Berlin, November 12, 2008 – Functional Genetics, a biotech company using innovative science to develop broad spectrum anti-viral therapeutics for infectious diseases, and ProBioGen AG, a leading cell specialist for production of biopharmaceuticals, today announced the successful completion of a cell line development contract and the start of an antibody production agreement.
Functional Genetics’ pipeline includes broad spectrum anti-viral small molecules and antibodies in various stages of preclinical development. The monoclonal antibody being produced by ProBioGen targets TSG101 and has the potential for broad spectrum antiviral applications against hemorrhagic fever viruses including Ebola and Marburg as well as HIV, Influenza, RSV and PIV. Toward this objective, ProBioGen has already successfully developed a new production cell line for the TSG101 program which matched yield expectations. Under the contract, ProBioGen will now start process development and will produce pre-clinical material and – later on - GMP-material for clinical trials, which are anticipated to start in early 2010. Functional Genetics work is sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) at Fort Belvoir for the treatment of hemorrhagic fever viruses.
„We are impressed with ProBioGen´s track record in the field of antibody production and their deep scientific insights, which led to a tailored and accelerated development project,” commented Michael Kinch, VP R&D at Functional Genetics. „We are confident that our antibody will enter clinical trials faster than we anticipated looking at conventional development programs.”
„This production agreement with Functional Genetics strengthens our customer base and business activities in the U.S. and proves our leadership in the development of cell lines and the production of antibodies at medium scale capacities,” added Dr Gabriele Schneider, VP Business Development at ProBioGen.