07 Oct 2015
Lonza and Benitec Enter Agreement to Develop Scalable AAV Manufacturing Process for ddRNAi Therapeutics

Basel, Switzerland, and Sydney, Australia, 7 October 2015 – Lonza Houston, Inc., a global leader in biological, cell and viral gene therapy manufacturing, and Benitec Biopharma, a clinical stage biotechnology company commercializing a patented gene-silencing technology, DNA-directed RNA interference (ddRNAi), today announced that they have entered into a Manufacturing Services Agreement to develop a scalable manufacturing process for Benitec's ddRNAi-based, Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV)-delivered products intended for therapeutic use in humans.

This relationship will leverage Lonza's expertise to facilitate the development of a cost-effective, scalable and robust suspension culture-based manufacturing platform, which is anticipated to enable the production of sufficient material to meet the potential demand for treating diseases that affect millions of people such as hepatitis C.

Benitec's Vice-President of Manufacturing, Dr. Claudia Kloth, said, “As our lead ddRNAi-based hepatitis C therapy TT-034 continues to advance in clinical studies, Lonza is an ideal partner for us to optimize our large-scale production process based on its solid expertise and track record in process development and production of AAV-based gene therapeutics.”

Andreas Weiler, PhD, Head of Emerging Technologies for Lonza's Pharma&Biotech segment, said, “This agreement with Benitec continues the development of our robust and large-scale AAV platform for the production of AAV-based viral gene therapies. Lonza will utilize our cGMP manufacturing knowledge and world-class quality systems to help Benitec develop these promising novel therapeutics for patients.”