RecipharmCobra wins plasmid maintenance system patent

OriSelect system overcomes problems associated with conventional method

RecipharmCobra Biologics, the biologics division of Recipharm of Sweden, has been granted European and US patents for its OriSelect plasmid maintenance system.

OriSelect enables plasmids or proteins to be produced in E. coli without the requirement for antibiotics in the medium or for plasmid selection and maintenance, unlike the classical method where genes of interest are inserted into plasmids with antibiotic resistance genes and then inserted into E. coli with antibiotics present. Only E. coli cells containing the inserted genes and the antibiotic resistance genes will survive to produce plasmids or proteins.

RecipharmCobra Biologics says OriSelect avoids some of the problems associated with the conventional selection method including loss of the plasmid from the cell during cell division, product contamination with antibiotics, and the potential transfer risk of antibiotic resistance genes to pathogens, which could result in the generation of superbugs.

The company says the invention of OriSelect puts it in the unique position of owning the only two plasmid maintenance systems, including ORT (Operator-Repressor Titration), that are free of the burden of expressed selectable marker genes.

Simon Saxby, vice president, Biologics, said: ‘RecipharmCobra is continually looking at the application of genetic engineering methods to improve regulatory compliance and to ensure maximum efficiencies and cost benefits for our customers. Antibiotic resistance gene transfer is an area of concern where OriSelect and ORT can provide a state-of-the-art solution.’