Sepragen Corporation and Neugenesis Corporation Collaborate on High Throughput Production of Antibodies in Fungal Expression SystemÂ
Sepragen Corporation (OTCBB:SPGNA), and Neugenesis Corporation jointly announced their collaboration to develop a means of high throughput, low cost production of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for pandemic flu. The collaboration would involve Neugenesis growing its proprietary Neurospora expression system in Sepragen's proprietary solid phase bioreactor system.
Neurospora expression systems enable faster production of recombinant proteins than mammalian cells and Sepragen's bioreactor enables rapid multi-fold growth of a variety of cells without limitations of oxygen inhibition.
Vinit Saxena, Sepragen's CEO, stated, "We are excited about applying our bioreactor technology to Neugenesis' Neurospora. We believe that our platform can provide the means for Neurospora to grow rapidly without limitation of oxygen depletion and can, thus, form the basis for high throughput production of antibodies, based on this expression system."
Dr. Dorsey Stuart, Neugenesis Corporation CEO, added, "We are looking forward to our collaboration using Sepragen's innovative bioreactor technology that can enable fast growing strains of Neurospora to grow and produce antibodies at high throughput. Together we may be able to increase production efficiency by an order of magnitude when compared with conventional systems and eventually enable a low cost vaccine for pandemic flu."
The project is funded in part by a Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to Neugenesis under the Accelerated Manufacturing Process (AMP) project designed to develop a high throughput platform for low cost development of vaccines for pandemic flu. According to health experts there exists a serious risk of a global epidemic when a new influenza strain emerges that humans have no immunity against. They are closely watching the threat of the H5N1 bird flu virus that has killed several hundred people in various countries and could mutate into a form easily transmissible amongst humans.
In the event of such a pandemic, the challenge that DARPA has been charged with is to develop a means of rapid, flexible, low cost, large-scale manufacture of a vaccine against this flu strain. Current technologies of making such a vaccine require eggs or traditional cell culture equipment, which are slow, time-consuming and expensive to install, and are well-known to be unsuitable for a large-scale disaster.
Against this backdrop, where 13 billion doses of vaccine would be needed in a pandemic, the Sepragen-Neugenesis collaboration could potentially have widespread implications for human health.
Sepragen manufactures a suite of innovative products and technology that enable high throughput development and production of biological drugs. Its line of separation products are used by leading biotech companies including over 20 FDA approved drugs.
Neugenesis Corporation (www.neugenesis.com) has proprietary fungal protein expression platforms for rapid, low-cost, high level protein manufacturing. The NeuBIOS(TM) and the NeuKARYON(TM) platforms allow for rapid generation of production strains expressing a wide range of therapeutic proteins. These platforms are readily scalable and manufacturing requires significantly less infrastructure than traditional methods. In addition to its proprietary position in therapeutics production, Neugenesis has proprietary technologies in the areas of cell based gene directed evolution and cell based combinatorial biology (CombiKARYON(TM) technology).
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