Swedish biotech Alligator moved ADC-1013 – a mAb being developed to treat cancer – into Phase I trials in April. Last week, the firm confirmed it had produced study supplies using a cell line developed by Cobra using its maxXpress technology.
This confirmation is significant for Cobra according to spokesman Philip Ridley-Smith, who told us “the first thing an interested party asks is has the technology been in front of regulators and if it has been used for the production of material now in clinical trials.
“Such information, surprisingly, can be hard to ascertain from customers so we are very grateful to Alligator.”
The MaxXpress platform uses Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Element (UCOE) vectors to insert genes into the DNA of cells at positions where the sequences are more likely expressed, which means that they produce more of the desired protein, more rapidly.
Ridley-Smith explained that the tech, which was licensed from Merck Millipore, “is playing on the probability that if you have more cells expressing the protein you are more likely to find a stable high expression cell line.
“For UCOE about 80% of cells will express the desired protein whilst in other expressions systems this can be under 20%.”
10 weeks or less
While the UCOE platform is compatible with a number of cell lines, Ridley-Smith said it works best in Chinese Hamster Ovary-derived suspension (CHO-S) cells, explaining that in some cases clients can begin evaluating candidates in less than 10 weeks.
“Customers can look at different constructs to see how aggregation, expression and functionality are affected. This allows them to assess the technology without committing to a lengthy and costly development project.”
Alligator’s study is assessing the safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ADC-1013 in up to 40 patients across sites in the UK, Sweden and Denmark.