Scion has partnered with New Zealand’s most experienced
group of vaccine producers in the effort to produce a
Covid-19 vaccine in New Zealand, for New Zealanders and the
Scion’s biotechnology pilot plant is critical
to Covid-19 Vaccine Corporation’s vaccine development. The
facility will allow CVC to grow its vaccine-producing
bacteria at scale, making vaccine materials for testing
“Working with Scion will allow CVC to
accelerate development and put us on a fast-track towards
manufacturing and testing our Covid-19 vaccine. We really
appreciate how Dr Lloyd-Jones’ team and Scion have moved
to expedite our work; it’s another example of Kiwis
pulling together and doing what they can to fight this
dangerous disease,” says CVC’s Chief Scientific Officer,
Dr Andy Herbert.
CVC’s intended vaccine
differs from other vaccine candidates for its unique biobead
technology that it licensed from New Zealand company,
Polybatics. It is currently working towards making small
volumes of these vaccine-producing bacteria at the
University of Auckland.
Its method includes making
biobeads coated with carefully chosen components of the
SARS-Cov-2 virus. The biobeads and coating are
simultaneously manufactured inside bacteria which is an
efficient method of production for a vaccine that the
company expects to be both safe while offering broad immune
coverage in humans.
These biobeads are grown at scale
and purified at Scion’s specialised facility, where they
will be produced as a test vaccine suitable for various
“Scion is delighted to assist in
the development of CVC’s COVID-19 vaccine. With our
fermentation capability and expertise in producing
customised biopolymers, the Scion team will be able to
produce vaccine materials for preclinical
“Scion has experience in producing
bioplastic materials that are the main component of
Polybatics’ biobeads technology that CVC is adapting for
vaccine production,” says Dr Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Science
Leader Biotransformation at Scion.
If testing is
successful, CVC will manufacture more biobead vaccines for
human trials using Good Manufacturing Practice, which
requires stringent and traceable protocols.
partners include the University of Auckland, Fonterra,
Callaghan Innovation, Ardigen, and now Scion.
CVC is made up of a group of lifelong biotech
Dr Robert Feldman – a serial biotech
entrepreneur and medical doctor with vaccine
Dr Andy Herbert – a pharmaceutical
development and manufacturing expert.
Creaven-Capasso – a regulatory, quality and biotech expert
with extensive international experience.
Helen Teale –
a global clinical trial management expert.
Douglas – Managing director of Douglas
To date, the company has raised a
million dollars in private company funding, and $488,000 in