VTU Technology to offer unique combination of technologies for the high-level production of proteins with human-like glycosylation using Pichia GlycoSwitch®
Tucson, Arizona and Grambach, Austria, December 03, 2014 — /EPR BIOTECH NEWS/ — VTU Technology and Research Corporation Technologies (RCT) announced today that they have entered into a development and commercialization agreement for VTU to combine both companies´ Pichia pastoris protein production technologies. Pichia GlycoSwitch® – a new expression system for the production of glycoproteins with human-like glycosylation patterns – and VTU´s yield enhancing Pichia pastoris expression platform are now available in one package from VTU. This unique combination of technologies acting synergistically is of great benefit for customers as it leads to a high performance production platform for recombinant glycoproteins with superior product yields and uniform Man5 – or other human-like glycoforms.
Under the terms of the agreement, RCT grants VTU Technology access to RCT´s Pichia GlycoSwitch® expression system for combination with VTU´s in-house high-yielding Pichia platform featuring different proprietary technologies such as AOX1 promoter libraries suited for both methanol-induced and methanol-free production. VTU Technology is now offering the combined technology suite as part of the company´s expression strain and corresponding bioprocess development contract services portfolio.
“We are delighted to offer Pichia GlycoSwitch® engineered with our broad portfolio of Pichia tools in this partnership with RCT and I am convinced that our yield enhancing technologies will give GlycoSwitch® an exciting extra edge for the production of glycoproteins with Man5 – or other human-like glycoforms”, states Thomas Purkarthofer, Ph.D., Head of Business Development of VTU Technology.
“Our partnership with VTU Technology brings together two technologies that will enable customers to uniquely tailor the glycosylation of their target protein and explore new biological functions. We are looking forward to working with VTU Technology to expand the potential of proteins manufactured in Pichia GlycoSwitch®”, states Kurt R. Gehlsen, Ph.D., Vice President and CSO of Research Corporation Technologies, Inc.
Pichia pastoris is a yeast widely used for recombinant protein expression. As a microbial eukaryotic organism, Pichia combines the post-translational modification systems similar to those found in mammalian cells, with the ease of use/manipulation of E. coli. Decades of processes development have been focused on efficiently growing Pichia to extremely high cell densities; and multiple generations of molecular biology tools have been created to engineer strains to produce tens of grams/liters of a recombinant protein product. Pichia can secrete high levels of properly folded, functional proteins into a simple, defined medium for easy purification. There have been more than 20,000 publications on the use of Pichia for the production of more than 5,000 proteins, with more than 70 products manufactured in Pichia on the market today. Pichia products include enzymes manufactured in 200,000-liter fermenters and two FDA-approved therapeutics.
Pichia GlycoSwitch® is a recombinant protein expression system that broadens Pichia’s applications to glycoproteins where N-linked glycosylation is important for biological function. Pichia GlycoSwitch® offers researchers the ability to control the glycosylation (sugar addition) of recombinant glycoproteins and explore the role of protein glycosylation and various glycan structures on protein function. Pichia´s typical high-mannose glycan patterns can also be eliminated to reduce immunogenicity caused by the unwanted hyperglycosylation. The Pichia GlycoSwitch® system consists of patents, strains and vectors that are useful for making proteins with a number of different human-like glycoforms.
For additional information about Pichia, please visit www.pichia.com.
About VTU Technology
VTU Technology, a leading contract research and development company, offers the broadest toolbox and most versatile technology platform available for Pichia pastoris recombinant protein expression / production enabling highest productivities delivering up to 22 g/L of secreted protein within a few weeks development time. VTU Technology´s powerful Pichia pastoris protein expression technology is based on its optimized gene design and cloning strategies, proprietary AOX1 promoter libraries & in-house expression platform and high-throughput screening & cultivation regime, combined with excellent know-how in fermentation and downstream process development.
Headquartered in Grambach/Graz, Austria, VTU Technology is a private company and a subsidiary of VTU Holding, an Austrian enterprise that combines several technology and engineering companies in chemistry, pharma & life science as well as power and fuel industry. For additional information about VTU Technology, please visit www.vtu-technology.com.
RCT is a Tucson, Ariz.-based technology investment and management company that provides early-stage funding and development for promising biomedical companies and technologies. RCT focuses on technology investments with origins from universities and research institutions worldwide. RCT’s technology portfolio includes platforms and tools that support the discovery, development and manufacturing of therapeutics. Current platform technologies include Pichia and E.coli protein expression systems and novel protein binding scaffolds. To learn more about RCT, see www.rctech.com and www.pichia.com.
For more information
Thomas Purkarthofer, Ph.D.
VTU Technology GmbH
Phone: +43 316 4009 4017
Kurt R. Gehlsen, Ph.D.
Research Corporation Technologies