Public-private effort targets vaccines

The Daily Record, Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fina Biosolutions LLC, of Rockville, a privately held developer of vaccines to combat life-threatening diseases, and Frank T. Robb, a scientist at the University of Maryland Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, are collaborating to devise new, less costly ways to manufacture a key component used in many vaccines.

The international nonprofit organization, PATH, which spurs new innovation with the goal of delivering high-impact, low-cost global health products such as lifesaving vaccines, will fund the partnership’s development efforts as part of its pneumococcal vaccine project.

The collaboration was announced by University of Maryland Ventures, a joint research commercialization effort of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

University of Maryland, Fina Biosolutions partner to improve vaccines

MDBizNews, Friday, July 12, 2013

A new public-private partnership, rooted in Maryland-based research efforts, intends to improve worldwide vaccine manufacturing, University of Maryland Ventures announced on Thursday.

The partnership brings together Frank Robb, Ph.D. of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Rockville-based Fina Biosolutions. Their joint effort to improve manufacturing of a key vaccine component will be funded by PATH, an international nonprofit organization.

“It is designed to yield broader availability of an important vaccine component, which is highly effective, but prohibitively expensive for some applications, particularly in the developing world,” Robb said in a statement.

Robb’s research focuses on microbes found in extreme environments that can be used to help stabilize the manufacturing of proteins, including those used in vaccines.

“We are pleased to be working with organizations that share FinaBio’s mission to help make conjugate vaccines affordable for the emerging markets. The partnership with PATH and the University of Maryland will allow us to achieve this goal and to help to make vaccines that will save countless lives,” Andrew Lees, Ph.D., scientific director of Fina Biosolutions said in a statement.

Phil Robilotto, assistant vice president of the University of Maryland’s Office of Technology Transfer, added: “Following on the heels of our Wellcome Trust-Bharat Biotech collaboration formed last year. UMB’s Office of Technology Transfer, in conjunction with UM Ventures, is very happy to be facilitating more of these important public-private partnerships on behalf of the campus and its investigators, such as Dr. Robb.”

University of Maryland Ventures facilitated this most recent partnership and is currently responsible for combining the entrepreneurial efforts of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

UM Ventures to collaborate with Fina Biosolutions on vaccines

Vaccine News Daily, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

University of Maryland Ventures announced a collaboration on Thursday between Fina Biosolutions, LLC and Frank Robb, a scientist at the University of Maryland’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, to develop vaccine manufacturing methods.

UM Ventures, a joint research commercialization effort of the University of Maryland at Baltimore and the University of Maryland at College Park, will join with Fina Biosolutions, a Rockford, Md.-based private research and development biotechnology company, and Robb, who helped to develop systems for improving the stability and function of manufactured proteins like those used in vaccines. PATH, an international nonprofit organization will fund the partnership’s development efforts to devise new ways to manufacture a key component used in many vaccines.

“A new and improved vaccine production method is the goal of this public-private partnership between my lab and Fina Biosolutions,” Robb said. “It is designed to yield broader availability of an important vaccine component, which is highly effective, but prohibitively expensive for some applications, particularly in the developing world.”

PATH is funding the project as part of its pneumococcal vaccine project.

“We are pleased to be working with organizations that share FinaBio’s mission to help make conjugate vaccines affordable for the emerging markets,” Andrew Lees, the scientific director of Fina Biosolutions, said. “The partnership with PATH and the University of Maryland will allow us to achieve this goal and to help to make vaccines that will save countless lives.”

The University of Maryland patented several technologies developed by Robb’s team based on industrial applications of his team’s research into microbes found in extreme environments.

“Following on the heels of our Wellcome Trust-Bharat Biotech collaboration formed last year,” Phil Robilotto, the assistant vice president of the university’s Office of Technology Transfer, said. “UMB’s Office of Technology Transfer, in conjunction with UM Ventures, is very happy to be facilitating more of these important public-private partnerships on behalf of the campus and its investigators, such as Dr. Robb.”