Potential New ERT Produced in Plant Cells

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Protalix Biotherapeutics, an Israeli biotechnology company, has developed a novel plant-cell culture system for the production of active human biopharmaceutical proteins, writes Dr Einat Almon, Vice President Product Development, Protalix Biotherapeutics.

Plant cell-culture acting as a "factory" for making biological drugs may offer several advantages over mammalian (animal) cell culture systems in terms of cost and safety.

Protalix Biotherapeutics has completed a Phase I clinical trial for its plant cell culture produced recombinant glucocerebrosidase enzyme (prGCD), which was conducted under an FDA approved application. The promising results will be presented in July 2006 at the European Working Group on Gauchers Disease meeting at Cambridge University.

The initial study will be followed by a Phase III clinical trial in several Gaucher centres worldwide in which Prof Ari Zimran will serve as the principle investigator, together with other prominent figures in the field. 'Protalix has demonstrated that prGCD enzyme produced in plant cells, has enhanced biochemical enzymatic activity. In addition, it has an extended serum half-life as shown in pre-clinical trials performed in primates.

'The company is located in a state of the art manufacturing and research facility in Carmiel, Israel. Protein based drugs for other clinical conditions are currently under development using Protalix's production system.

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Source: Gauchers News June 2006.
© Copyright Gauchers Association 2006