Novozymes Biopharma extends Upperton partnership

To offer a new albumin conjugation solution

Danish firm Novozymes Biopharma has expanded its partnership with UK-based research and development company, Upperton, to offer a new albumin conjugation solution. By linking drugs to Novozymes’ new Recombumin Flex recombinant human albumin (rAlbumin), using conjugation, their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties can be dramatically enhanced. As a result, manufacturers can benefit from tailoring and controlling the half-life of drugs to fit a patient’s medical needs.

‘Novozymes has enjoyed a successful relationship with Upperton over the past 10 years and its expertise and experience in the conjugation of proteins, combined with our experience of protein engineering and production, will help customers to design drugs with tailored serum half-life and fewer side-effects,’ said Dave Mead, business development director at Novozymes Biopharma.

By manipulating the interaction of albumin with its receptor, the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), Novozymes can produce modified albumins that bind with greater or lesser affinities, meaning a flexible half-life. Increasing the serum half-life of a drug may reduce the frequency of injections a patient receives or even reduce the amount of drug delivered, thereby significantly reducing toxic side effects and increasing patient acceptance.

According to Novozymes Biopharma, Nottingham-based Upperton has demonstrated that proteins, peptides and small molecule APIs can be covalently attached to recombinant human albumin using a range of chemistries. Additionally, once drugs have been linked to the recombinant human albumin carrier, they exhibit dramatically improved pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties.

Combining Novozymes' IP and expertise around the albumin molecules with Upperton’s rP-conjugate albumin conjugation chemistry knowledge, enables the companies to design and implement the best chemical linking approach for their molecule.

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