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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation x Naobios

Press Release – December 2023

Naobios receives $1.87M (€1.7M) in support of vaccine development

Nantes, France, December 11, 2023 – Naobios, a CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) providing bioprocess development and GMP production of clinical batches of virus-based products, today announces the receipt of a $1.87M (€1.7M) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of vaccine development. Naobios will manufacture a human viral challenge agent that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing infections and to accelerate the vaccine development process.

The viral challenge agent, an Omicron variant SARS-CoV-2 virus manufactured by Naobios for the foundation, will be used to conduct a Controlled Human Infection Model (CHIM) study. The aim is to support the development of low-cost effective mucosal vaccines to stop respiratory virus transmission, which, with greater breadth, can be deployed to outbreak areas, typically in Low-to-Middle Income Countries (LMICs), to prevent widespread transmission.

The manufacture of Naobios’ viral challenge agent will be followed by stability testing for a period of three years.

“Naobios is excited to receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its drive to accelerate the development and commercialization of novel vaccines and the sustainable manufacture of existing vaccines,” said Eric Le Forestier, general manager at Naobios. “With our experienced team, BSL3 suite and track record in successfully manufacturing several viral strains of challenge agents, we look forward to delivering on this project.”

CHIM studies are increasingly used in several countries such as the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium to investigate all aspects of the course of an infection. In response to this growing need, Naobios has invested in extending its current range of services; the company can now offer viral challenge agent manufacturing according to the principles of GMP. It supplies the development and manufacturing of viral challenge agents to global markets. Naobios is uniquely suited for manufacturing human viral challenge agents for the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, as well as academic institutions and international agencies.

About Naobios

Naobios is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) providing bioprocess development and offering GMP production of clinical batches of BSL2/BSL3 viral vaccines, oncolytic viruses, viral vectors and challenge agents. Naobios joined the Clean Biologics group in 2019.

Having built up 15 years’ experience in bioprocess development, Naobios helps its clients to bring their drug candidates to clinical stage as rapidly as possible – at the highest level of quality – whilst building on its technical know-how in scalable and industrial processes. With its adaptability and range of skills, the company can lead a project from the initial stages through completion, with a motivated and dedicated team. Its highly qualified staff have the experience to deal with a wide range of viruses, as well as multiple cell substrate lines.

Naobios is based near Nantes, in Western France. It currently has 40 staff.