Innovata of the UK has sold off its gene expression technology UCOE to Celliance Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serologicals, for an undisclosed fee.
UCOE (ubiquitous chromatin opening element) can be used to improve the yield, consistency and stability of protein production in cultured mammalian cells, allowing simpler and quicker generation of proteins at small scale for drug discovery and research, as well as quicker and easier isolation of stable, highly productive cell lines suitable for larger-scale manufacture of protein therapeutics.
Innovata said earlier this year that the technology was outside its core focus of respiratory disease and inhaled therapies, after a strategic review by a new management team heased by chief executive Kieran Murphy.
The buyer, Celliance, is a major player in the bioprocessing market, and already sells a range of cell culture and diagnostic products, as well as providing contract research and manufacturing services.
Further applications of the UCOE technology include gene therapy, transgenics and generation of cell lines for drug screening. The technology is under licence to a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in North America, Europe and Japan including Medarex and Maxygen.
David Bellitt, president of Celliance, said: "The UCOE technology will augment our cell line development and protein expansion capabilities, thereby improving our customers' abilities to more efficiently manufacture recombinant proteins in large scale, while aiding in the development of the next generation of our customers' therapeutic proteins."
SAFC to promote rival technology from Chromos
Meanwhile, SAFC Biosciences, a member of the Sigma-Aldrich Group, has agreed to co-market Chromos Molecular Systems proprietary ACE expression system, used for cell line engineering for protein production applications.
Chromos said the agreement with SAFC Biosciences, which offers services ranging from novel vector production to media optimisation, would help it to increase the number of ACE system-based licenses and grow its cell line engineering business.