Q Chip and ARTES Biotechnology Sign a Collaborative Agreement

Q Chip and ARTES Biotechnology have announced that they have signed a collaborative agreement to explore the co-development of a new sustained release formulation of interferon alpha 2a for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C.

The study is designed to evaluate Q Chips’ Q-Sphera™ peptide and protein delivery platform to develop a new sustained release microsphere formulation composed of biocompatible polymers loaded with interferon alpha 2a manufactured from ARTES’ proprietary yeast hansenula polymorpha expression system.

Q-Sphera is a highly enabling bio-encapsulation technology for the development of polymer based sustained release systems. No harsh solvents or manufacturing conditions are used in the production of drug (including peptides and proteins) loaded microspheres, facilitating benign processing of labile molecules.

Hansenula based products, which are already marketed worldwide, are characterised by safety and cost efficiency superior to other microbial technologies. Interferon alpha 2a manufactured from hansenula has proven to be better tolerated than the e-coli reference.

The collaboration aims to improve patient compliance and provide a more convenient dosing schedule compared with current marketed pegylated therapies through the development of a one month sustained release microsphere formulation. This first phase of the collaboration is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

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