ARTES and Minapharm Sign Long-Term Strategic Development Agreement

ARTES Biotechnology, which specializes in recombinant protein production from yeast expression systems, and Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics, a subsidiary of Minapharm, jointly announced the start of a strategic collaboration to develop three therapeutic proteins. Financial details were not disclosed.

ARTES will apply its proprietary Hansenula technology platform and know-how to the generation of production cell lines, analytical assay development and lab-scale fermentation. Moreover, ARTES has granted Minapharm a commercial license option to apply its proprietary technologies to the manufacturing and marketing of these therapeutic proteins. In addition, ARTES will be responsible for the 100 L-scale production of a Minapharm protein based on an existing process using E. coli.

Minapharm will carry out the pertinent process research & development, production, and commercialization of the therapeutic proteins.

“This long-term agreement marks an important milestone in the existing relationship between our companies. Minapharm’s strategic decision to extend our collaboration is a clear proof of the safety and reliability of the Hansenula technology platform and the quality of our services,” said Dr Michael Piontek, founder and Managing Director of ARTES.

Dr Wafik Bardissi, Chairman and CEO of Minapharm added: “The agreement is a logical consequence of the encouraging results of our currently marketed Hansenula-derived products combining high quality and cost-effectiveness. The anticipated outcome is of reciprocal value to Minapharm’s process R&D program and the Hansenula technology platform in general.”

The yeast strain Hansenula polymorpha is often an alternative to E. coli for producing therapeutic proteins or technical enzymes inexpensively. A number of products derived from Hansenula are already marketed worldwide such as a Hepatitis B vaccine, insulin, interferon alpha 2a and feed and food enzymes. Several others are in clinical trials.

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