Australian firm Paranta Biosciences has contracted DSM Pharmaceutical Products to carry out process development and cGMP manufacture of its lead recombinant human follistatin protein for the treatment of respiratory diseases. DSM will work with Paranta both from its Groningen site in the Netherlands, and directly from its DSM Biologics facility in Brisbane, Australia, which the firm says has been designed as a blueprint for its “biologics plant of the future”.

Paranta has been established to commercialize Monash University IP centered on the human follistatin protein. The primary function of follistatin is to bind to and neutralize activins, a component of the innate immune response and fibrosis. The firm claims follistatin-based therapies could have widespread utility in the modulation of inflammatory processes, and preventing or resolving accompanying fibrosis. Paranta is exploiting the Monash University IP to progress a preclinical research program focused on the use of follistatin to treat lung diseases with an inflammatory and fibrotic component. The firm says it has a number of contract research agreements in place to generate preclinical data in well-established animal models of lung disease.

DSM’s primary cGMP biologics manufacturing facility is sited in Groningen, the Netherlands. The firm’s new 8000 m2 mammalian manufacturing facility in Brisbane, is being constructed in collaboration with Biopharmaceuticals Australia (BPA), an industry-development company owned by the Queensland State Government, and also with support from the Australian Commonwealth Government. BPA put together the Paranta deal with DSM, and is project managing the final stages of construction of the Brisbane facility.

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