The UK Technology Strategy Board has dished out £1.1 million to help fund a three-year project to develop predictive manufacturing tools for future cell-based cancer vaccines.

The £1.8 million project, which will be undertaken by a consortium led by biotechnology group Onyvax, hopes to draw together each group’s expertise to speed up the production of new cell lines for potential cancer vaccines.

The project will combine micro-scale process engineering technology with advanced analytical and informatic methods to predict and optimise cell line performance in large scale manufacturing processes, according to Onyvax.

“The micro-scale technology will allow us to predict how a cell line will perform in an intensive manufacturing process”, commented Dr Stephen Ward, Director of Development at Onyvax. “With these new tools, we hope to determine the robustness of a cell line earlier in the development lifecycle and to reject those that are not suitable, thereby reducing the time to market for these innovative medicines,” he explained.

In addition to Onyvax, the Consortium, which will also provide the additional funds to advance the project, includes: University College London’s Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering; science-based service company LGC; and Nottingham Trent University.

The TSB is a non-departmental public body, set up by the government and sponsored by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills. Its primary mission is to promote and support research into, as well as development and exploitation of, technology to ultimately help boost economic growth and improve quality of life.