ORF Genetics to Offer endotoxin- and Animal-free FGFb and mLIF for Stem Cell Research

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, October 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

ORF Genetics announced today that the company has added endotoxin- and animal-free human Fibroblast Growth Factor Basic (FGF basic) and mouse Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (mouse LIF) to its portfolio of growth factors for stem cell research.

Most growth factors applied in stem cell research today are made in E. coli bacteria, which produce endotoxins that can have adverse effect on stem cell cultures. Other manufacturers of growth factors have various methods to remove these endotoxins, but traces inevitably remain, which can lead to increased death rate of cells and other suboptimal effects in cell cultures. Other growth factors on the market today are made by animal cells. However, most stem cell researchers prefer to use growth factors of non-animal origin to exclude risks of viral contamination and the inclusion of growth factor homologs.

This has led to a market demand for alternative sources of animal-free growth factors, void of endotoxins. ORF Genetics' unique growth factors are produced in the seeds of the barley plant, which does not produce any endotoxins or other substances toxic to mammalian cells.

FGF basic and mouse LIF are key growth factors for the cultivation of their respective stem cells, i.e. FGF basic for human stem cells and mouse LIF for mouse stem cells. Each protein is used to expand the stem cells' populations before researchers make them differentiate into various cell types, such as heart, liver or neural cells.

"ORF Genetics has built a reputation for offering the first plant-made, endotoxin-free and animal-free growth factor portfolio for stem cell researchers. As we are producing these growth factors in our novel plant expression system ORFEUS™, we are very happy to be able to offer these high quality growth factors at more efficient prices than market leaders," said Björn Örvar, CEO of ORF Genetics.

ORF Genetics is a world leader of plant made growth factors and offers a portfolio of endotoxin- and animal-free growth factors for human stem cell research. The company's production takes place in a biorisk-free production system in barley, bypassing conventional bacteria and animal cell production systems. The cultivation of barley takes place in greenhouses in inert volcanic pumice, using renewable geothermal energy.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Hakon Birgisson, Director of Global Market Development
Tel: +354-821-1585
email: [email protected]