MorphoSys and WACKER Intensify Cooperation to Use WACKER Technology for Production of Antibodies
News Nov 19, 2008
MorphoSys AG and Wacker Chemie AG are intensifying their cooperation in the use of WACKER's prokaryotic secretion technology. The two companies have signed a new agreement defining areas of use and production limits under which MorphoSys will continue to use the secretion system on a research scale.
As a result, MorphoSys will now be able to use the WACKER technology for both the early development phase of therapeutic projects as well as the production of diagnostic and research antibodies. If the agreed quantity limits are exceeded at MorphoSys, WACKER is able to provide a transition to large-scale manufacturing services.
WACKER and MorphoSys entered into a license agreement for the use of the WACKER secretion technology (brand name ESETEC®) for the production of antibodies in 2005. After successful joint process development and subsequent implementation of ESETEC® in MorphoSys's antibody platform, the license agreement has now been specified in more detail.
MorphoSys can use the technology in the research phase for antibody production within its operating segments and also secures rights to produce material for commercial supply within defined quantity limits. Another integral component of the agreement is that MorphoSys can recommend to its partners either WACKER or its biotechnology division Wacker Biotech GmbH for large-scale production.
The use of the ESETEC® secretion technology allows antibody fragments utilized in research and as active substances for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes to be produced cost-effectively and at higher yields. Antibody fragments have already been approved as therapeutics in recent years and additional candidates are currently in the clinical development pipeline.
The patented ESETEC® secretion system from WACKER, which is based on E. coli, is a tried-and-tested technology for the cost-effective production of proteins and antibody fragments.
The system comprises an E. coli K12 strain developed and patented by WACKER which is able to secrete recombinant proteins in their native conformation into the culture medium during fermentation.
"Based on the positive experiences we have had with WACKER's innovative production system over the last two years, we have decided to expand our collaboration in this field", explained Dr. Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer at MorphoSys AG. "We are thereby extending our capabilities in terms of the production of antibody fragments for both our own and our partnered therapeutic projects as well as for AbD Serotec customers."
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