Wacker and XL-protein produce record yields of PASylated Fab antibody

Using Wacker E.coli-based ESETEC secretion technology

Wacker Biotech and XL-protein have produced record yields of a PASylated Fab antibody using Wacker’s E. coli-based ESETEC secretion technology.

The German firm developed an efficient bacterial cell line and was able to produce the Fab antibody in concentrations of more than four grams per litre of culture broth. This antibody is being tested as a novel therapeutic agent for treating autoimmune diseases.

Wacker says these results open up new opportunities for developing monovalent antibody drugs that can be produced at lower cost, with fewer side effects and with a tunable plasma half-life.

‘We are delighted – the results open up new avenues for the development of antibody products,’ said Thomas Maier, Managing Director of Wacker Biotech.

‘ESETEC produces Fab antibody fragments in record yields that until now had only been possible for whole antibodies using mammalian cell cultures. Yet, development and production times with ESETEC are much faster than with mammalian cells. This saves our customers costs and shortens the time to market.’

We are delighted – the results open up new avenues for the development of antibody products

ESETEC is a proprietary Wacker technology with a track record of cost-effective production of proteins and antibody fragments. It is based on an E. coli K12 strain, which has the ability to secrete correctly folded recombinant proteins into the culture broth during fermentation. Secretion facilitates purification of the target protein, since there is no longer any need for complicated process steps such as homogenisation and refolding. This makes the entire manufacturing process significantly more efficient and cost-effective.

Arne Skerra, Managing Director of XL-protein, said: ‘The fact that our PASylation technology allows efficient and inexpensive production of antibody fragments with extended plasma half-life abolishes a major disadvantage of these highly effective and low-side-effect biologics, compared with conventional antibodies. Especially in conjunction with ESETEC, it is now possible to rapidly manufacture improved antibody products with tailored properties in high yield.’

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