Based in Cologne, Germany, Cevec Pharmaceuticals has been operational since 2004 and built a patent-protected protein-expression platform based on primary human amniocytes. The company just raised an additional $8.6 million funding in July 2011 to further expand its CAP Technology platform. The core technology comprises CAP® and CAP-T™ cells that are designed for stable and transient protein production.
Derived from immortalized human amniocytes, both cell lines have been adapted to serum-free suspension culture and allow for large-scale production of complex biopharmaceutical molecules, monoclonal antibodies, and various vaccines including viruses.
CEVEC business model includes the out-licensing of CAP and CAP-T cells to biotech and pharma customers as well as the advancement of its BioBetter candidates through partnerships with clinical developers.
Rainer Lichtenberger, CEO, comments, “We’re convinced that the versatile human CAP Technology will soon become a leading production platform for all protein and vaccine production needs. The unique advantages are identical and highest product qualities provided by CAP and CAP-T. Therefore, the costly and time-consuming classical switch of transient and stable cell expression like the 293/CHO switch in upstream cell-line development can be avoided.”
Managing director and CCO, Wolfgang Kintzel, added, “With the recent raisure of $8.6 million in financing from our lead investors NRW.BANK and Creathor Venture Fonds, among others, we’re in the fortunate position to further develop the CAP Technology to the protein and vaccine production system of choice, spanning the entire preclinical and clinical development spectrum. The attractiveness of cell-based human vaccines has been also highlighted recently through the $2.3 billion acquisition of Crucell and the human PER.C6 cell line by J&J in 2010.”
CEVEC is expecting to close an additional significant financing round in late 2011 to further push various promising vaccine projects like hCMV, RSV and influenza to Phase I/IIa.
Lichtenberger concludes, “We have already signed several license agreements with well-known pharma companies and are in further negotiations with more than 40 potential industry customers. With both, a broad roll-out of CAP derived high-value vaccine projects and the offering of a powerful and versatile protein/antibody-production platform, the company aims therefore at an attractive exit in 2015 achieving evaluations beyond €200 million.”