15 Mar Lucigen Corp. enters global licensing agreement
Middleton, Wis. – Lucigen Corp. and Imaxio S.A. (Saint-Beauzire, France) have finalized an agreement giving Lucigen exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and sell OverExpress bacterial cells for toxic protein expression.
Under the agreement, Imaxio will retain the right to license the use of OverExpress cells for commercial applications, but Lucigen will provide the cells to commercial licensees. No license will be required for research use of OverExpress cells by non-profit or for-profit organizations.
Lucigen and Imaxio also are collaborating to develop additional strains of OverExpress cells.
Lucigen, which recently spun off a new company, C5-6 Technologies, to develop enzymes that can increase yields in bioethanol production, sees the OverExpress technology as a way to expand its research product lines from genomics, the study of the genome, to proteomics, the large-scale study of proteins.
The company is using the OverExpress cells with its single-cell genomics cloning technologies to produce new types of enzymes from rare microorganisms isolated from boiling hot springs.
The use of bacterial cells to clone and express genes is common in research, diagnostics, and biopharmaceuticals. However, many recombinant proteins can’t be produced this way because they are toxic to the bacterial host cells.
The OverExpress technology, originally developed at the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom and transferred to Imaxio, produces bacterial cells that are much more tolerant of toxic proteins.
Since important drug targets, including cell membrane proteins, are difficult to express, the technology is expected to be useful in developing new pharmaceuticals.
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