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Altor BioScience Corporation Awarded Phase II SBIR Grant For Anti-Cancer Antibody Manufacture In Transgenic Plants


7/25/2006 10:21:00 AM

MIRAMAR, Fla., July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Altor BioScience Corporation announced that it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support further development of its proprietary processes for making therapeutic antibodies in transgenic lettuce. The grant was submitted in response to President Bush's Executive Order encouraging innovation in manufacturing and provides funding of approximately $1,200,000 over a two-year period. Altor's long-term goal is to establish this proprietary technology as the method of choice for producing fully functional antibodies and other targeted immunotherapeutic drugs at very low manufacturing costs.

Hing Wong, Ph.D., Altor's President and the Principal Investigator of the project, commented, "I am thrilled with the support NCI has provided us to develop this unique platform technology. The funding will allow us to directly compare anti-cancer antibodies generated using our economical lettuce-based system with those made by the current high-cost mammalian cell production methods. Ultimately we feel transgenic lettuce technology could represent the breakthrough needed to make low-cost proprietary or biogeneric drugs for existing and emerging markets and stockpiled therapeutic proteins for biodefense purposes."

In the NCI-supported project, Altor will scale up production of an anti- cancer antibody in stable transgenic lettuce engineered to express high levels of monoclonal antibody under hydroponic growth conditions. The chemical and biological properties of the lettuce-produced antibody will then be compared with that of the mammalian cell version using preclinical tumor efficacy, pharmacokinetic and toxicity models. Lettuce is a self-pollinating, ecologically friendly crop which can be commercially produced in large quantities under well-defined conditions (i.e. hydroponic growth in contained greenhouse). In addition, capital-investment costs for facilities used in producing plant-made pharmaceuticals are a fraction of that required for mammalian cell-based fermentation. Altor intends to exploit these advantages in developing safe, economical and readily scalable processes to manufacture well-characterized, high-valued biological drugs.

With this grant award, Altor has received 14 SBIR grants for development of its patented technologies and products.

About Altor BioScience

Altor BioScience Corporation is a product-oriented biopharmaceutical company engaged in the research and development of novel therapeutic approaches for treating cancer, viral infections and autoimmune diseases. Altor's most advanced products include T-cell receptor-based protein therapeutics targeting a variety of different cancers. For more information, visit http://www.altorbioscience.com or contact: Peter Rhode, Ph.D., 954-443-8600, peterrhode@altorbioscience.com

Altor BioScience Corporation

CONTACT: Peter Rhode, Ph.D., Altor BioScience Corporation,+1-954-443-8600, or peterrhode@altorbioscience.com



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