BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has entered into an Option Agreement with an undisclosed large multi-national pharmaceutical company to obtain a non-exclusive worldwide license for the use of BioSante's 2A/Furin technology in the expression of antibodies. The technology is covered by four issued U.S. patents incorporating BioSante's 2A/Furin technology into antibody expression in viral vectors in order to rapidly generate stable, high producing antibody cell lines. The subsequent cell lines may greatly reduce the time and lower the cost of antibody production compared to current commercial technologies. Financial terms of the Option Agreement were not disclosed. The option period will last up to six months, at which time the multi-national pharmaceutical company may exercise its option to enter into a non-exclusive license for the use of BioSante's 2A/Furin technology.
"The market for antibody products was approximately $31 billion in 2008 and growing," said Stephen M. Simes, president and chief executive officer of BioSante. "This agreement is very exciting for BioSante, as it acknowledges the pharmaceutical industry's interest in our 2A/Furin technology for its potential use in manufacturing antibodies. Perhaps as important, it reconfirms our commitment to maximize the value of this technology to our stockholders, through potentially multiple non-exclusive licenses. We continue our discussions with other interested parties who may seek a license or other transaction related to this exciting antibody technology."
The 2A/Furin technology rapidly generates cell lines that express levels of antibodies suitable for commercial production in a matter of weeks, compared to months for current techniques, which gives the potential to dramatically reduce the costs required to generate commercial antibodies. This technology allows for high-level, equimolar expression of two coding sequences using a single promoter that is applicable for generating expression vectors for in vivo gene therapy applications, pre-clinical target validation and lead identification as well as to rapidly generate high producer antibody cell lines that produce, in vitro, high levels of mature antibody without requiring any amplification currently employed in antibody expression systems.