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Touchlight receives half a million euros from Cdti to develop a platform for vaccine production

The Basque company Touchlight has obtained a grant from the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology to advance a tool for the rapid manufacture of adeno-associated virus drugs against COVID-19. Touchlight AAV is a joint venture between biotechnology companies Askbio and Touchlight Genetics. Both are specialized in the fields of AAV and DNA with the objective of better AAV production.

Sharon Harris

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This picture show a vaccine and the earth.

Touchlight advances research and development in the fight against the coronavirus. The Basque company has received $591,000 (€500,000) from the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (Cdti), as explained by the director, Alfredo Martinez. The company will use the funding to develop a platform for the rapid production of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vaccines based on dbDNA against COVID-19. 

Touchlight, based at the Guipuzcoa Technology Park, has secured funding from the Cdti, which is part of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The company specializes in gene therapy and manufactures DNA for the production of AAVs. Martínez explained that Touchlight has developed a process that allows skipping the bacterial step. 

The biotech sector is in the spotlight these days, as the whole world is waiting for a vaccine that would put an end to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more about the latest advances in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine of the Spanish biotech company Touchlight and read the most important financial headlines with our companion app, Born2Invest.

Touchlight is immersed in a COVID-19 vaccine project together with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Research Center

The company is working on a COVID-19 vaccine project that is sponsored by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital research center in Boston and in conjunction with Harvard Medical School. 

“We believe that people treated with this vaccine will respond with an immune reaction after producing a good response against the coronavirus proteins,” commented Martinez. Touchlight’s director indicated that the grant will cover the research costs of the first phase of the project, such as material and personnel. 

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In case of passing the first phase, the second one would consist of a clinical trial of toxicity and an analysis by the company of the commercial value. Touchlight’s goal is to begin supplying this material to other companies in September. 

Touchlight AAV is a joint venture between biotechnology companies Askbio and Touchlight Genetics. Both are specialized in the fields of AAV and DNA with the objective of better AAV production. Askbio is located in North Carolina and focuses on gene therapies, while Touchlight Genetics is in the UK and has high technology. 

Touchlight expects to have a turnover of $15 million in 2021. The company was founded in February 2019 and started its activity on July 1st of the same year. The company currently has 35 employees and a 400 square meter facility. Martinez detailed that “the goal of turnover is $15 million in 2021.”

If the forecast is met, the company would reach the break-even, which the company places between $11 and $12 million. Finally, the company hopes to expand its workforce and reach fifty workers by 2021. In the first year of Touchlight’s life, the company has received $1.78 million (€1.5 million) from the Gauzatu Credit, which promotes the creation and development of technology-based or innovative companies, belonging to the Basque Government. The company has also raised $887,000 (€750,000) between an ICO credit, Asitek funding, and the Torres Quevedo grant.

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First published in PlantaDoce, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Sharon Harris is a feminist and a part-time nomad. She reports about businesses primarily involved in tech, CBD, and crypto. She started her career as a product manager at a Silicon Valley startup but now enjoys a new life as a personal finance geek and writer. Her primary aim is to provide readers with a new perspective on the overlapping world of finance and technology.