Protein A is an ‘expensive but effective’ chromatography media with companies willing to pay as much as $12,000 per litre of the resin in order to capture antibodies in downstream bioprocessing.
Massachusetts-based life sciences company Repligen Corporation describes itself as the leading manufacturer of Protein A affinity ligands, a critical component of the resin, but during a conference call to discuss third quarter results said it is abandoning one of its Protein A media development programmes.
“We have made the strategic decision to not move forward with the scheduled commercial launch,” CEO Tony Hunt told investors. Instead the firm will focus on growing its Alternating Tangential Flow (ATF) system and its OPUS chromatography column business.
"The new protein A resin that we had developed was a minor revenue driver for the company," Repligen spokesperson Sondra Newman explained further. "The main factors that drove our decision are the adoption cycle (long) for another Protein A resin in an increasingly competitive market, the limited incremental revenue that we were forecasting for the product and resource allocation."
She continued, telling Biopharma-Reporter.com Repligen is "seeing acceleration in our direct-to-customer product lines, like OPUS pre-packed columns and ATF filtration systems, and we made strategic decision for the Company that we wanted to allocate our valuable resources to higher growth areas of our business where near-term opportunities can deliver higher returns for the company over the longer term."
The “halt” does not impact the firm's existing Protein A resin offering, Captiv A, Newman csaid, and told us Repligen is still "absolutely playing" in a Protein A media marketestimated to be worth $350m.
Protein A ligands
The news will also not affect its protein A ligands business, which accounts for approximately 50% of Repligen's revenue, and Repligen continues to have long-term contracts for the supply of its Protein A ligands for use in GE Healthcare and Merck Millipore Protein A resins, Newman told us.
"They take the protein A ligands and immobilize onto chromatography supports (Protein A resins) which then get sold to end users like Merck, BMS, Amgen, Genentech etc."
For the third quarter, Repligen reported a 31% year-on-year increase in product sales to $19.8m attributed to the growth in sales of its OPUS pre-packed chromatography columns and ATF Systems.
This article was originally published quoting an analyst which said Repligen had turned its back on the $350m media market. Repligen has since clarified it has just abandoned one of its media programmes.