iBio: Plants, not cell lines, for next-generation antibodies

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

iBio has expanded its offering to develop and manufacture Fc fusion therapeutics using it plant-based expression system.

The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) told this publication it is advancing its capabilities to offer its platform as an alternative to more-commonly used Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) based cell lines in the production of fragmented antibody products.

“Our technology provides fast production of complex proteins like Fc fusions and antibodies without the time and cost delays of selecting stable animal or human cells line or folding proteins after production in bacterial cells,”​ iBio president Robert Erwin said.

“We can save clients valuable time on the front end of product lead evaluation projects and even more during their progress toward pharmaceutical protein production for clinical trials and eventually commercial launch.”

The firm’s platform is based on vectors, engineered to contain the target sequence within a viral replicon is transferred to an Agrobacterium host, used to introduce target DNA into the plant cell nucleus. The replicon then directs the production of large amounts of target-specific messenger RNA in plant cells

The plant’s own machinery then turn the messenger RNA into proteins, and according to the firm these recombinant viral vector mRNAs can result in the accumulation of gram quantities of target protein per kilogram of fresh plant tissue in less than a week.

iBio has its own pipeline of products based on the platform, but also licenses it to others.

“There are no FDA-approved products based on this technology yet, but several in clinical trials,” ​Erwin said. “There is a lot of research in this area by many companies and scientific teams, and with our own success, we expect to see demand [for our plant-based platform].”

Along with a number of industry players, the Brazilian government is looking to harness the platform as part of a $170m invested into a facility​ for organic products made from plant cell technologies.

Related topics: Bio Developments

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