Dutch firms Royal DSM and Crucell are ramping up activity at their Percivia Per.C6® Development Center in Cambridge, MA, to transform the joint venture into a fully fledged biopharmaceutical company. Percivia LLC will develop proteins and monoclonal antibodies based on Crucell’s Per.C6 cell line, initially to early clinical stages. In addition it license the Per.C6 human cell line for the production of third-party monoclonal antibodies and other proteins. The newly expanded firm will also have its own business development team and equal representation from both investors.
The firms opened the Percivia Per.C6 Development Center in 2006 to focus on further developing the cell line and providing turnkey solutions for the production of proteins for licensees. They will each hold an equal equity stake in the new Percivia company. “After progress was made by Percivia as an R&D center with a focus on further developing the unique PER.C6 technology platform, now is the time to take our cooperation with Crucell to the next level,” comments Feike Sijbesma, DSM CEO and management board chairman.”
“I look forward to work with the Percivia team to capitalize on the many opportunities in the fast growing market for biobetters,” adds Jim Mullen, the new company’s board chairman designate. “We aim to capture these by leveraging the advantages of the Per.C6 cell line platform.”
Crucell’s PER.C6 cell line is derived from a single, human retina-derived cell that was immortalized using recombinant technology, Crucell explains. It says the resulting PER.C6 cells can replicate indefinitely, allowing them to be cultured in single-cell suspension under serum-free conditions in quantities appropriate for large-scale manufacturing. The firm maintains the cell line is ideally suited to the development and large-scale manufacturing of a range of biopharmaceuticals including vaccines, therapeutic proteins, antibodies, and gene-therapy products. The Per.C6 platform encompasses cell-line generation technology, cell culture development, up and downstream processes, design, scale-up, technology transfer, and regulatory support.