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GEN News Highlights : Apr 30, 2010

CRO Aragen Negotiates Licenses to Cevec’s Human Amniotic Cell Line Expression System

Companies claim CAP platform demonstrates stable and high protein expression along with flexibility to generate new custom lines.

Contract R&D company Aragen Bioscience signed a strategic license agreement with Cevec Pharmaceuticals to gain access to its CAP® and CAP-T™ human cell-based expression systems and cell lines. The companies say the collaboration will provide Aragen’s clients with preclinical and clinical-grade production material generated from stable as well as transiently transfected cell lines.

“We believe that human cells will be a superior production system for a variety of complex proteins,” commented Rick Srigley, Aragen CEO. “Cevec’s technology is a valuable addition to our existing expression portfolio and will enable our customers to pursue new directions for proteins that were difficult to express in the past or did not show satisfactory posttranslational modifications.”

The licensing deal is Cevec’s third since last autumn. In October 2009 the firm signed a CAP-T licensing agreement with contract manufacturer InVivo BioTech Services. In December a deal was struck with contract manufacturer Inno Biologics in Malaysia.

Cevec's CAP technology is based on the use of human amniocytes to establish permanent cell lines for the production of biopharmaceuticals. Primary human amniocytes are immortalized by adenoviral genetic E1/pIX functions and highly efficient CAP cell lines selected, the company explains. The CAP cell lines contain adenovirus type 5 nucleotide sequence 505-4079 including the E1 genes and the entire pIX sequence.

Cevec claims its CAP cell lines demonstrate manifold benefits, including the stable and high expression of human proteins, the ability to generate proteins with post-translational modifications, and the flexibility to routinely generate custom-made cell lines.

In March 2009, Cevec launched its complementary CAP-T technology for the transient expression of proteins. According to the company, CAP-T allows the progression from gene to milligram and gram amounts of protein within two weeks. Key benefits include fast process times, high yields, and authentic human post-translational modifications, especially with complex and highly glycosylated proteins. Cevec claims CAP-T is ideal for generating proteins for screening, assay development, target validation, drug discovery, early-stage preclinical drug development, and lead optimization.