Porton Pharma Solutions opens new fermentation pilot lab in China

New fermentation capacity has enabled Porton to deliver kilogram level enzyme powder preparation to meet pilot-scale production demand

Porton Pharma Solutions has begun operations at its new fermentation pilot laboratory located in its Changshou site. The event marks a milestone in the strategic partnership between Porton and Codexis in the field of biocatalysis technology.

The collaboration has now enabled Porton to service customers from both developed market and emerging market, such as US, Europe, Japan as well as China biotechs to innovate and industrialise with better and effective options

Porton had previously installed a catalysis technology lab and fermentation lab in its Shanghai R&D centre in 2019. With the pilot fermentation lab, which contains 5 L, 20 L and 300 L fermentation tanks, Porton will now add to this and be able to deliver kilogram level enzyme powder preparation to meet pilot-scale production demand.

The production process of traditional pharma is complex with high pressure in environmental protection and harsh condition requirements

Up to now, there has been 14 R&D staff and technicians in Porton’s biocatalysis team. This team undertook 38 biocatalysis projects in 2019, successfully realising the industrial application of the technology and fulfilling customers' requirements for quality, speed and cost control.

"Since Codexis and Porton reached our strategic cooperation in April 2018, we have been maintaining close collaboration in biocatalysis technology,” said Pierre Brazeau, Vice President, Business Development of Codexis.

Process of the future

The production process of traditional pharma is complex with high pressure in environmental protection and harsh condition requirements for special reactions. The development of green pharmaceutical technology is key to break the bottleneck of environmental pollution, which limits the development of pharmaceutical industry.

Biocatalysis is a low-cost, high stability, high-quality frontier technology. By utilising the corresponding enzymes, the multi-step reactions in the chemical pathway can be realised by one-step enzymatic reaction, and has the advantages of high selectivity, high efficiency, mild conditions and so on. Based on these advantages, biocatalysis technology will play an important role in the global pharmaceutical industry.

History of the collaboration

In 2018, Porton set up its technical platform including biocatalysis technology in its Shanghai R&D center. In order to further expand the commercial application value of biocatalysis technology in pharmaceutical process and to achieve mutual benefits, Porton and Codexis jointly announced the establishment of a strategic cooperation in April 2018.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Codexis licenses the core elements of its biocatalysis technology to Porton, including its proprietary biocatalyst library, high-throughput screening and enzyme production technology.

Codexis also provids Porton with an exclusive priority channel of CodeEvolver protein engineering platform technology for the creation of new biocatalytic process solutions.

Part of the agreement is that Porton will install new operations to drive adoption and optimal application of these biocatalyst technologies into its custom contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) offerings to global pharmaceutical customers.

Oliver Ju, Chairman and CEO of Porton, said: “I see from the collaboration between Porton and Codexis in the past one and a half years that it has brought about a win-win situation for not only us, but also to our customers.”

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