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Upfront Chromatography Licenses Use of EBA Technology to Cangene Corporation (CC:CNJ)



6/17/2009 11:22:09 AM

Copenhagen, 17th June 2009 - Upfront Chromatography A/S, a leading developer of customised industrial-scale protein chromatography processes, has signed a licensing agreement with Cangene Corporation, a world leader in developing, manufacturing, and commercialising specialty hyperimmune plasma and biotechnology products. The agreement provides Cangene with the rights to use Upfront´s Rhobust® 2nd Generation Expanded Bed Adsorption (EBA) for the production of therapeutic human antibody products from human plasma. This is the next step in a collaboration between the two companies to develop a new high-yield process for purifying human antibodies directly from blood plasma.

Upfront´s Rhobust® 2nd Generation EBA technology addresses the main drawbacks haunting the classical Cohn ethanol precipitation process: poor product yields, low productivity, and usage of ethanol that can destroy biological activity of some proteins. EBA leads to a more robust process, and significantly improved yields, which are particularly important to the plasma fractionation industry due to the scarcity of human plasma and a growing demand for IgG.

The Rhobust® 2nd Generation EBA chromatography system accommodates unclarified and unstable raw materials, and operates at high flow rates. It creates no back pressure, which is a typical shortcoming of packed bed chromatography. All of this combined with Upfront’s unique ligand chemistries results in record yields at very high productivity rates.

“We are convinced that EBA will be a breakthrough leading to the widespread use of chromatography as the core technology for the plasma fractionation industry,” – says Allan Lihme, Technical Director at Upfront. – “We look forward to further progress on this exciting project with Cangene.”

About Rhobust® Processing Platform

The Rhobust® universal processing platform from Upfront Chromatography enables customers to efficiently capture and purify monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins and other biomolecules directly from bioreactors or blood plasma, without the need for prior clarification procedures. Selection of proprietary mixed mode ligands enables efficient control of the capture and release of target molecules by simple changes of pH, which can be readily implemented in large-scale production facilities and maintain biological activity of the product. Mixed mode ligands are selected for their suitability for industrial processing, in particular their stability during high temperature cleaning with 1M NaOH, low toxicity, and very low leakage from adsorbent.

About Upfront Chromatography

Upfront Chromatography A/S develops and manufactures innovative products and technologies for extraction and recovery of biotherapeutics, functional biomolecules, macromolecular complexes, and even living cells, directly from bioreactors and industrial side-streams.

For customised separation services, Upfront offers access to its proprietary Rhobust®, universal process platform combined with extensive technical and regulatory support. From a feasibility study to commissioning of the final installation, Upfront works with its customers to develop adsorbents, ligand chemistry, columns and other hardware to optimise process performance. Upfront is currently developing the world´s largest chromatography system.

Upfront’s research, development and ISO9001-compliant manufacturing facility is situated in Copenhagen, Denmark. Please visit: www.upfront-dk.com

About Cangene Corporation

Cangene is one of Canada’s largest and earliest biopharmaceutical companies. It was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Cangene has approximately 700 employees in eight locations across North America and its products are sold worldwide. It operates three large manufacturing facilities—two in Winnipeg, Manitoba and one in Baltimore, Maryland—where it produces its own products and undertakes contract manufacturing for a number of companies. Cangene operates three U.S. and one Canadian plasma-collection facilities. In addition, it has a regulatory affairs, sales and investor relations office in Toronto, Ontario.

Cangene is focused on developing therapeutics for infectious diseases, and the Company uses patented manufacturing processes to produce plasma-derived and recombinant therapeutic proteins. Cangene has five FDA and/or Health Canada-approved products. In addition, the Company has several more products in development at various stages. Three of Cangene’s products have been accepted into the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile—botulism antitoxin, anthrax immune globulin and vaccinia immune globulin, a product used to counteract certain complications that may arise from smallpox vaccination.

Capitalizing on its drug manufacturing expertise, Cangene also operates a significant contract research and manufacturing business using its Winnipeg facilities and the resources of Baltimore, Maryland-based Chesapeake Biological Laboratories, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary). Cangene’s website, www.cangene.com includes product and investor information, including past news releases. Chesapeake’s website is www.cblinc.com


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