GenScript, the world's leading reagents provider, announced today the launch of its Research Lentiviral Vector Packaging Service for cell line development, gene editing, and drug discovery. The service enables scientists to package their genetic material of choice using GenScript's proprietary platform to ensure consistent production of functional and intact viruses.
Access to high volume, high quality lentiviruses has become increasingly important in identifying therapeutics to fight COVID-19 and mutant strains of the virus as they emerge. Dr. Nevan Krogan, a molecular and systems biologist who leads The Krogan lab at the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) at UCSF and the Gladstone Institute of Data Science and Biosciences (GIDB), is using GenScript's lentiviruses to identify drugs against COVID-19.
"Having direct access to high quality, functionally intact titers has been crucial to our efforts to evaluate existing drugs that could be repurposed to fight COVID-19 faster," Krogan said. "Generating lentiviruses on our own would have been time- consuming and would likely have required repetition of multiple experiments due to lower quality of viral vectors, significantly delaying our progress. We're looking forward to continuing our work with GenScript and its lentivirus service in the future."
"Dr. Krogan's work highlights the importance of functional intact titers and speed in therapeutic development, and we're pleased to be partnering with UCSF on this research," said Dr. Shi Minlong, vice president of production at GenScript. "The versatility of lentiviruses in transducing multiple cell types makes them useful for basic research and in other fields such as cancer and autoimmune diseases."
Lentiviral vectors are a type of retrovirus capable of infecting both dividing and non-dividing cells, making them ideally suited to delivering genes for fighting autoimmune diseases and cancer or viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. However, producing large quantities of lentiviruses can be challenging to do in-house, and virus titer quality is often inconsistent. GenScript's Lentiviral Packaging Service overcomes those challenges with proprietary formulation and workflow, enabling faster development of therapeutics.
Lentiviruses have advantages over other viral vectors such as Adeno-Associated Viruses (AAV) as they are capable of carrying large transgenes and infecting a broad range of tissue types. They also have reduced immunogenicity and therefore produce few side-effects. Most lentiviral vectors used today are based on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).