Tetragenetics Inc. a 2012 Gates Foundation Phase ll grant recipient and an emerging biotechnology company engaged in the development of particle-based vaccines and expression of membrane proteins for drug discovery, reported today that it has entered into a technology access and exclusive research license agreement with Amgen for a defined, but undisclosed, surface antigen.
Dr. Ted Clark, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Tetragenetics, said, “Tetragenetics has created a unique capability for making antigens which enable the discovery and production of novel antibodies that target validated but previously difficult to produce membrane protein drug targets.”
“One of the central problems that industry faces with an immunopharmacological approach to these intractable targets is presentation of the right extracellular domains. Tetragenetics’ discovery technology has distinct and quantifiable advantages over mammalian cells which, up until now, have been the principal cell lines available for discovery purposes,” continued Dr. Clark. “Our agreement with Amgen marks the second major partnership for Tetragenetics and the first for this specific family of targets.”
“Our collaboration with Amgen validates Tetragenetics’ proprietary drug discovery platform,” noted John Reilly, V.P. Business Development. “We will be announcing further collaborations with leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies as we expand our partnering programs.”
Tetragenetics’ technology enables high density heterologous expression of recombinant human membrane proteins on the cell surface of Tetrahymena thermophila. Immunogen preparations of the drug targets can be made in any of several formats: cell ghosts (“pellicles”), membrane vesicles, lipid rafts, or partially purified soluble protein. These enriched preparations are designed to enhance antibody production against the extracellular portions of the target.