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RecipharmCobra Biologics Announces Patent for Novel Antibiotic-Free Plasmid Maintenance System

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RecipharmCobra Biologics, the international manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals, announces that it has been granted European and United States patents for its novel plasmid maintenance system.

Classically, genes of interest are inserted into plasmids with antibiotic resistance genes and then inserted into E. coli with antibiotics present. Only those E. coli cells that contain the inserted genes and the antibiotic resistance genes will survive to produce plasmids or proteins.

oriSELECT will, on the other hand, enable the production of plasmids or proteins in E. coli without the requirement for antibiotics in the medium or for plasmid selection and maintenance. This will avoid some of the problems associated with the conventional selection method including loss of the plasmid from the cell during cell division (which can reduce product yield), product contamination with antibiotics, and the potential transfer risk of antibiotic resistance genes to pathogens, which could result in the generation of ‘superbugs’. Therefore technologies that prevent the use of antibiotics and their resistance genes could have a significant commercial and regulatory advantage.

The invention of oriSELECT puts RecipharmCobra in the unique position of owning the only two plasmid maintenance systems, including ORT (Operator-Repressor Titration), that are free of the burden of expressed selectable marker genes.

Simon Saxby, Vice President, Biologics commented: “RecipharmCobra is continually looking at the application of state-of-the-art genetic engineering methods in order to improve regulatory compliance, which is continually becoming more stringent, and to ensure maximum efficiencies and cost benefits for our customers. Antibiotic resistance gene transfer is an area of concern where oriSELECT and ORT can provide a state-of-the-art solution.”