Patent Granted for ProBioGen's Avian Cell Line AGE1.CR

Berlin, Germany, 10 July 2008

ProBioGen AG, a leading biotechnology company in cell engineering and production of biopharmaceuticals, has been granted patent protection for AGE1.CR, a proprietary duck cell line developed for the production of human and animal vaccines and proteins.

The granted patent as parent, ProBioGen also claims the use of a duck cell line that is infected with Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) and that replicates MVA.

MVA is among the most promising vectors intended as recombinant vaccine against chronic infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. High attenuation of MVA has increased safety for human vaccinees but also requires production on avian cells. In the granted patent, ProBioGen demonstrates for the first time that MVA replicates in duck cells and that duck cells (contrary to chicken cells currently used for MVA production) are free of endogenous particle-associated retrovirus activity.

"AGE1.CR is a stable duck cell line adapted to industrial-grade suspension processes for production of highly attenuated viruses and vectors requiring specially modified packaging cell lines,” highlighted Dr Ingo Jordan, Director Subcellular Systems. „Due to its favourable glycosylation properties, which clearly distinguish AGE1.CR from other manufacturing cell lines such as CHO, recombinant protein production is evaluated together with industrial sponsors."

"This patent is a major milestone for ProBioGen and its licensing partners. In our cooperation with IDT Biologika, the cell line was developed to seamlessly fit into industrial processes and to meet the requirements of biopharmaceutical sponsors. An exhaustive testing following EU and US guidelines has been completed to provide the basis for accelerated IMPD/IND filing," said Dr Volker Sandig, Vice President Cell and Vector Biology at ProBioGen.


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