Codexis’ proprietary CodeEvolver technology develops proteins for various applications, including as biocatalysts for the commercial manufacture of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals, and for use as industrial enzymes, according to the company.
Per the strategic collaboration with Porton, Codexis will license elements of its biocatalyst technologies to the China-headquartered contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).
Additionally, Porton has made a commitment to invest in new operations with the goal of driving adoption of the technologies into its CDMO offerings.
“We’re setting up Porton to be a frontline for us in the world of small- to medium-sized pharmaceutical companies,” said John Nicols, Codexis president and CEO at CPhI North America last month.
The partnership aims to accelerate the creation and commercialization of new manufacturing processes.
“When we get the catalyst efficiency right we’ll liberate 10 to 20% cost reductions versus any other way to build that molecule,” Nicols told us at the event. “Then we create this cost reduction that then can benefit Codexis, Porton, and the ultimate pharmaceutical company.”
Nicols said the company has been trying to figure out how to effectively work with CMOs for years, without much success. “So it took a progressive company like Porton and it took a new model that we created and introduced for this deal,” he explained.
“They put significant commitment into this on the belief and expectation that it will lead to low-cost processes,” he added. As such, Nicols said Codexis will not be offering the technology to other CMOs under the same model.
Looking forward, if Codexis announces that Porton is building an enzyme manufacturing plant, Nicols said “that will be a sign that this model is really working.”
Though any such potential news is not to be expected until a “couple years out,” he added.