Frost & Sullivan selects Millipore Corporation’s Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Element (UCOE™) gene expression technology as the recipient of the 2007 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation of the Year Award in the U.S. Drug Discovery Technologies market.
Millipore’s approach for mammalian gene and protein expression offers significant benefits to manufacturers of biologic-based medicines, as there is high demand for these drugs because they are required for patients diagnosed with cancer and other diseases.
The UCOE™ technology exploits the principles guiding the expression of housekeeping genes, primarily their constitutively active state, in order to have high expression of transgenes that have been incorporated into a cell’s genome.
Due to the responsibility to maintain the cellular environment, housekeeping genes are endowed with a chromatin region that is always open to the cell’s translation machinery, and the UCOE technology uses a novel approach that harnesses these key regulatory DNA elements associated with the housekeeping genes to perform a similar function when incorporated with proprietary expression vectors.
Because of its chromatin-localization-independent high level expression, UCOE™ technology aids isolation of highly productive clonal lines by screening nearly 100 clones in less than four months, which is significantly faster than the gene amplification-based program of conventional technologies that requires as much as 12-15 months. The cell lines generated with UCOE™ are stable for at least 130 generations, which roughly corresponds to 130 days for CHO cells.
“Overall, protein expression levels are shown to be 10-50 fold higher when using Millipore’s UCOE technology then those obtained through conventional mammalian protein expression methods,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Shankar Sellappan, Ph.D. “These elevated expression levels are achieved by significantly higher specific productivity rates resulting from robust transcriptional activity in UCOE™-controlled transcriptionally unrestricted chromatin sites.”
A significant advantage of the UCOE™ technology is that it catalyzes increased yields of recombinant proteins from both pools and clones, and enables production of gram-level quantities of protein from stable pools in less than two months. This allows for effortless generation of research material early on during a drug developmental program, and supports the toxicology study efforts that can be performed in parallel.
“Having established itself as a leader in separations methodologies, Millipore has successfully entered the growing market for protein expression products in the biopharmaceutical industry,” notes Dr. Sellappan. “Millipore’s innovative approach dramatically improves the quality of research, while its UCOE™ technology is expected to have a lasting impact on both drug discovery efforts and the development and manufacturing of therapeutic drugs.”
Millipore continues to refine the UCOE™ technology by improving the vector architecture in order to provide a more efficient and robust transcriptional and translational performance.