Report: biopharma sector experiencing lack of viral vectors


Production of the key component of gene therapies and certain vaccines for Covid-19 hampered by insufficient manufacturing capacity, according to GlobalData

The biopharmaceutical industry is experiencing a shortage of viral vectors, an element needed to create gene therapies and gene-modified cell therapies, as well as certain Covid-19 vaccines that require a viral vector, including those from AstraZeneca and J&J, notes GlobalData, in a new report.

GlobalData’s report, ‘”The outlook for viral vector contract manufacturing: Gene therapies, cell therapies, and Covid-19 vaccines”, explains that viral vector production is hindered by insufficient manufacturing capacity, an inefficient manufacturing process and the requirement for specialist facilities.

There are 14 therapies/vaccines that use a viral vector marketed in the EU, Japan, US and/or UK (post-Brexit), the report notes.

“We predict that this number will soar in the near future," comments Fiona Barry, associate editor, GlobalData PharmSource. "We anticipate that over 100 more gene therapies and gene-modified cell therapies will be approved over approximately the next six years. These therapies will all need viral vectors and will exacerbate the manufacturing shortage. A second and more immediate stress on the viral vector supply chain is their use in some Covid-19 vaccines, specifically recombinant vector vaccines. AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines, as well as some Covid-19 vaccines in use in Russia and China, are of this molecule type.”

Not including the drugs that have previously been approved, there are more than 3,000 gene therapies, gene-modified cell therapies and recombinant vector vaccines in the works for development.

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