The deal sees Artes, a specialist in protein production from yeast expression systems, hooking up with Eqyptian firm Minapharm in a long-term agreement to develop the proteins; financial details were not disclosed. Artes will apply its proprietary Hansenula technology platform and expertise to generate production cell lines, develop analytical assays and lab-scale fermentation. The company has also granted Minapharm a commercial license option to apply its proprietary technologies to the manufacturing and marketing of the three therapeutic proteins. Under the terms of the agreement, Artes will be responsible for the 100L-scale production of a Minapharm protein based on an existing process using E.Coli. Minapharm will carry out process R&D, production and commercialisation activities for the therapeutic proteins. Hansenula polymorpha is an established alternative to E.Coli, and has been used by Artes for contract R&D for around 20 years. The Hansenula polymorpha yeast strain can be used to produce therapeutic proteins or technical enzymes relatively cheaply, according to Artes, and a number of products derived from the expression system are already marketed wordwide. "This long-term agreement marks an important milestone in the existing relationship between our companies," said Michael Piotek, managing director of Artes. "Minapharm's strategic decision to extend our collaboration is clear proof of the safety and reliability of the Hansenula technology platform."