CEVEC Pharmaceuticals said today it has granted rights to its CAP® GT and CAP® Go cell lines to NewLink Genetics for the development and commercialization of vaccines against Zika virus infections.

The value of the licensing agreement was not disclosed. Under the deal, CEVEC is giving NewLink and its affiliates the rights to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize CAP GT- and/or CAP Go-derived Zika vaccine candidates.

CAP GT is a cell-expression system designed as a novel platform for scalable production of viral vectors for gene therapy. Growing in serum-free suspension culture at high densities, CAP GT cells are intended to propagate a broad spectrum of viral species supporting lentiviral, adenoviral, and adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors.

According to CEVEC, CAP GT suspension cell-derived viral packaging and producer cell lines are intended to enable better scaleup and competitive production costs compared to adherent cell culture systems.

CAP Go cell lines are used in the recombinant production of complexly glycosylated molecules, such as coagulation factors and other plasma proteins. In addition to plasma proteins, examples of products made using CAP Go include cytokines, ion channels, virus envelope proteins, high-molecular-mass multimer proteins, and antibodies.

According to CEVEC, CAP Go enables the production of proteins previously out of reach, representing a significant proportion of the human proteome, and proteins difficult to express in conventional cell lines such as Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The CAP Go expression platform consists of a portfolio of glyco-optimized human suspension cell lines designed for highly efficient production of a broad range of difficult-to-express recombinant proteins with authentic human post-translational modifications or on-demand tailor-made glycosylation patterns.

“The joint agreement is a strong endorsement of our CAP system and represents another important step toward establishing CEVEC's technologies as the new global industry standard for viral vector and vaccine development,” CEVEC CEO Frank Ubags said in a statement.

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