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ARTES Biotechnology And Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics SAE Continue Their Successful Product Development Collaboration


11/17/2009 1:57:45 PM

Langenfeld and Cairo, November 16, 2009 / b3c newswire / – ARTES Biotechnology, specialized in recombinant protein production and process development from yeast expression systems, and Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics, a subsidiary of Minapharm SAE (Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange: MIPH) jointly announced the successful production of a new target of a therapeutic protein. This is the first result of a long-term research collaboration that was signed in January 2008. Consequently, the two companies extended their collaboration in May 2009.

ARTES applied for this research collaboration its proprietary Hansenula technology platform and know-how to the generation of a therapeutic protein chosen by Rhein Minapharm that is typically produced in E coli. Rhein Minapharms´s new target is now produced from the, Hansenula polymorpha platform at considerable higher yields and at reduced costs compared to alternative bacterial or yeast systems. Due to these advantages, a number of products marketed worldwide - such as hepatitis B vaccine, insulin, interferon, hirudin and a fistful feed and food enzymes – are nowadays manufactured with the Hansenula technology. Moreover, several others are in clinical trials in Europe and the USA.

Under the terms of agreement ARTES handed over the production cell lines and received another milestone payment. Additionally, ARTES and Rhein Minapharm extended their collaboration aiming at additional targets for Minapharm´s portfolio. ARTES will be responsible for the generation of new production cell lines and will share the process research and development responsibility with Minapharm.

“Our long-term agreement is an important milestone in the existing relationship between our companies and we are really proud that our strain and process development work enables Rhein Minapharm to develop their innovative target pipeline and to save production costs,” said Dr. Michael Piontek, founder and Managing Director of ARTES.

Dr. Wafik Bardissi, Chairman and CEO of Minapharm added: “Together with ARTES, we are creating a cross-functional R&D teamwork to further endow our pipeline with affordability and innovation, characteristic of Hansenula derived proteins already in clinical practice and key market drivers of our emerging markets.”

About Minapharm – www.minapharm.com

Minapharm is headquartered in Cairo with production facilities in the 10th of Ramadan City and is among the leading prescription medicine companies in Egypt and the Middle East. The company specializes in the manufacture and marketing of innovative specialty pharmaceuticals and through its subsidiary Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics, in the research, development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals – www.rhein-minapharm.com. The biotech subsidiary focuses on liver disease, thrombosis and hemostasis as core therapeutic areas. With five therapeutic proteins already on the market and several in the pipeline, Minapharm’s competence lies in shortening the time to market while adhering to the highest international ethical and safety standards. Minapharm has a collective workforce of over 700 employees and is listed on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (symbol: MIPH).

About ARTES Biotechnology GmbH – www.artes-biotechnology.com

ARTES is a Germany-based biotechnology company specialized in recombinant protein production and process development from yeast expression systems. ARTES offers generation of optimized production cell lines in proprietary yeast expression systems based on Hansenula polymorpha and Arxula adeninivorans. In addition to genetic engineering, the company provides fermentation and downstream process development, analytical assay development and production cell line characterization. ARTES operates worldwide from its 850 sqm S1 facilities in Langenfeld near Duesseldorf. The company focuses on contract R&D for white and red biotechnology products.


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