Speciality Chemicals Magazine MAY / JUN 2022 - Page 76


BioVectra : From small molecules to large player

Headquartered in Atlantic Canada , BioVectra is a heavyweight global CDMO with a rich history and a relentless focus on adapting to future trends . With an eye on the next generation of pharmaceuticals , the organisation is expanding their technologies and service offerings . Marc Sauer , Ph . D . 16-year company veteran and now chief science officer , is spearheading growth in multiple directions for the organisation .

Early days in small molecules
BioVectra ( then named Diagnostic Chemicals Limited ) began as a small startup in the 1970s , with a team of scientists synthesising diagnostic reagents . Fifty years on from its humble beginnings , BioVectra is experiencing significant growth , both in offerings and scale . In his new position as chief science officer , Sauer will lead a multidisciplinary team of scientists with a focus on end-to-end process development and manufacturing , across all product life cycle stages from clinical to commercial production . The creation of a CSO position reflects BioVectra ’ s focus on providing a seamless experience for our clients and partners by combining all science departments under a single umbrella . Joining chemistry , biologics , analytical and formulation process science with manufacturing science and technologies creates an integrated one-stop shop for tech transfer , process development and scale-up activities within the organisation .
In 2014 , the company acquired a new facility in Nova Scotia that has
become a dedicated headquarters for biologics . A partnership with ABEC will enable the design , manufacture , and installation of single-use microbial fermentation solutions at the facility , at a scale unmatched by any other CDMO in Canada .
In April of 2022 , BioVectra broke ground on a new expansion in PEI for the manufacturing of plasmid DNA and mRNA , all the way through to formulation into lipid nanoparticles . The 3,350 m 2 expansion will allow the company to produce up to 70 million doses of finished product and up to 160 million doses of drug substance . Concurrently , construction of a state-of-the-art facility for process development of cell banking , pDNA , mRNA , as well as analytical testing and characterisation is underway in Halifax , Nova Scotia .
Fill-finish for supply chain simplicity
The introduction of pDNA and RNA at the new expansion will also bring a new fill-finish capability for the organisation . “ This is an important step in our journey as a company ,” says Sauer . It will allow BioVectra to provide a comprehensive service offering from conception , through development , into manufacturing , and then into formulation and fill-finish .
The future is bright for BioVectra
With pDNA and RNA capabilities , the organisation has several avenues available to continue supporting clients as the industry evolves , including RNA vaccines , RNA and pDNA therapeutics , and personalised medicine . “ I truly believe this is going to be a transformative change within pharma ,” says Sauer . “ The way we react to and combat disease is being revolutionised . I ’ m excited to see where it takes us .” But the recent expansion is not a leap into the unknown . “ It ’ s very much in line with what we have done [ all along ] as a company ,” he says . “ We are building on the capacity and capabilities that we have built over the past 40 years in this space .” BioVectra is well placed to serve pharmaceutical companies in the post-pandemic era of vaccines , therapeutics , and personalised medicine . Backed by a supportive culture , a strong team , and a location that allows for close partnerships with clients across the world , the future looks bright for BioVectra . • 76 SPECIALITY CHEMICALS MAGAZINE ESTABLISHED 1981