JERUSALEM—Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Protalix Biotherapeutics Ltd. have signed a collaboration and licensing agreement for the development of two proteins, using Protalix's plant cell culture platform. The undisclosed proteins, aimed at large-sized markets, are not part of Protalix's current product development pipeline.
Under the agreement, the two companies will collaborate on research and development of the two proteins using Protalix's expression system. Teva will be granted an exclusive license from Protalix to commercialize the developed products in return for royalty and milestone payments to be made to Protalix upon the achievement of certain pre-defined goals. Protalix will retain certain exclusive manufacturing rights.
"We believe that accessing Protalix's plant cell culture platform will provide Teva with various advantages, including IP advantages and reduced cost of goods," says Amir Elstein, group vice president of global specialty pharmaceutical products for Teva. "This cooperation reflects Teva's growing commitment to invest in the biopharmaceutical arena and to provide safe and efficacious biopharmaceuticals based on innovation and cutting-edge technologies."
"Teva is an excellent partner for maximizing the commercialization of Protalix's protein development capabilities," adds Dr. David Aviezer, Protalix's CEO. "This agreement is an important milestone for Protalix, providing recognition of our technology by a pharmaceutical industry leader. Furthermore, we believe this new protein collaboration will generate an important source of future revenue for Protalix and its partners."
Protalix's proprietary technology is based on its plant cell culture and bioreactor system, which is said to provide an effective and scaleable cell system for industrial production of recombinant biopharmaceuticals. Protalix recently announced that it has completed Phase I clinical studies for its enzyme therapy for Gaucher disease, under an FDA Investigational New Drug study. Protalix intends to pursue advanced clinical studies for its enzyme therapy for Gaucher disease and advance additional recombinant biopharmaceutical drug development programs.