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Amyris and ImmunityBio Form Covid-19 JV

07.01.2022 - US biotech Amyris has formed a 50:50 joint venture with compatriot clinical-stage immunotherapy firm ImmunityBio to accelerate the commercialization of a next-generation Covid-19 vaccine. The companies signed a binding agreement for the venture last November.

Upon completion of successful human trials and regulatory approval, the partners’ goal is to deliver 1 billion doses of the vaccine in 2002. Amyris said they are particularly targeting underserved parts of the world where current vaccine technology is challenged due to cost and supply chain limitations.

"We are pleased to combine our expertise in human trials, T-Cell technology and our access to RNA manufacturing capacity with the Amyris and Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) RNA technology platform and Amyris' adjuvant technology," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, executive chairman and global chief scientific and medical officer at ImmunityBio. "Combined we have a real opportunity to provide true immunity against Covid-19 variants along with a platform that can quickly adapt to a future potential respiratory virus.”

ImmunityBio, which has invested significantly in developing DNA and RNA vaccine production capacity, will be responsible for manufacturing the vaccine once the trials are completed in South Africa.

Amyris president and CEO John Melo said the early data is very promising and “leads us to believe this will be the first and best-performing second-generation Covid-19 vaccine.”

As well as its RNA technology licensed from the IDRI, Amyris will also provide sustainable squalene, an organic compound used to produce the vaccine.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist

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