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Lonza tweaks E.coli expression system; denies takeover rumours

29-Oct-2012

Lonza claims a new selection technology to its microbial protein expression system will improve yields and boost efficiency.

The selection technology is based on a gene that encodes a ‘key’ metabolic protein that Lonza has removed – or knocked out – from the E.coli strain used in its Microbial XS Platform. Organisms lacking this gene will die unless they contain a copy that is included on a plasmid delivery vector the Swiss firm has developed.

The approach ensures ‘100 per cent’ plasmid stability according to Lonza and allows firm’s using the system to manufacture recombinant proteins for therapeutic applications to achieve higher productivity yields by eliminating non-producing cells.

Knockout tech

The new development is the second efficiency focused tweak Lonza has made to one of its biomanufacturing technologies in the recent months.

In July the firm launched a new version of its mammalian glutamate synthetase expression system – Xceed – this it claims can cut cell line development times by six weeks.

Like the change to the Microbial XS Platform the Xceed technology is based on knock-out gene technology.

No to takeover

In other news, Lonza has again said that it is not in takeover talks after speculation that it was speaking to a few interested suitors.

Speaking with Germay’s SonntagsZeitung yesterday Lonza chairman Rolf Soiron said: “The rumours have been plucked out of thin air. There are and were no talks, not to mention negotiations.”

Speculation Lonza was a buyout target emerged earlier this year , when unnamed sources suggested that German chemicals giant BASF and Saudi Arabia’s Sabic were interested in the Swiss firm.

Both BASF and Sabic have declined to comment about the rumours when asked by in-Pharmatechnologist.com

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