VelaLabs and Evercyte have entered a collaboration to commercialize immortalized target cells for the characterization of biosimilars. The partnership expects to provide product-tailored bioassays by combining Vela’s expertise in the characterization of biosimilars with Evercyte’s know-how to immortalize relevant primary target cells.

“The need of product relevant cell lines that can be standardized is ever increasing in view of restrictions on the use of laboratory animal as well as the increased demand for analyzing the biological activity of biosimilars and biopharmaceuticals,” said Johannes Grillari, Ph.D., co-founder and CSO of Evercyte. “Therefore, our cooperation aims to introduce Evercyte’s cell lines into the GMP environment and to establish novel, relevant cell lines, including innovative reporter cell lines, for specific biopharmaceuticals, again for use under GMP conditions”.

A VEGF-responsive cell line (HUVEC) has already been established for potency testing of bevacizumab (Avastin®) biosimilars. Bevacizumab, which will come off-patent in 2018, is a humanized monoclonal IgG1/kappa antibody that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor A and is comprised of a tetramer of two heavy and two light chains with one N-glycosylation site per heavy chain. It is commonly used to treat various cancers, including colorectal, lung, breast, kidney, and glioblastomas.

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