Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio) announced Monday the formation of Viralgen, a gene therapy joint venture with Columbus Venture Partners.

The Viralgen Vector Core will use AskBio’s technology for the production of double strand adeno-associated virus (AAV).

“This is a great opportunity to establish unique gene manufacturing capabilities in Europe,” said Sheila Mikhail, President and CEO of AskBio. “Our partnership with Columbus and the support of the Basque government will hopefully attract significant talent to the region and have immediate impact on the gene therapy market in Europe and the rest of the world.”

Viralgen is established with direct investments from AskBio and Columbus Venture Partners and a significant commitment from the Basque Government. Viralgen will be located in the Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park in San Sebastián, Spain and will be the only facility in Europe with access to the most robust manufacturing platform.

“We are excited about the exclusive viral vector capabilities this partnership will create,” said Javier García Cogorro, Managing Partner of Columbus Venture Partners. “Viralgen success will be based on three areas: outstanding technology, quality of the location to attract talent, and commitment from the Basque Country Government.”