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SIRION highlights France as leading force in gene and cell therapy
Martinsried, Germany: – Leading viral vector technology specialist SIRION Biotech International (SIRION) has highlighted the growing strength of France as a leading world player in gene and cell therapy.
In an article posted on the SIRION website, the company’s Director for Sales and Business Development, Francois Vromman, points to France’s progress in joining the UK at the top of the world gene therapy league.
SIRION has acknowledged French importance in the sector by strengthening its presence in the country.
Gene therapy clusters
Mr. Vromman points out that France is now home to more than 10 world-leading biotech and research clusters working in gene and cell therapies. Many of these have grown up as the direct or indirect results of pioneering work in genetics, initiated and led by Genethon, which published the first map of the human genome in 1992.
“Their early work put France on the map. Concurrently, the French government decided to promote gene therapy development by facilitating the acceptance of clinical trials, promoting integration of small gene therapy research centers and hospitals encouraging industrial partners to invest in gene therapy programs,” notes Mr. Vromman.
Role of institutions
Thirty years on, the French government is still actively supporting genetic research with Genethon as a leading entity with eight active programs in clinical trials.
“Similarly, Institut Imagine and Institut de la Vision have worked hard to unite researchers, clinicians and industrial partners to drive a large number of French therapies currently under development,” Mr. Vromman says.
“Future involvement by institutions such as the Institut de l’Audition and the Meary Center ensure a future of constant growth spurred on by France’s considerable pool of scientific talent. Further progress comes from cross-regional development initiatives that sponsor academic projects and push proof-of-concept work that is transferred into clinical applications,” he writes.
On the industry side, several of these innovative academic discoveries have led to out-licensing and collaborations with US-based commercial companies, including adeno-associated virus (AAV) technology developed at Genethon taken up by Novartis US subsidiary Avexis, the creation of GenSight Biologics, a leader in ophthalmology gene therapy, based on work at the Institut de la Vision and sponsorship by US-based Bluebird Bio of pioneering work by Prof. Marina Cavazzana on rare red blood cell disease at Institut Imagine.
“The French biotech community continues to boast strong contributors to the development of gene therapy (GenSight Biologics, Vivet Therapeutics, Lysogene) and cell therapy fields (Cellectis, Theravectys, TxCell – now Sangamo Therapeutics), making the French biotech scene a highly fertile environment that will bring competitive therapies to market, promising to secure a good share of the US $35.4 billion gene and cell therapy market,” comments Mr. Vromman.
“At SIRION Biotech, we believe in this leading country and are committed to supporting our partners developing innovative technologies in the field by being at the heart of it with our local office in Paris,” he concludes.
About SIRION Biotech
SIRION Biotech International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SIRION Biotech GmbH providing custom engineering and manufacturing services of viral vectors for the life sciences industry.
Founded at Martinsried, near Munich, in 2007, SIRION Biotech has become Europe’s leading commercial supplier of viral vectors used for genetic research, clinical target validation, gene therapy and vaccination studies. It is SIRION’s mission to change the paradigm for viral vector supplies, with their ability to develop and supply all major viral vector types (adenovirus, lentivirus, AAV, etc.) within a matter of weeks at the concentration titers and quantities needed for preclinical human and animal testing.
Its unique focus on improving transduction efficiencies and safety make SIRION Biotech a valuable technology partner for gene and cell therapy trials. LentiBOOST™ transduction reagent is actively used to improve, among others, hematopoietic cell transductions in clinical trials. NextGen AAV capsid evolution projects aim to improve tissue targeting and immune escape of capsids to usher in a new generation of therapeutics for international gene therapy companies.
SIRION offerings include the transformational RNAiONE™ knockdown validation platform along with a full range of virus related services, ranging from particle production to virus driven cell modelling.