Having entered into the agreement DSM will perform process development and manufacture of the antibodies using its XD cell culture technology that it claims can drive up to 15-fold increases in titre.
Karen King, president of DSM Biologics, said: “We are proud to announce that a major pharma company has chosen DSM's services and technology for three of their leading antibody pipeline projects for different indications.”
The deal, the value of which DSM declined to reveal, comes as the firm tries to return its contract manufacturing business to growth. A difficult 2011 ended with fourth quarter earnings from the pharmaceutical business halving but since then DSM has shown small signs of improvement.
First quarter sales were up compared to a weak period one-year ago and the company has signed an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) deal with Agenix and now a contract with the unnamed ‘major pharma company’.
The most recent deal makes use of the biologics capabilities that DSM management, speaking after fourth quarter results, tipped to help its contract manufacturing resurgence. Biologics assets were boosted in 2010 through a deal with the Australian Government and this site will serve the client.
“We will apply our XD technology in combination with our technology portfolio, and manufacture from our Groningen, The Netherlands, and Brisbane, Australia facilities,” King said. The Brisbane biologics facility spans 70,000 sq ft and is expected to begin operations next year.
DSM will use its XD process to increase output at its Brisbane plant. The technology, which uses a cell culture process to boost titre by up to 15 times, DSM claims, was recently protected by the granting of patents.
“Reviews at patent offices across the globe recognized the patentability of DSM's XD process, amongst others the US and the Eurasian Patent Offices where patents have been granted. Other countries such as South Korea and Australia have provided allowance letters,” King said.