Life Sciences
BioViros' new laboratory marks New Zealand's first lentiviral vector CDMO
09 March 2023
(New Zealand and Miami, March 9, 2023) BioViros , a full-service CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization), specializing in lentiviral vectors for cell and gene therapy announces the opening of its state-of the-art laboratory in New Zealand. The new PC2 (Physical Containment Level 2) facility is located in Wellington at Callaghan Innovation's Gracefield Innovation Quarter.
"We have been working closely with Callaghan Innovation and Bridgewest Ventures to develop our new laboratory into a premiere global facility and are thrilled to open our doors to clients," says Dr. Marina Rajič, Founder and CEO of BioViros.
BioViros will manufacture customized vectors, highly optimized for developing early-stage cell and gene therapies to treat various diseases such as cancer. Lentiviral vectors, which are essentially gene delivery vehicles, have become the preferred way of delivering genetic information to mammalian cells. "Viral vectors have the advantage over nonviral gene delivery mechanisms because they have naturally evolved over millions of years to deliver genetic material into the host cells," says Dr. Rajič. "The first project for BioViros will be producing lentiviral vector for a client currently doing clinical trials," adds Dr Rajič.
"Exponential demand for lentiviral vectors driven by the clinical and commercial success of gene and cell therapy represents a tremendous opportunity for BioViros. While lentiviral vectors are a crucial component in curative treatments, the industry has a critical shortage of qualified manufacturers. We want to play a major role in aiding the world's quest to deliver these critical therapies to patients in need, and our new facility represents the vital first step," said Dr. Thomas VanCott, Board Chairman of BioViros.
Private Equity investor for BioViros, Bridgewest Group is credited with several start-up success stories in Life Sciences, including BioAtla, a Conditionally Active Biologics Biotech company, and BioDuro-Sundia, the world's third largest CDMO. It's tech incubator, Bridgewest Ventures, supports a number of new companies, such as BioOra, BioValeo, Nanophage Technologies, Avasa and TheiaNova, that are working to transform industry norms.
"Empowering innovation for the betterment of others is cornerstone to our culture. BioViros is well-suited to create transformative change with life-saving impact. We are thrilled to add this area of excellence to our life science ecosystem, which spans drug discovery and development, cell and gene therapy, medical devices and pharmaceutical manufacturing," said Dr. Masood Tayebi, Founding Partner and CEO of Bridgewest Group.
About BioViros
BioViros Ltd. is a full-service, independent CDMO for customized viral vectors for cell and gene therapy. It was founded to specifically meet the rapidly rising demand across the globe for lentiviral vectors for ex-vivo cell therapy engineering. Headquartered in New Zealand, ideally located to serve Asia Pacific, the fastest growing market for cell and gene therapies, BioViros delivers custom, end-to-end viral vector production and manufacturing with speed and customer satisfaction. BioViros is a Bridgewest Group portfolio company.
About Bridgewest Group
Bridgewest Group is an innovative and privately held global investment firm with over $3B in private capital. Founded in 1999, the global firm has earned a long-standing reputation for creating and scaling transformational businesses to achieve outsized success. Bridgewest Group leverages its expertise and global eco-community in key sectors where it can have the greatest impact including Life Sciences, Software, Semiconductor and Artificial Intelligence/Deep Tech. Customized financial investment services and diverse real estate holdings augment equity assets and support portfolio companies as they grow. Bridgewest Group is based in the US, with investments primarily in the US, Europe, China and Australasia.
About Bridgewest Ventures
Bridgewest Ventures NZ LP is part of the Bridgewest Group, a US-based investment company, that is recognized for its ability to successfully incubate and launch major global innovation-led companies. Bridgewest Ventures utilizes the same successful model in New Zealand. It leverages the connections, international reach, and commercialization experience of Bridgewest Group to transform New Zealand opportunities into world-class companies.
Bridgewest Ventures NZ LP is an approved partner of the Callaghan Innovation Technology Incubator Programme. Callaghan Technology Incubator provides additional details for the Technology Incubator programme.