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DuPont gets Gates grant for protein drug production platform

By Gareth MacDonald+

20-Dec-2016
Last updated on 20-Dec-2016 at 01:48 GMT2016-12-20T01:48:26Z

iStock/markusblanke
iStock/markusblanke

DuPont has joined a Gates Foundation backed effort to develop low cost production methods for therapeutic proteins.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the firm’s DuPont Industrial Biosciences division a grant to support development of production systems for protein-based medicines, with a particular focus on scalable manufacturing platforms.

Division president William F. Feehery said: “We cannot underestimate the complexity of this challenge. At the same time, we cannot turn our backs on the possibility of improving access and affordability of life-saving medications for communities around the world.

This is cutting-edge science. We are honoured to work with a leading organization like The Gates Foundation to tackle this type of issue, as no one company or entity can get there on their own.”

DuPont is one of a number of companies the Gates Foundation has tasked with lowering the cost of making large molecule drugs.

Last week, the Foundation granted Belgian technology firm Univercells - and consortium partners Batavia Biosciences and Natrix Separations - $12m (€12.5m) to develop a vaccine production platform.

DuPont is due to merge with Dow Chemical under a deal announced in late 2015 .

Previously the aim was to complete the merger by the end of this year. However, in October the firms said completion would likely be delayed until early 2017 .

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