Novozymes develops enhanced albumin fusion technology

Published: 5-May-2011

Albufuse Flex tailors the half-life of proteins

Novozymes Biopharma, part of Danish industrial enzymes developer Novozymes, has unveiled a new albumin technology, which was developed in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Norway.

Built on Novozymes’ original Albufuse platform, the firm says the proprietary Albufuse Flex technology will enable users to adapt and control the pharmacokinetics of their target protein or peptide with retained efficacy, ensuring flexibility and optimal use.

Dave Mead, business development director at Novozymes Biopharma, said: ‘Albumin is a natural and benign carrier molecule, and by having the unique ability to decrease or increase its half-life it will help our customers to develop novel drugs with improved pharmacokinetic properties for a wide range of applications.’

Researchers have found that manipulating the interaction of albumin and IgGs with FcRn makes it possible to tailor their half-life. The Albufuse Flex technology has been developed to facilitate manipulation based on this FcRn–albumin interaction, enabling a half-life to be developed that offers control and flexibility.

In addition to protein- or peptide-based drugs, the enhanced technology also provides a delivery vehicle for small molecules, offering a broad scope of usability.

The research developed by the University of Oslo into the interaction between albumin variants and the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) was fundamental in the development of Albufuse Flex, says Novozymes.

Professor Inger Sandlie, group leader at the Norwegian Centre of Excellence for Immune Regulation, said: ‘The efficacy of peptides, small proteins, and engineered antibody fragments is hampered by short serum half-life. Therefore, strategies to tailor their serum persistence and biodistribution are needed.’

He said Albufuse Flex technology solves this problem and will result in enhanced treatment efficacy, more favourable dosing regimes, and improved patient compliance.

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