While further details are yet to be released, Bioceros’ pervious work with Crucell’s STAR antibody platform indicate it is likely to work with licensees like Merck & Co, Morphosys and Eli Lilly which use PER.C6 for protein development and manufacture.
Olaf Blaauw, Bioceros’ head of business development, told in-PharmaTechnologist that “no other European member of the vendor network provides pre-approved cell generation services for PER.C6 licensees.”
Dr Blaauw explained that Bioceros’ laboratories, which are housed at the University of Utrecht in Holland, have a track record of producing stable cell lines that can be transferred directly into research and industrial scale environments.
In the US, Crucell and DSM’s joint venture firm Percivia provides PER.C6 generation services for North American licensees along with Avid Bioservices, which joined the network in June 2008.
DSM Biologics president Karen King said that Bioceros will provide the growing number European PER.C6 licensees with cell line generation and support services to help client further their PER.C6 manufacturing and research programs.
A Crucell spokesperson told in-PharmaTechnologist that Bioceros' experience and service level has won it the contract.
In a press statement Bram Bout, Bioceros’ CEO, predicted that demand for PER.C6 platform will increase given the “short manufacturing timelines and high productivity levels” that it can achieve.
The PER.C6 platform, which comprises Crucell’s human cell line with DSM’s proprietary XD yield boosting technology, was pushed to a record yield of 27 g/L in June last year by a Percivia team working on immunoglobulins.
IMS Health predicts that the market for biologic drugs will grow by between 11 and 12 per cent this year alone, meaning that demand for effective protein production platforms will also grow.
In addition, while protein and antibody production are likely to remain the most common industrial applications for PER.C6, the technology also has application in the production of vaccines and the development of gene therapies.