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New gene therapy laboratory at the Biofactory Competence Center

Life sciences

12 September 2022

The Biofactory Competence Center (BCC) in Fribourg has inaugurated a new state-of-the-art facility gene therapy laboratory to meet the growing needs of the Swiss biopharmaceutical industry in terms of the training of specialized personnel and the production of drugs.

Gene therapy research is booming, opening up promising prospects for the treatment of many diseases, such as certain cancers and genetic diseases including various forms of hemophilia. Recently, the rapid development of specific vaccines against Covid-19 has also highlighted the potential of these techniques.

As a result of a close collaboration with Pall Corporation, the Biofactory Competence Center’s new gene therapy laboratory further strengthens the Fribourg-based research facility as a global center of expertise in the manufacture of viral vectors for gene therapy.

The new viral vector/gene therapy laboratory will enable the production of viral vectors for use in the treatment of many medical conditions, including some cancers, hereditary diseases and vaccines. It will be offered for training of personnel from basic to advanced levels, for the design of processes for new products and to support companies working in this field.

 “All training is carried out under realistic industrial conditions and combines theory and practice. It will highlight key advantages of viral vector manufacturing for gene therapy, and how best to leverage current resources and future goals. This new laboratory opens perspectives in terms of training and research to meet the growing needs of the Swiss biopharmaceutical industry”, said Ian Marison, founder and CEO of the BCC.

A flagship project for the canton of Fribourg

Through its multiple relationships and collaborations with the biopharmaceutical industry, in particular with Pall Corporation, the BCC, as an entity of the Fribourg School of Engineering and Architecture (HEIA-FR), reinforces the vital links between Fribourg University of Applied Sciences and the regional and even international economic context. Both the teaching of the students and the HEIA-FR activities in applied research benefit from such links.

The new facility will further strengthen Fribourg’s position as a canton dedicated to training and development, at the forefront of research while being close to the practice and needs of the economy by offering targeted innovation support measures.

“The establishment of this new laboratory will have a strong impact on Fribourg as a business and science location. We are particularly happy and proud of this new accomplishment and the close collaboration between Pall Corporation and the Biofactory Competence Center, two flagships of Fribourg’s economy. This new laboratory opens new perspectives for them”, concluded Jerry Krattiger, Director of the Economic Development Agency of Fribourg, PromFR.