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DowpharmaSM Licenses PfēnexExpression Technology™to VGX Pharmaceuticals


High-Yield Technology Excels at Production of Viral Proteins for Cancer Therapy

Midland, MI -DowpharmaSM contract manufacturing services, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, today announced that it has licensed its Pfēnex Expression Technology™ to leading biopharmaceutical company VGX Pharmaceuticals. Under this non-exclusive global license, Dow’s technology will be used to produce a proprietary VGX therapeutic protein indicated for cancer therapy.

Compared to traditional microbial fermentation techniques, the Pseudomonas fluorescens-based Pfēnex Expression Technology produces increased yields of soluble, correctly folded therapeutic proteins. Dowpharma is able to screen hundreds of expression strains, enabling rapid identification of a strain capable of producing high yields of properly folded, active protein. The soluble protein expressed is easier to handle, enables a clearer path through the purification process and avoids a refold step which dramatically reduces the overall cost of goods. This makes Pfēnex Expression Technology an obvious choice for the growing number of drug candidates that require complex folding.

“The adoption of the Pfēnex Expression Technology™ has been accelerating rapidly in the past several months, driven by biopharmaceutical developers looking for a more extensive range of proteins, faster results and better economics,” said Nick Hyde, global business director, DowpharmaSM. “Our collaboration with VGX quickly resulted in the delivery of a very robust Pfēnex production strain for its VGX-100 protein, and we are confident that our technology will help advance the development of the therapeutic currently in the works.”

Dr. J. Joseph Kim, co-founder, president and CEO, VGX Pharmaceuticals, added, “We have turned to Dowpharma because the Pfēnex Expression Technology consistently outperforms other commercially available microbial expression systems. Viral protein R has been difficult to produce in high yields, and we were pleased with the results obtained with the Pseudomonas fluorescens based technology. The production strain and process for manufacturing VGX-100, our lead protein therapeutic candidate for lymphoma and other cancers, has already been transferred to our contract manufacturer, Diosynth Biotechnology, and further process development and scale-up is underway. The expertise and knowledge that come with the technology and the support we have so far received from Dowpharma have made it an excellent choice for us.”


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