Tetragenetics Announces New Collaboration in SionX™ Technology
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(April 3, 2013)--Tetragenetics Inc., a 2012 Gates Foundation Phase II grant recipient, and an emerging biotechnology company engaged in the development of particle-based vaccines and expression of ion channel drug targets, reported today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with an option for an exclusive license with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE).
Dr. Ted Clark, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Tetragenetics said, "Having large biopharmaceutical partners recognize the potential value of our technology to solve well-known protein expression problems for commercially relevant targets is important recognition of our pioneering science."
"Given the large number of ion channel genes encoded by these cells, their rapid generation time, and absence of a cell wall, our Tetrahymena system is superior for high-level expression and surface display of these challenging membrane protein targets particularly when compared with the more standard cell lines upon which biotech and big pharma traditionally rely, " Dr. Clark noted.
"This is our first agreement with a major pharmaceutical company utilizing SionX™, a new application of our discovery platform," said John Reilly, V.P. Business Development. "Antibodies specific to extracellular domains on cell surface targets are the fastest growing class of therapeutic molecules. We are now well-positioned to license our SionX™ technology to other companies on a target by target basis," continued Reilly.
The SionX™ technology enables high density expression of recombinant human ion channels on the cell membranes of Tetrahymena thermophila. Immunogen preparations of the ion channel can be made in any of several formats: cell ghosts ("pellicles"), membrane vesicles, lipid rafts, or partially purified soluble protein. These enriched ion channel preparations are designed to enhance antibody production against the extracellular portions of the ion channel target.
About Tetragenetics. A 2012 Gates Foundation Phase ll recipient, Tetragenetics has developed a proprietary suite of platform technologies: TetraExpress™, G-SOME™, and SionX™, which enable the rapid production of proteins that are difficult or impossible to express in conventional systems. The company's proprietary technology is being utilized to develop antigens for use as vaccines and as immunogens for antibody discovery. For more information, please visit: www.tetragenetics.com.