Wacker broadens XL-protein collaboration


For the production of PASylated therapeutic proteins

Wacker Biotech and XL-protein are to collaborate further on the production of PASylated therapeutic proteins and have signed an agreement to this effect.

Under the collaboration, Wacker and its customers will gain access to XL-protein’s PASylation platform, which enables the development of biopharmaceuticals with extended plasma half-lives, meaning that they require less frequent injection and are thus more patient friendly.

In a recent feasibility study, Wacker used its E.coli-based ESETEC technology to successfully produce PASylated human growth hormone in high yields (3 to 4g/l). The firm says the production process is easy to implement on an industrial scale.

Thomas Maier, managing director of Wacker Biotech, said: ‘More and more pharmaceutical companies are looking for efficient ways of prolonging the therapeutic effect of biologics. With this cooperation agreement with XL-protein, we can now offer our customers feasibility studies for the production of PASylated variants of their therapeutic lead candidates. Thanks to our innovative ESETEC technology, we can supply research quantities of PASylated active ingredients for pre-clinical studies within a couple of weeks.’

Arne Skerra, XL-protein’s co-founder and CEO, said: ‘After our positive experience with Wacker’s innovative secretion technology in producing PASylated therapeutic proteins, we want to continue our collaboration in this field on a long-term basis. By partnering with Wacker Biotech, we can offer access to our innovative technology to a much wider circle of customers.’

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ESETEC is a well-established technology for producing proteins and antibody fragments cost-efficiently. It is based on a patented strain of E.coli, K12, which is capable of secreting recombinant proteins in their native conformation directly into the culture broth during fermentation. This facilitates the subsequent purification of the target protein, since complicated process steps such as homogenisation and refolding are unnecessary.