Althea and Protein'eXpert pool resources
provide a broad array of biomanufacturing services, from protein
engineering right through to commercial-scale production.
Under the terms of the agreement French contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) company Protein'eXpert will share its capacity with contract manufacturer Althea in order to better serve their respective clients. The transatlantic collaboration brings together Protein'eXpert's advanced protein engineering, process development and optimisation expertise and Althea's cGMP manufacturing capacity and fill/finish services from Phase I clinical to commercial manufacturing. The deal follows a trend in outsourcing of biomanufacturing services for clients to seek partners which can provide the whole range of services from early-stage development through to commercialisation, to make scale-up easier and avoid the financial and time cost of swapping CMOs. Dr Tristan Rousselle, CEO of Protein'eXpert, said: "The partnership with Althea Technologies is a great opportunity for us. Their very strong position on the US market and their outstanding production facilities shall perfectly complement our expertise and set of services based on recombinant protein engineering, development and small scale cGMP production." Through the creation of its integrated subsidiary, PX'Pharma, Protein'eXpert has already gained some in-house protein biomanufacturing capacity. However, Althea has significantly more manufacturing capacity, with the recent construction of its 30,000 sq ft San Diego facility greatly improving its ability to cater for clients from preclinical through to commercial scale production. This site has the capacity for production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and aseptic fill and finish capabilities, which complements Althea's other plant that specializes in production of plasmid DNA, recombinant proteins and lyophilisation. In contrast to these broad capabilities Protein'eXpert's expertise is highly focused upon tackling "highly complex and recalcitrant protein projects" and taking them to production stages. Through such projects Protein'eXpert has worked on more than 150 protein related products, building a knowledge base covering a range of therapeutic and target proteins. The cooperation offers more than just technological gain though, with both companies eager to gain access to the other's primary location. As Rousselle explained Althea's strength in the US is an important factor for Protein'eXpert as is attempts to expand beyond its geographical homeland and into the lucrative North American market. In addition Althea has been looking to gain a foothold in France for several months and has been working with the Invest in France Agency to achieve this goal. The company is said to be attracted to the expertise that is present in the Lyonbiopôle cluster and the incentives which have recently been implemented by the French government.