Press Release

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Quantoom Biosciences installs the first Ntensify™ system for mRNA manufacturing at Afrigen Biologics in Cape Town

May 3, 2023

Quantoom Biosciences S.A. (“Quantoom”), a Univercells company, is proud to announce the successful shipment from Belgium and installation of the first Ntensify™ midi system for mRNA manufacturing at Afrigen Biologics in Cape Town, South Africa. This marks a significant milestone on Quantoom’s journey to radically change the way mRNA is manufactured.

Part of the WHO initiative to launch the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine

Within the framework of the mRNA Technology Transfer Programme driven by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Quantoom has been chosen by Afrigen as the technology partner for the second-generation process and equipment. This collaboration will facilitate the development of the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, serving as the base for an mRNA vaccine platform that will provide equitable access to vaccines for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

During the first in-person meeting of the mRNA Technology Transfer Programme taking place in Cape Town, over 200 participants from all around the globe, had the opportunity to visit Afrigen’s facility and were introduced to the Ntensify midi system.

This occasion also marked an important milestone for Afrigen as it was the inauguration of the mRNA Technology Transfer Hub facility in the presence of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as well as Charles Gore Executive Director of MPP and the Honorable Ministers who took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

NtensifyTM : a game-changing technology for continuous RNA manufacture

The Ntensify midi system has a completely redesigned and optimized process for mRNA synthesis and purification. The construct-agnostic platform, used with complementary reagent pre-mixes, allows for the automated continuous production of gram-scale quantities of mRNA drug substance in a cost-effective manner. This GMP-compliant instrument is ideal for mRNA-based vaccine development and manufacturing. Quantoom is delighted to have successfully installed the Ntensify system and be able to contribute to the development of the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine paving the way toward an mRNA vaccine platform that will ensure fair access to vaccines for LMICs.

"Our team is thrilled to have shipped and installed our first Ntensify system in Cape Town. This marks an important milestone for the company as it’s the realization of a project we started less than two years ago! Back then, we wanted to revolutionize mRNA production and find innovative ways to support vaccine manufacturing during future potential pandemics" said José Castillo, CEO of Quantoom. “The Ntensify midi system brings radical innovation to mRNA production, and its successful installation in Cape Town is a testament to Quantoom's commitment to providing innovative solutions for global health.”

"We are delighted to partner with Quantoom for the development of the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The successful installation of the Ntensify system in Cape Town is a crucial step towards achieving this goal and ensuring equitable access to vaccines for LMICs. We are excited about the potential of this game-changing technology for continuous mRNA manufacturing, and we look forward to leveraging it to create a sustainable and reliable supply of vaccines in Africa," said Prof. Petro Terblanche, CEO of Afrigen.

A video of the Ntensify being transferred to Cape Town is available here

Download the press release as a pdf:

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