The Covid-19 epidemic has left the world devastated, with over 350,000 dead and the global economy in shambles in just 5 months. A vaccine for the virus that causes Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, is desperately needed, yet vaccine development typically takes years from conception to deployment. Developing a safe and effective vaccine is an important first step, but just as critical is the problem of how to quickly manufacture the billions of doses of vaccine the world needs. While it is important not to skip the early steps of development for the sake of safety and efficacy, the time it will take to increase production from a few doses to the billions necessary will be measured in lives, social disruption and economic damage.
Non-infectious viral material is required to produce vaccines and, since viruses cannot propagate themselves, other living host cells—produced through fermentation—are required to produce enough of this material to make the necessary number of doses the world will need for a Covid-19 vaccine.
Evolugate, LLC—a Gainesville, FL based biotechnology company—has proprietary technology for improving industrial microorganisms and extensive experience in the field of industrial fermentation that can be used to increase the productivity of the cells that will be used to produce those Covid-19 vaccines that eventually win FDA approval. Evolugate will be able to help vaccine manufacturers reduce the time it takes to make each dose, shortening the time it will take to get the vaccines to market.
Evolugate has already started to use its technology and experience to grow and improve the productivity of insect SF9 cells, a critical component in the production of one of the most advanced vaccines under consideration, with the intention to expand its Covid-19 Host Cell Program to at least 4 other critical cell lines commonly used for vaccine production.
According to Evolugate CEO Eudes de Crecy, “We believe we have the best technology to work in parallel with vaccine developers to dramatically reduce the time to deploy these vaccines.” To achieve this, Evolugate has assembled a group of top-tier life science, pharmaceutical and vaccine specialists in addition to its experienced team of microbiologists. “We have decided to put the maximum available resources into this tremendous challenge, starting at our own expense,” says Mr. de Crécy “because we believe we can help deliver the staggering number of vaccine doses required as quickly as possible, which will be critical for saving lives. Every dose and every second it takes to produce them matters.” Evolugate is currently exploring potential partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and governmental agencies to support and accelerate its program.