Ophthalmic biotech company Recopharma has selected the UK-based CMO to supply a human Fc fusion protein using the maxXpress platform based at Cobra Biologics’ main mammalian site in Sodertalje, Sweden. No financial details have been divulged regarding the deal.
Cobra’s platform uses UCOE (Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Element) technology that “enables rapid isolation of high expressing clones - a key obstacle to cell-line development,” Philip Ridley-Smith, Sales and Marketing Director at Cobra, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
The technology delivers expression vectors containing the DNA sequences of housekeeping genes, increasing transgene expression in eukaryotic cells, and will be applied to Recopharma’s own technology that uses naturally occurring proteins produced by epithelial tissues, in order to develop a treatment for viral conjunctivitis.
Earlier this month, Cobra spoke positively of winning a commercial contract with Vaccibody using its scaleable DNA production process, after being named supplier for upcoming clinical trials of vaccibody’s AS candidate DNA vaccine.
Cobra’s cell line development team includes the Cello robotic system and the Ambr Micro Bioreactor System – a benchtop bioreactor technology developed by Tap Biosystems capable of processing 24 fed-batch reactions simultaneously. The company has previously told this publication this can reduce development, and thus cost, by up to 16 weeks.
“At Cobra we can also look at 9 constructs at a time which allows customers to choose the most suitable construct in the shortest possible time,” Ridley-Smith said, adding for Cobra “this has been the biggest growth area for the last couple of years.”
MaxXpress service offers UCOE technology that, according to the company, offers a number of advantages for clients looking for cell line development over traditional dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR)-amplification platforms.
These include the rapid generation of purified pool material, production of gram quantities of antibodies and recombinant proteins, and efficient expression independent of chromosomal integration. The tech also eliminates the need to screen thousands of clones and has a mechanism that prevents gene silencing through effects on chromatin structure.
However, Cobra is not alone in offering gene expression tech alternatives. According to Ridley-Smith “the technology competes against other cell technologies such as GS from Lonza, Crucell’s PERC6, ProBioGen and Selexis,” as well as a UCOE platform from EMD Millipore.