Markets and Applications
It is often in the news. Thanks to immunotherapy, people with cancer live longer, with a better quality of life. Immunotherapy uses antibodies (monoclonal Antibodies or mAb), such as alemtuzumab against Lymphocytic leukemia or trastuzumab against breast cancer and stomach cancer. Immunotherapy is very expensive and the question often arises as to whether it is acceptable to reimburse this therapy.
With the proposed cTRAC solution, Proxcys wants to play its parts in reducing the production costs of this expensive therapy, with the ultimate goal of improving the accessibility of the immunotherapy. Below is a diagram of a modern "platform" production process for the production of antibodies. This process is also a model for other biological production processes for medicines from cell culture. In a cell culture microorganisms are cultivated, they are “programmed” to make, for example, the mAb. These are released into the culture medium during production. The mAb is purified in a number of steps to become a “pharmaceutically pure” end product. Traditionally, the purification process begins with the removal of the cells from the cell culture. The protein is then purified via various filtration and chromatography steps.
The platform process for mAbs was designed around 15 years ago. The most important part of the process is the highly selective binding of mAb to the ProteineA. Because of this high selectivity, ProteineA appears to be able to purify the mAb, even from a complex mixture, including cells. The radial column technology, in combination with a special variant of the ProteineA gel, allows the cTRAC process to permit the cells from the cell culture to pass through completely unhindered and at the same time to bind the mAb. Thus, the mAb can be collected from the cell culture without prior filtration or centrifugation. The complex and expensive filtration installation prior to the ProteineA step can therefore be completely eliminated. The result: 30% time savings, 10-15% more mAb per cell culture, a saving of more than 100,000 kg CO2 per production and a reduction in costs without changing the unique core of the platform.!
Because the application is also very suitable for small-scale production, it is very likely that the development costs for such a drug can be reduced as well. It will become much easier to quickly process a culture to investigate whether the cells are properly programmed.
With the support of the ERDF fund, we expect to be able to present a continuous variant of the process soon. Proxcys has applied for a patent for this process. The subsidy process runs from March 2017 to July 2020.