MorphoSys and Wacker Chemie expanded their existing collaboration to use Wacker's bacterial secretion technology, Esetec®. MorphoSys will now be able to leverage Esetec for the production of antigen material in addition to the production of antibodies in both the early development phase of therapeutic projects as well as in the production of diagnostic and research antibodies.
The Esetec secretion system produces proteins including antibody fragments. The system comprises a specific E. coli strain developed by Wacker that is able to secrete recombinant proteins in their native conformation into the culture medium during fermentation, according to the company. This extracellular production facilitates the purification of recombinant products, and the step of refolding is eliminated.
Wacker and MorphoSys first entered into a feasibility study agreement for the use of Esetec for antibody production in 2005. Due to the success of the collaboration, this agreement was supplemented in 2008 with a formal license to use the Wacker technology.