HomePress ReleasesMerck Announces VectorY as Winner of its Advance Biotech Grant

Merck Announces VectorY as Winner of its Advance Biotech Grant

News Release

  • Novel gene therapy company selected for its development of vectorized antibodies for the treatment of muscular and neurodegenerative disorders
  • Grant awards in-kind products and consultation support for process development and gene therapy manufacturing

Darmstadt, Germany, May 18, 2021 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that VectorY has been selected as the European winner of its 2021 Advance Biotech Grant Program.

The Amsterdam, Netherlands-based biotechnology company was chosen for its development of proprietary and partnered programs based on a novel adeno-associated viruses (AAV) platform for the treatment of muscular and neurodegenerative disorders.

“Our goal is to support the biotech community in bringing the next generation of therapies to the clinic, faster and more efficiently,” said Andrew Bulpin, head of Process Solutions, Life Science, at Merck. “VectorY’s work could be instrumental in developing potential new treatments for muscular and neurodegenerative diseases.”

VectorY has a pipeline of vectorized antibodies, including two in pre-clinical development, targeting muscular and central nervous system diseases with unmet needs. Its next-generation vectors and advanced bioprocess technologies will enable highly scalable manufacturing processes for flexible production, overcoming current challenges in delivery and manufacturability for advanced gene therapies.

The company plans to set up its own multi-product Good Manufacturing Practice manufacturing facilities in Amsterdam later this year.

As part of the grant award, VectorY will receive in-kind Merck products and consultation in upstream processing, sterile and virus filtration, and process development support for gene therapy manufacturing. This award will support acceleration of their candidate development and build further upon the upstream activities already initiated with the Emerging Biotech team at Merck.

“Winning Merck’s Advance Biotech Grant is an incredible honor,” said Anthony Newcombe, COO of VectorY. “The support from the Life Science business of Merck will help us expedite our technology programs and further production scale solutions for next-generation gene therapy manufacturing.”

Since 2014, Merck’s Advance Biotech Grant Program has awarded technologies and consultation to 32 biotechnology companies. These grants have been used to support biotech companies whose missions are to help patients suffering from cancer, brain tumors, infectious diseases, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disorders.

To learn more about the program, visit:

About VectorY

VectorY combines the therapeutic potential of antibodies and gene therapy to develop long-lasting therapeutic solutions for muscular and neurodegenerative diseases with high unmet medical need. Founded in August 2020, and based in the Amsterdam Science Park, VectorY is a fully integrated gene therapy company focused on the development of innovative therapeutics based on a novel AAV gene therapy platform, antibody-based targeted degradation technologies, and proprietary manufacturing technology.

VectorY develops proprietary & partnered programs and product candidates are based on new technologies that will enable the next generation of highly scalable manufacturing processes within VectorY’s own manufacturing facilities. VectorY’s manufacturing capabilities will include a state-of-the-art multi-product GMP facility in the Netherlands, with the capability to deliver suspension based AAV viral vector manufacturing of up to 2000L for both clinical and commercial supply. VectorY’s founding investor is the leading European venture capital firm Forbion with offices in The Netherlands, Germany and Singapore.

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science, and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck generated sales of € 17.5  billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics.

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