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Curalogic appoints SAFC to provide protein research services

By Wai Lang Chu , 25-Oct-2006

Curalogic, a Danish biotechnology company, has appointed SAFC's Pharma business segment to provide protein isolation, extraction and purification services as part of its product development to treat Allergic Rhinitis.

The deal follows closely behind a recent agreement struck with medical innovations company BTG to provide chemical development services relating to BGC20-1259, a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Under the terms of this new agreement, SAFC Pharma chemists working at the existing St. Louis protein purification and extraction facility will begin initial phases of the project.

These phases explore development of grass and house dust mite compounds to determine a suitable process for producing sufficient quantities of cGMP material for future clinical trials and commercial launch of these products.

"We are looking forward to working with SAFC in this field, as process development is such an important area for biological products," said Ove Pedersen, executive Vice President of Development at Curalogic.

"SAFC's expertise in development of products derived from natural-sourced materials will be of great value to Curalogic," he added.

An estimated 20 per cent of Europeans have the respiratory condition allergic rhinitis, of which hay fever is a seasonal form

It has been estimated that 20-40m people in the US suffer from allergic rhinitis annually. Of this group 10-30 per cent are adults and approximately 40 per cent are children. The peak incidence occurs in teenagers and young adults and decreases with age.

Additional terms will see subsequent phases of the Curalogic project transferred into SAFC's new cGMP protein extraction and purification facility after its scheduled completion in April 2007.

Curalogic has taken a novel experimental approach to developing pharmaceuticals that are just as effective as injection immunotherapy.

Key products include a ragweed pollen extract that has just completed clinical Phase II trials, a grass pollen extract and cat extract currently in clinical Phase II, and a house dust mite extract that is in pre-clinical trials.

"This appointment by Curalogic for protein purification and contract research is the perfect fit for our new protein extraction and purification pilot plant facility currently under construction in St. Louis," said Frank Wicks, SAFC President.

This announcement follows recent SAFC capacity and technology expansion activities. These include: the purchase of the SAFC Arklow, Ireland facility; a large-scale API manufacturing site with 90,000 litres of total cGMP capacity; the acquisition of SAFC Pharmorphix, a Cambridge, UK, based solid-state research studies company; and an $18m dollar expansion of the SAFC Madison chemistry facility.

SAFC also used the recent CPhI event to announce that its Pharma business segment's 139,000 sq. ft. medicinal chemistry facility located in Bangalore, India, is now ready for operation.

The facility features over 60,000 sq. ft. of production and R&D laboratory space, including manufacturing suites for chemical development and production to 50L scale and an on-site warehouse, said the firm.

SAFC said the $12m (€9.6m) facility is part of its "build or acquire" strategy, put in place to meet the increased demands for its medicinal chemistry and cGMP manufacturing services.

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