Firm aims to exploit human amniocyte-derived cell lines through new vaccine development partnerships.

German firm Cevec Pharmaceuticals raised €6 million (about $8.5 million) in a financing round with new and existing investors to support commercialization of its CAP® Technology human cell expression technology for the production of proteins and vaccines.

The protein expression platform is based on specific amniocyte-derived human cell lines and enables the production of complex biologics and therapeutic antibodies with authentic human glycosylation and sialylation patterns, Cevec claims. Two platforms are available: the CAP system for stable expression, and the CAP-T™ transient expression system for drug development applications including screening, assay development, target validation, drug discovery, early stage preclinical drug development and lead optimization.

More recent data has in addition demonstrated the utility of the human CAP technology for vaccine production, and the firm says it aims to carry out a further round of fundraising this year, which will allow it to establish vaccine development partnerships. “After the successful launch of CAP and CAP-T in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the U.S. for use in the field of protein and antibody expression, the new excellent scientific data using the system for vaccine production opens a truly outstanding new business opportunity for Cevec,” remarks CCO Wolfgang Kintzel.

In addition to offering the CAP and CAP-T platforms through commercial, research, and R&D licenses, Cevec is also developing an early-stage pipeline of difficult-to-express biopharmaceuticals. The lead product is recombinant human alkaline phosphatase, which the firm is developing as part of a consortium with Dutch firms Alloksys and Pharmacell. Initial proof-of-concept trials are expected to start in 2012. Additional pipeline products being developed using the CAP system include human alpha antitrypsin and what Cevec claims is the first fully human C-1 inhibitor, both of which are in early preclinical development and available for licensing.

Just last month Cevec and Catalent Pharma Solutions announced a joint commercial cell-line development service for biotech and pharma clients, which combines the CAP technology with Catalent’s GPEx® (gene product expression). The firms claim that combining their technologies will enable the generation of high expressing stable human cell lines in a much shorter timeframe than current methods.

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