Novo companies announce enzyme collaboration for biopharmaceuticals

Enzymes used in biopharmaceutical processing make up a small part of the 15bn DKK ($2.3bn) market for specialty enzymes, with yearly expected growth rates in the high-single digits

Novozymes and Novo Nordisk Pharmatech have announced a collaboration agreement that combines the companies’ joint competencies within the development of specialty enzymes for biopharma processing and regenerative medicines.

Enzymes used in biopharmaceutical processing make up a small part of the 15bn DKK ($2.3bn) market for specialty enzymes, with yearly expected growth rates in the high-single digits.

The demand for specialty enzymes is driven by the production of proteins and cells in the biopharmaceutical industry. Older production technologies are increasingly being replaced by enzymatic alternatives, the companies say, particularly for regenerative medicines, which require high quality, pharmaceutical grade enzymes.

The companies aim to develop high-quality enzymatic processing aids for the regenerative medicines market, with a focus on stem cell and gene therapies.

“I am very excited about this collaboration, where synergies between the companies in the Novo Group will come into play and with the prospect of enabling scale-up of processes in the regenerative medicines market,” said CEO of Novo Nordisk Pharmatech, Ulla Grove Krogsgaard Thomsen.

Novozymes brings extensive enzyme diversity, a large enzyme portfolio, a broad R&D platform, and fermentation capabilities to the collaboration. Previously, this platform has not served the biopharmaceutical market directly.

Novo Nordisk Pharmatech, on the other hand, has recently invested in a purification plant for enzymes to facilitate the high-quality production of products within the biopharmaceutical industry. In this area, the company has a customer network from its existing quats and recombinant insulin business.

“This collaboration reinforces a shared commitment to the development of specialty enzymes. Novo Nordisk Pharmatech brings market knowledge and the required production-quality capabilities, while Novozymes brings a large enzyme library and strong R&D competencies. Together, this positions us well to create new and innovative products for this market,” said Lotte Clemmen Christensen, VP, Corporate Strategy & New Business Development at Novozymes.

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Novo Nordisk Pharmatech (more information, website)

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