Novozymes spun out its biopharmaceutical capabilities and formed a wholly owned company, Albumedix.
“Over the past nine years, our work in albumin has resulted in a series of new discoveries and technologies, which have led to agreements with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies,” says Thomas Videbæk, executive vp for business development at Novozymes. “The business is in good shape with great prospects to make a real difference for patients all over the world. We believe it is now ready to be developed further outside Novozymes, where it will have the best possible growth conditions.”
Albumedix will continue to focus on technologies and products based on recombinant albumin, a naturally occurring protein that can be found in human blood. Recombumin® products are used in the pharmaceutical industry to stabilize drugs and vaccines. Merck, for example, relied on Albumedix’s solutions to produce two vaccines used to treat millions of children worldwide against measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox.
Albumin can also be used to extend the half-life of pharmaceuticals to prolong the drugs’ effect. According to Videbaek, Albumedix offers a first- and second-generation version of this drug delivery technology under the name Veltis. Two years ago GlaxoSmithKline launched a diabetes drug that utilizes the Veltis technology to allow patients to dose weekly instead of daily.
Officials at Albumedix add that they will begin to explore early-stage clinical drug development based on Veltis technology and relevant drug candidates.