Ventria Bioscience completed the acquisition of portions of the intellectual property portfolio relating to recombinant lactoferrin developed by Meristem Therapeutics. The agreement transfers to Ventria Bioscience exclusive royalty-free ownership rights for the specific patents in the U.S., France, and Canada, including those related to recombinant human lactoferrin, in exchange for a one-time payment.
“The patents acquired today cover important components of our product pipeline,” said Scott Deeter, president and CEO of Ventria Bioscience. “The decision to purchase this intellectual property is significant because it removes the encumbrance of ongoing royalty and milestone payments, thereby enhancing the future economics of our products that use recombinant human lactoferrin.”
Recombinant human lactoferrin is the active ingredient in Ventria Bioscience’s lead therapeutic candidate VEN100, which is currently in clinical development for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) in adults at high risk for this condition. Meristem Therapeutics’ patents resulted from investments in R&D of recombinant human lactoferrin in plants, but Meristem Therapeutics was never able to solve the problem of producing commercial-scale yields of the protein. Using its proprietary ExpressTec technology platform, Ventria Bioscience reports that it has been able to increase yield by 25 fold, making the protein an attractive candidate for commercialization.
ExpressTec is also used to manufacture proteins in a growing plant, using sunlight for an energy source and soil, water, and air as raw materials. It has applications in the production of recombinant proteins, small peptides, multi-subunit molecules, monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, and enzymes used in medicine and biotechnology, according to the company.