Anticalins are exclusive to the Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany-based biotech firm, spokesperson Gretchen Schweitzer told Biopharma-Reporter.com, and are recombinantly engineered versions of human lipocalins, a scaffold technology used to make targeted protein therapeutics as an alternative to antibodies.
The advantages of such proteins are their low-molecular weight polypeptides that naturally bind, store and transport a wide spectrum of molecules, and this collaboration will see Strides Arcolab subsidiary Stelis - formerly known as Agila Biotech - biomanufacture and clinically develop primarily ophthalmic therapies using Stelis’ proprietary technology.
We also asked Pieris’ CEO, Stephen Yoder, why the firm selected the India-headquartered company for this project.
“Pieris turned to Stelis because of the impressive track record of Strides Group in terms of quality, and their long-term commitment to biomanufacturing, as evidenced by their major investments in their Malaysian plant,” he told us.
The biomanufacturing plant is currently being built at Bio-Xcell’s biotechnology park in Nusajaya, within the Iskandar region of Johor, Malaysia - a park that recently launched a lease programme to attract manufacturers.
Stelis is also building a biologics R&D facility in Bangalore, India, however details of where the work would be done are for now undecided.
“As the precise timing for that plant going live to handle Anticalins is not precisely known, the parties will be pragmatic in handling any interim needs, prioritizing first and foremost on quality,” Yoder said.
Stelis CEO Dr. Anand Iyer said in a statement: “Our alliance with Pieris demonstrates how Stelis’ strategic investments into state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities are attracting partners with cutting edge biologics such as Anticalins, which hold great promise in the ophthalmic space.”