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Celliance buys gene expression technology from Innovata
November 2005
by Jeffrey Bouley  | 
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ATLANTA—Celliance Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Serologicals Corp.,  recently acquired the ubiquitous chromatin opening element (UCOE) gene expression technology from Innovata, a United Kingdom-based product development company working on respiratory diseases and inhaled medications. The companies did not disclose the sum paid for the technology.
 
For Innovata, the UCOE technology was determined to be a non-core part of its business. "The divestment of our UCOE gene expression technology is a further step in the refocusing of Innovata on respiratory disease and inhaled therapies," says Kieran Murphy, Innovata's CEO. "We are pleased to have found a buyer in Celliance, a world-leading provider of products and services for the bioprocessing industry, where UCOE has the potential to add significant value to its product offering."
 
Celliance is more than happy to take the technology into the company, as UCOEs improve the yield, consistency and stability of protein production in cultured mammalian cells. This allows for improved generation of proteins at small scale for drug discovery and research, as well as quicker and easier isolation of stable, highly productive cell lines suitable for larger-scale manufacture of protein therapeutics.
 
"You can create recombinant proteins much quicker than with alternate methods—grams in, say, a month instead of several months," says Wayne Vaz, Celliance's director of business development. Further applications of the technology include gene therapy, transgenics and generation of cell lines for drug screening.
 
"We are extremely pleased to be able to add the UCOE gene expression technology to our portfolio of products for the biotechnology industry," says David L. Bellitt, president of Celliance. "The UCOE technology will augment our cell line development and protein expansion capabilities, thereby improving our customers' abilities to more efficiently manufacture recombinant proteins in large scale, while aiding in the development of the next generation of our customers' therapeutic proteins."
 
"With the continued growth of the biopharmaceutical market, there is a strong demand for technology that helps customers improve speed to market and reduce the cost of goods," Vaz notes. "These therapeutic proteins are very expensive, and having a way to boost protein production substantially can help achieve those cost savings, which is very attractive to our customers."
 
The UCOE technology is under license to a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in North America, Europe and Japan, including Medarex and Maxygen. The company looks forward to out-licensing the technology to any number of other companies working with therapeutic proteins, Vaz says. In addition to out-licensing the technology, Celliance will also develop vectors in-house for customers who desire such services.
 
Code: E110510

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