Caring Cross, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development of advanced medicines and enabling access to cures for all patients. For more information on Vector Biomed visit https://vectorbiomed.com/.