The deal will see Biomay use VTU’s Pichia pastoris protein technology to generate expression strains for the commercial production of its allergy vaccine pipeline.
Recombinant allergens are generally not more difficult to express than other recombinant proteins, but are dependent on the complexity of the protein, Biomay’s CEO Hans Huber told this publication.
“If a protein is not expressible /producible with established systems such as E.coli, VTU´s Pichia Technology often succeeds,” he added.
Thomas Purkarthofer, Head of Business Development at VTU Technology, added his company’s technology “is composed of different elements such as platform strains with different genetic backgrounds, libraries of promoter variants and a set of proprietary expression enhancing helper proteins assisting the synthesis of a given target protein,” which, from a productivity angle, sets it apart from other expression platforms available.
“VTU´s experienced development team is capable of exploiting this technological potential by comparing thousands of strains in minimum time by applying elaborated lab protocols for strain generation and cultivation,” he explained to Biopharma-Reporter.com.
Like other methylotrophic yeasts, Pichia pastoris can be cultured to high cell densities within a short time and in reasonably strong methanol solutions. This coupled with VTU’s synthetic AOX1 promoter libraries, which fine tunes’ gene expression by selecting the best match for a range of different combinations of promoters, allows production yields of over 20g/L.
According to Purkarthofer, Biomay has been granted access on a product-by-product basis, and VTU will receive royalties based on sales of the recombinant allergens.
The announcement comes three months after VTU extended a deal with Boehringer-Ingelheim which is using the expression system for both its proprietary biologics and for its customers through its CMO business.