Supported: Scaling up – products of the highest purity in large quantities

January 22 | 2021

Biotechnology company from East Westphalia moves into the spotlight by expanding its capacity to participate in vaccine production.

Press Release.
PlasmidFactory GmbH & Co. KG (Bielefeld), based in Bielefeld since 2000, has been working closely with leading global mRNA manufacturers for many years and produces plasmid DNA as an essential starting material for their vaccine production, which has proven to be extremely effective in the corresponding (pre-)clinical studies.
On 22 January, Minister Prof. Pinkwart from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWIDE) accepted the invitation to get to know the company - unfortunately only virtually due to coronavirus - to take a virtual tour to the production facilities and take a look at the expansion areas which will be used for new production capacities for the manufacture of plasmid DNA, as a key substrate for the production of mRNA vaccines - e.g. Covid19 vaccines.

Since the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic, the PlasmidFactory has postponed numerous projects concerning regular DNA production planned for 2020 to immediately help meeting the enormous demand for DNA of this High Quality level.

New capacity through expansion
The PlasmidFactory is therefore now planning to establish a production facility in an exceptionally short space of time that can produce the enormous quantities of plasmid DNA that are currently urgently needed to support the pharmaceutical production of the Covid19 vaccine and enable an expansion of the customers' production capacities.
The funding promised by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia will help to make these enormous efforts and expenses possible here in OWL in the short term.
The strategy known as mRNA vaccine for protection against the CoV-2 virus, but also against any other pandemics caused by viral pathogens that may be expected in the future, is without alternative from the company's perspective in terms of the expected patient safety. The speed of development is also particularly important here, as the mRNA vaccine is based on DNA, which can be produced very quickly, but in the past could not be produced to the high quality standards that are now in demand.
Specifically, a modular plasmid DNA production facility is to be built on the site next to the PlasmidFactory, which is to be equipped as a high-performance laboratory for DNA production within a few months, so that the - currently steadily increasing - demand for starting substrate for vaccine production can be met in Bielefeld from the summer.
Thanks to the modular design, prefabricated room sections can be quickly combined to form a production unit in which the manufacturing process with fermentation, extraction and purification of the plasmid DNA, including media preparation and storage capacity, can take place.

Due to the limited global availability of the key substance DNA for the pharmaceutical production of vaccines, there is an extraordinary and long-lasting need.

Long-term global demand

Since 2000, the PlasmidFactory has specialised in producing DNA of exceptionally high purity for research in the field of gene therapy and genetic vaccines and works with universities, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies worldwide both scientifically and as a supplier. The entire production as well as the research and development department is bundled at the Bielefeld site. There is very close co-operation with Bielefeld University, which ensures the availability of highly motivated young employees as well as an involvement in current research topics and technologies.

Due to the worldwide limited availability of auxiliary and starting materials and especially the key substance DNA for the pharmaceutical production of the vaccine, there is an extraordinary and long-lasting demand for it, which could therefore be met within North Rhine-Westphalia (as well as Germany and the European Community). The PlasmidFactory can provide an independent supply of the currently most important raw material for mRNA production or ensure its availability.

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