Merck will provide technical support, training and process development and streamlining to Synplogen’s scientists at M Lab Collaboration Center in Japan. Credit: Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and/or its affiliates.

Merck and Synplogen have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expedite the development and manufacturing of viral vector-based gene therapy applications.

The firms intend to merge their expertise to provide simplified viral vector gene therapy development, production and testing in Japan.

Under the deal, Merck will license its VirusExpress 293 Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Production Platform.

This platform will aid Synplogen in boosting the speed of clinical manufacturing while lowering process development duration and expenses. 

The method will utilise the Millipore Contract Testing, Development and Manufacturing Organization (CTDMO) Services facility of Merck in Carlsbad, California, US.

Opened last year, this site backs the large-scale commercial and industrial production of viral and gene therapy products.  

Merck Life Science business sector Japan Process Solutions head Isao Hatano said: “With nearly 30 years’ experience in cell and gene therapy, we look forward to collaborating with Synplogen to further the development and manufacturing of viral vectors in Japan. 

“Our work together will focus on developing the targeted template and manufacturing for viral vectors in order to bring these life-changing therapies to more patients.”

As per the collaboration, Merck will provide technical support, training and process development and streamlining to Synplogen’s scientists at its M Lab Collaboration Center located in Tokyo, Japan. 

In nine countries globally, Merck runs M Lab Collaboration Centers, where its researchers and engineers offer partnership, technical guidance and education opportunities for customers in a completely simulated bioprocessing production lab environment. 

Synplogen representative director and CEO Kazuhiko Yamamoto said: “Our collaboration with Merck will enable us to provide a full range of services from Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control development to GMP manufacturing and potentially expand the business globally, by licensing our proprietary technologies to overseas companies.”

In September, Merck and Guardant Health expanded their partnership to expedite the development of precision oncology therapeutics.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

Editorial content is independently produced and follows the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Topic sponsors are not involved in the creation of editorial content.