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GEN News Highlights : Jul 15, 2013

Artes, Bio Farma Team Up for VLP Vaccine Development

Germany’s Artes Biotechnology is working jointly on vaccine development with Indonesian vaccine and antisera producer Bio Farma in a collaboration announced today.

Artes, which specializes in recombinant protein production and process development from microbial expression systems, will be working alongside Bio Farma with an initial focus on virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccines. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Bio Farma is a strong and reliable pharmaceutical partner and the only vaccine and antisera producer for humans in Indonesia. We are more than confident, that we along with Bio Farma will develop vaccines highly relevant for the Indonesian and neighboring markets. We expect that especially developments based on our Metavax® technology will contribute to Bio Farma´s vaccine portfolio,” said Michael Piontek, M.D., founder and managing director of Artes.

Artes’ Metavax is VLP technology based on modifications to duck hepatitis B virus, the firm said. The company claims its technology “elicits a highly potent immune response and therefore a broader protection than the currently available VLP approaches.”

The firm added that Indonesia’s Ministry of Health has expressed support for its partnership with Bio Farma, and will be assisting in relevant policy aspects to accelerate the development of vaccines in the country.