Wacker-Chemie buys ProThera

Related tags Biotechnology Chemistry Escherichia coli

Wacker-Chemie is to acquire German biotechnology company ProThera,
based in Jena, to boost its presence in the biologics manufacturing
sector. ProThera will now operate as Wacker Biotech.

The acquisition expands Wacker's existing custom pharma manufacturing activities by adding contract development and manufacturing of pharmaceutical proteins to its existing activities in chemical-based drugs.

"This step is Wacker's answer to increased demand by pharma customers, whose development pipelines along with traditional chemical substances include as much as 25 per cent biologics,"​ said the company in a statement.

Wacker President and CEO Dr Peter-Alexander Wacker said there would be 'clear synergies' between ProThera's acivities and Wacker's expertise in the biotech production of cyclodextrins and amino acids, as well as his company's long-standing position in the exclusive synthesis of chemically manufactured pharma intermediates.

Specifically, ProThera has developed a proprietary high cell density technique that provides stable biomanufacturing processes in a strictly regulated (Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) environment. Meanwhile, Wacker has a novel Escherichia coli​ secretion system that has "a proven track record in industrial use, and permits a massive reduction in COG (cost of goods) for pharma customers,"​ said Dr Gerhard Schmid, who is president of the Wacker Fine Chemicals business division.

ProThera was formed in 1999 by Germany's Hans-Knöll Institute. The company specialises in the development of efficient production processes and documentation of the production of microbially derived biologics.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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