Endotoxin detection firm Profos raises €5m

Related tags Biotechnology Pharmacology

Profos AG, located in Regensburg, Germany, has raised €5 million in
a financing round aimed at supporting the development of an
endotoxin detection system with applications in biopharmaceutical

The German biotechnology company is engaged in the development of products for the capture and detection of bacteria and bacterial components (endotoxins) based on advanced, proprietary phage-ligand technology.

Profos​ has two main areas of immediate application for which product ranges are being rolled-out. Along with biopharmaceuticalendotoxin removal and detection, the company is also developing food safety aspects of the technology.

In addition, the German company says its patented technology offers future opportunities in certain clinical therapeutic processes and food preservation.

Endotoxin is a potentially fatal pyrogen that may be present in injectable drugs and vaccines, medical devices and the water for injection systems found in the pharmaceutical industry.

Many biopharmaceuticals which are produced by genetically engineered bacteria contain high levels of endotoxins in their raw for,. For safety reasons all drugs must be cleaned of endotoxins in a specific purification process. Meanwhile, in cell based assays endotoxin contamination can greatly influence results.

Profos said it intends to use the capital raised to complete the existing product portfolios (including corresponding approvals) and to advance commercialisation activities through further enhancement of sales and marketing functions.

In the area of biopharmaceuticals, the technology is applied in the detection and removal of these organic compounds. Endotoxins are important in medicine and pharmacology as they are the major cause of sepsis in humans. The removal of these contaminants from the processes involved in developing and producing biopharmaceutical drugs is essential for the major pharmaceutical companies.

Profos' EndoTrap product for endotoxin removal - recently launched onto the market by partner Cambrex earlier this month - addresses the needs of leading manufacturers of biopharmaceutical drugs. The European Pharmacopoeia, along with its counterpart in the US, recently tightened up the acceptable limits for endotoxin contamination - used as a marker for bacterial contamination in products designed to be sterile - in both packaging and materials used in aseptic processing of drug products.

There are also significant needs in the research area, according to Profos, which already supplies EndoTrap to universities, research institutes and biotech companies for use in experiments which are highly sensitive to endotoxin contamination.

Meanwhile, the food safety testing applications of the technology enable fast and reliable test procedures e.g. the testing of meat, seafood, milk or cheese for pathogenic (disease causing) organisms such as Salmonella and Listeria which are major causes of food poisoning

The investors in this round included Bio Fund Management, Danisco Venture A/S and Capital Stage AG.

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