The deal is the first exclusive licence Cevec has granted for CAP-T, its fully human cell line for transient expression of proteins. Using CAP-T can boost protein expression and there is no need to change the production method during scale-up, according to Cevec.
Pevion will use CAP-T to manufacture and commercialise a protein antigen for vaccination against a widespread human infectious disease. Wolfgang Kintzel, chief operating officer of Cevec, told in-PharmaTechnologist that the product is currently in preclinical.
Evaluation work is now being performed with CAP-T and initial results look positive, added Kintzel. Cevec has received a down payment and more money is due when milestones, such as entering Phase I, are reached. Post-approval royalties are also part of the deal.
The agreement with Pevion follows last month’s deal with Aragen Bioscience, a US-based contract research organisation (CRO). Kintzel explained that Aragen is using CAP-T, and has the option to use the stable variant CAP, as part of its preclinical services.
When an Aragen client progresses into clinical trials it presents a licensing opportunity to Cevec because CAP-T is already being used to develop the product.
The deals with Pevion and Aragen are part of the “unbelievable level of interest” that companies have shown in CAP-T, commented Kintzel. License negotiations with major pharma, biotech and contract manufacturing organisations (CMO) are underway with deals due to be announced soon.
Kintzel believes interest is driven by the scalability, expression levels and product quality that CAP-T offers. The technology stably expresses the intracellular T-antigen of SV 40. Plasmid replication occurs extra-chromosomally and can be kept stable for several days up to weeks.