Expressing themselves

Eden Biodesign brings its cGMP manufacturing expertise together with Millipore’s UCOE express technology

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LIVERPOOL, England—Eden Biodesign Ltd. and Billerica, Mass.-based Millipore Corp. have announced a partnership that will provide biopharmaceutical companies with access to what they call "a powerful combination of Eden's cGMP manufacturing and Millipore's Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Elements (UCOE) expression technology." As part of the agreement, Eden Biodesign will employ Millipore's proprietary UCOE expression technology to undertake mammalian cell line development projects and cGMP production for third-party clients.

Dr. Roger Lias, president of Eden Biodesign's North American subsidiary, says he looks forward to working with "a recognized industry leader like Millipore to make this extremely valuable technology available to our clients around the world."

He adds that it is a vitally important consideration for his company's clients that Eden address issues like speed-to-clinic, and the UCOE technology will help make that possible. Another critical consideration for clients, he says, is the ability to rapidly develop "highly productive cell lines that will support economically viable production through clinical development, process scale-up and steady-state large scale commercial supply."

Millipore's UCOE technology is able to notably improve on the process of gene expression for stably transfected mammalian cells by exerting effects on the structure of chromatin. According to Dr. Andrew Bulpin, vice president of upstream processing for Millipore's Bioprocess Division, cells developed using Millipore's UCOE technology are stable "high expressors."

What that means, he notes, is that it is much easier and faster for biopharmaceutical manufacturers to identify high-yielding clones with the productivity and stability required for biomanufacturing than with many other expression systems.

Among the advantages of the UCOE technology is that more than 50 percent of UCOE-derived clones have higher expression than the best non-UCOE-derived clones, according to Millipore, and UCOE-derived vectors produce substantially more expressing clones than non-UCOE-derived vectors.

Reportedly, cell lines produced with UCOE technology are stable over 130 generations and high-yielding cell lines can be derived in less than 60 days without amplification. Users can also employ the technology to make two protein chains per plasmid—antibodies, for example—and users can express express antibodies, receptors, enzymes, cytokines and more.

According to Millipore, the UCOE-induced productivity and stability of individual cells allows pools to be a source for rapidly generating gram quantities of proteins in three to four weeks. This offers potential advantages over transient transfection, as it minimizes the quantities of DNA and costly transfection agents. It also allows aliquots of the pool to be stored for future use if the protein is required at a later stage.

"Millipore is committed to bringing innovation that solves critical biopharmaceutical manufacturing business needs. Our distinctive UCOE technology, with its high expression elements, revolutionizes the speed by which protein therapeutics can be produced in mammalian cells," Bulpin says, adding that he has "high expectations for the ongoing success of this partnership."

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