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Novozymes Expands Collaboration with Upperton Limited


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Novozymes Biopharma has announced that it has expanded its partnership with Nottingham-based research and development company, Upperton Limited, to offer customers a new albumin conjugation solution.

By linking drugs to Novozymes’ new Recombumin® Flex recombinant human albumin (rAlbumin), using conjugation, their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties can be dramatically enhanced.

As a result, manufacturers can benefit from the ability to tailor and control the half-life of drugs to fit patients’ medical needs.

“Novozymes is delighted to unveil Recombumin Flex along with our new conjugation solution in partnership with Upperton Limited,” says Dave Mead, Business Development Director at Novozymes Biopharma.

Mead continued, “Novozymes has enjoyed a successful relationship with Upperton over the past 10 years and its expertise and experience in the conjugation of proteins, combined with our experience of protein engineering and production, will help customers to design drugs with tailored serum half-life and fewer side-effects. This will result in improved dosing regimes for the patient and a reduction in overall costs for the healthcare provider.”

By manipulating the interaction of albumin with its receptor, the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), Novozymes can produce modified albumins that bind with greater or lesser affinities, meaning a flexible half-life.

Increasing the serum half-life of a drug may reduce the frequency of injections a patient receives or even reduce the amount of drug delivered, thereby significantly reducing toxic side-effects and increasing patient acceptance.

Upperton has demonstrated that proteins, peptides and small molecule APIs can be covalently attached to recombinant human albumin using a range of chemistries.

Additionally, once drugs have been linked to the recombinant human albumin carrier, they exhibit dramatically improved pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties.

Combining Novozymes' unique IP and know-how around the albumin molecules themselves with Upperton’s rP-conjugate™ albumin conjugation chemistry knowledge, enables the companies to work closely with customers to design and implement the best chemical linking approach for their molecule.

As a result, Novozymes can provide partners with a unique service from initial product concept through to in vivo testing for developing novel drugs.

Richard Johnson, founder and CEO of Upperton Limited, comments “By combining Novozymes’ and Upperton’s unmatched expertise in our respective fields, we have developed a solution that solves industry challenges by enabling a tunable half-life that offers control and flexibility and has the potential to improve overall treatment efficacy.”

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