ENPICOM and Viroclinics-DDL receive joint MIT R&D ZH subsidy to accelerate and improve antibody and vaccine discovery and development
Partnership combines Viroclinics-DDL’s diagnostic and high-throughput sequencing experience with ENPICOM’s expertise in bioinformatics and immunomics
‘s-Hertogenbosch and Rijswijk, The Netherlands, March 30, 2021 – Viroclinics-DDL, a state-of-the-art Contract Research Organization specialized in molecular diagnostic testing and assay development, and ENPICOM, an innovative bioinformatics software engineering company, announced the approval of their joint MIT R&D ZH subsidy (SME Innovation Stimulation Top Sectors South Holland) application. This R&D partnership project combines “wet-lab” (in vitro) diagnostic and high-throughput sequencing expertise of Viroclinics-DDL and “dry-lab” (in silico) bioinformatics and immunomics knowledge of ENPICOM. Together, the two companies aim to develop an integrated wet and dry lab BCR repertoire sequencing technology that can be offered as a unique full-service proposition. BCR receptor identification and quantification can be used for patients monitoring, evaluation of vaccine efficacy, and, of particular importance in these turbulent times, to improve antibody-based therapeutic development.
“Viroclinics-DDL’s proven ability to perform molecular diagnostic testing at scale provides a tremendous engine to power innovative therapeutics.” comments Jos Lunenberg, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at ENPICOM. “The joint strengths and capabilities of our experienced and well-diversified teams create not only a more complete portfolio of services for our clients; we are confident that our IGX Platform TCR/BCR sequencing analysis and management, combined with Viroclinics-DDL’s diversified portfolio of assay tools, will allow us to expedite discovery and development of new revolutionary therapeutics and vaccines.”
“This is a great example of our mission to drive purposeful innovation.” says Desiree van der Kleij, General Manager at Viroclinics-DDL. “The combined expertise of our companies provides an opportunity to extend our service portfolio of tailor-made molecular diagnostic services for our (bio)pharmaceutical customers.”
Unique full-service offering for B cell receptor repertoire profiling for antibody development
Therapeutics based on antibodies are at the forefront of revolutionary treatments for cancer, autoimmunity, and many other diseases. While B cell repertoire profiling and analysis (also known as ‘immunosequencing’ or ‘BCR repertoire sequencing’) has proven to be highly effective at improving selection and production of antibody candidates, existing immunosequencing solutions are limited in data analysis options which do not meet today’s data quantity and quality requirements. Correct annotation of immune receptors, the interpretation of large-scale repertoires and the integration of different datatypes are posing serious challenge to researchers. Viroclinics-DDL and ENPICOM aim to develop a complete solution that includes high-throughput sequencing, quality control, and innovative data analysis methods, ensuring a seamless integration of all lab and data analysis aspects of immune repertoire sequencing.
This project is part of the Top Sector LSH (Life Sciences & Health) under the ‘enabling technologies and infrastructure’ and ‘molecular diagnostics’ themes. In addition, the project has a direct impact on the Top Sector HTSM & ICT with a contribution to the themes Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and ICT-driven services.
The collaboration between Viroclinics-DDL and ENPICOM was initiated in May 2019 to jointly deliver TCR repertoire sequencing and analysis service to organizations studying immune system related diseases or developing drugs influencing this system. In January 2021, ENPICOM released an end-to-end software solution for fast and efficient antibody discovery. This new product proposition that aims to address the needs of researchers within the BCR repertoire sequencing field is going to be an important step to facilitate the full-service proposition jointly offered with Viroclinics-DDL.
ENPICOM is an innovative bioinformatics software engineering company delivering ground-breaking products and customized solutions to decode the immune system and improve human health. With a diverse team of over 25 professionals, ENPICOM serves customers from all over the world, from academic research centers doing basic research related to the immune system, to biotech and global pharmaceutical companies focusing on the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies and vaccines.
Leveraging a unique mix of immunology knowledge, bioinformatics method development, and software engineering skills, ENPICOM offers a world-class repertoire sequencing data analysis solution – the ImmunoGenomiX (IGX) Platform. IGX is an innovative platform to manage, store, analyze, visualize, and interpret immune repertoire sequencing data from T and B cell receptors. In collaboration with DDL Diagnostic Laboratory, ENPICOM delivers full immune repertoire sequencing and analysis service.
Viroclinics-DDL is a global leading specialty contract research organization, serving the biopharmaceutical community with a broad range of preclinical research, clinical diagnostic, assay development and clinical trial logistic services. A global reach is offered to our clients through a network of 29 processing laboratories. Viroclinics-DDL’s extensive experience with clinical and preclinical studies for viruses, including its specialty in respiratory and blood borne viruses, puts the company at the forefront in supporting the development of vaccines, antibodies and antiviral compounds targeting viral infectious diseases. Our in-house state of the art preclinical and clinical BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories allow for complex experiments with highly pathogenic organisms. Viroclinics-DDL is based in Rotterdam, Rijswijk, Schaijk, (The Netherlands) and employs more than 300 well-trained, dedicated scientists and technical experts.
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Viroclinics-DDL Team to Support COVID-19 New Drug Investigations
Rijswijk, 25 March, 2020
Preceding weeks have made clear that COVID-19 continues to spread and is paralyzing the world. Times are unprecedented and show us how vulnerable we are and how we depend on each other. As a service organization – highly specialized in virology – we will commit ourselves to realign our resources, equipment and materials to new initiatives to test anti-virals, immune modulators and vaccines in the battle against COVID-19. We like to thank our regular and repeat customers, because they also give COVID-19 intervention strategies ample attention and – together with us – show the flexibility to prioritize the programs, making it possible to gear exceptional efforts to new COVID-19 drug and vaccine medication at Viroclinics-DDL.
“Together with our clients and partners we are currently working on vaccine and antiviral concepts to support global societies with much-needed anti-viral and immune strategies” Paul Zoeteweij Business Development
“At this precarious time, our thoughts are with the many patients, their relatives, the health care workers that are working day and night to tackle COVID-19. It feels necessary to redirect our efforts and contribute with our skills and join forces with our partners to find a cure or a prevention method” Hans Bunschoten COO
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Viroclinics Biosciences and DDL Diagnostic Laboratory Join Forces
Two leading virology testing laboratories integrate to form new group serving global biopharmaceutical industry
Rotterdam, Rijswijk, 03 March 2020, The Netherlands
Viroclinics Biosciences, a leading virology contract research organization, announced today that it has acquired DDL Diagnostic Laboratory, a leading diagnostic solutions provider. The transaction enhances the combined group’s leading global position in anti-viral and vaccine testing and will serve to accelerate their ambitious growth strategy.
Viroclinics was founded in 2001 and specializes in the fields of virology and global logistics services. DDL was founded in 1994 and is an expert laboratory in advanced (molecular) diagnostic testing. Both companies operate globally, serving leading biopharmaceutical companies active in the field of microbial vaccines and anti-virals.
Viroclinics is the global leader in influenza and other viral targets, such as RSV and Polio, while DDL also specializes in the fields of Hepatitis and HPV. The combined organization will operate from four testing laboratories located in Europe and China, with access to a global network of processing facilities across 20 countries to coordinate sample collection in strategic regions worldwide to serve global trials.
“By joining with DDL, we will enhance Viroclinics’ leading position as a specialized contract research organization, adding to our service offering, capacity and geographic presence,” said Bob van Gemen, Ph.D, CEO of Viroclinics Biosciences, who will serve as CEO of the combined organization. “I look forward to working with the DDL team and continuing to build on our leading global position as a virology CRO.”
“This is an exciting milestone for DDL. Our mission has been clear since the start of our company: to be a premier service provider in the global pharma services sector, with a focus on molecular diagnostics in infectious diseases,” said Leen-Jan van Doorn, Ph.D, Chief Business Officer and co-founder of DDL. Jan Lindeman, CEO of DDL, M.Sc. MBA, added: “The combined expertise of DDL and Viroclinics provides an opportunity to increase our capacity, extend our service portfolio and enhance opportunities for all employees.”
The joint strengths and capabilities, and increased laboratory capacity of the new group create a more complete portfolio of services for clients, from early stage pre-clinical work to large scale phase 2/3 trials as well as post-marketing studies. The combined business will employ 240 specialized scientists, researchers, technicians and support staff.
“We believe the market opportunity is enormous,” added Bob van Gemen. “Together, the Viroclinics and DDL teams will continue to invest in virology, adjacent and novel therapeutic fields, with the goal of serving a growing global client base.”
About Viroclinics Biosciences
Viroclinics Biosciences is a leading virology contract research organization, serving the biopharmaceutical community with a broad range of preclinical, clinical diagnostic, assay development and clinical trial logistics services. Operating at a global level, Viroclinics is the preferred virology testing laboratory for several of the top-10 biopharmaceutical companies. Viroclinics’ extensive experience with clinical and preclinical studies for viruses, including its specialty in respiratory viruses, puts the company at the forefront in supporting the development of vaccines, antibodies and antiviral compounds targeting viral infectious diseases. Viroclinics is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and employs more than 160 well-trained, dedicated scientists and technical experts.
More information: www.viroclinics.com
DDL Diagnostic Laboratory (DDL) is a state-of-the-art laboratory specialized in (molecular) diagnostic testing and diagnostic assay development. DDL performs advanced (molecular) diagnostic testing on behalf of pharmaceutical companies and clinical laboratories. DDL also designs, develops, and validates novel diagnostic assays, which can be tailored to specific diagnostic purposes. DDL is based in Rijswijk, the Netherlands and has a core team of 80 quality-minded employees with proven scientific and clinical laboratory experience. DDL offers state-of-the-art diagnostic services to its customers, and provides flexible, creative, and cost-effective advanced diagnostic solutions. Currently, DDL serves multiple international pharmaceutical companies, including 10 of the worldwide top-20.
More information: www.ddl.nl