Taiwan to use new plasma protein extraction technology

By Katrina Megget

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Protein Blood

Taiwan looks to benefit from a new alliance with Canada-based
ProMetic BioTherapeutics, which will provide a proprietary
manufacturing process to extract plasma proteins for drugs.

ProMetic will provide the technology for Taiwan biotechnology company Blue Blood to initially target Cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies in plasma and develop drugs against the virus, which often affects immuno-compromised patients. There are possibilities for further agreements for two other proteins. Financial details of the alliance were not disclosed but the drug manufacturing would represent a $47m market in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, while Blue Blood was investing $11.9m in a new manufacturing facility in central Taiwan. Blue Blood chairman Chuan-Chi Chiang said in a statement: "ProMetic's proprietary manufacturing process will enable Blue Blood to produce very high value, in-demand therapeutics from a relatively small volume of plasma collected. Given the standard of plasma collection in Taiwan meets those of the US and Europe, we will also consider utilizing Blue Blood's manufacturing plant to supply developed markets with selected therapeutics, such as CMV hyperimmune." ​ Speaking to US-PharmaTechnologist.com, ProMetic executive vice president and chief operating officer Christopher Bryant said ProMetic's manufacturing process was more efficient than the current plasma extraction process, Cohn Cold Ethanol Fractionation. Ethanol fractionation has been around for about 50 years and involves separating plasma proteins based on the differences of each protein, by changing the conditions so the proteins become insoluble. This is often achieved by adding alcohol. ProMetic's process is based instead on an affinity chromatography model where each protein is removed from the plasma by a specific ProMetic Mimetic Ligand absorbent and subsequently purified in a side stream. The removal sequence has been optimized to give high protein recoveries. Depending on the protein, the process had a 50 to 300 per cent increase in efficiency compared to ethanol fractionation, Bryant said. Beside the higher yields, the process also extracted more products per liter of plasma, could target certain proteins that could not be extracted by current manufacturing processes and those that were not the focus of large plasma fractionators. The alliance agreement sources plasma provided by Taiwanese people, which has been screened for all typical blood-borne pathogens, and developed into drugs for Taiwan and Southeast Asia. "Our business strategy involves taking our technology into countries that have a desire for a self-sufficiency to supply their own citizens with plasma-derived therapeutics." ​ Plasma is the liquid component of blood in which the blood cells are suspended. Plasma contains a variety of proteins such as enzymes and immune system proteins. Proteins in the plasma can be extracted to be used in a variety of biopharmaceutical drugs such as vaccines.

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