Kiwi COVID 19 vaccine developer teams up with Callaghan Innovation

29 July 2020

Auckland: COVID-19 Vaccine Corporation (CVC), New Zealand’s COVID-19 vaccine development company, is collaborating with NZ’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation at its Bioprocessing and Fermentation group based at its Gracefield site in Lower Hutt, Wellington.

The Callaghan Innovation group is using its bioprocessing expertise and specialist equipment to help CVC develop and optimise fermentation protocols that will be used in the manufacture of CVC’s vaccine product.

“It’s great to be able to collaborate with the bioprocessing group at Callaghan Innovation. CVC aims to use New Zealand expertise wherever possible and this collaboration is a great example of that,” says Robert Feldman, CEO CVC.

CVC is developing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate using unique biobead technology developed in New Zealand. The company believes this technology will enable it to manufacture the vaccine much faster and more cost-effectively than by other methods.

“Callaghan Innovation has been an excellent partner for CVC in our fast-track project to develop and manufacture a highly-effective Covid-19 vaccine.  We greatly value this collaboration.  CVC’s biobead technology requires a unique approach to manufacturing.  We are well up the learning curve through our past and present work with Polybatics.  Working together with Callaghan Innovation and others in New Zealand, we will refine manufacturing to supply a cost effective and compliant Covid-19 vaccine.” comments CVC chief operating officer, Dr Andy Herbert.

Dr Feldman says the company aims to complete its first human trial of the new vaccine by the end of 2021.  The CVC team includes Dr Robert Feldman, a global biotech expert and medical doctor with vaccine and start-up experience; Dr Andy Herbert, an expert in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing; Tara Creaven-Capasso, a regulatory, quality and biotech expert with extensive international experience; and Helen Teale, who has global clinical trial management expertise. The company is chaired by Douglas Pharmaceuticals’ managing director, Jeff Douglas.