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Pharming buys up PPL's patent estate

25-Aug-2004

Netherlands firm Pharming has acquired the patent portfolio of former transgenic protein production specialist PPL Therapeutics, at a stroke enhancing its proprietary position in this emerging market.

Scotland-based PPL was the firm best known for cloning Dolly the sheep, but was unable to continue its work on transgenic production of therapeutic proteins after running out of funding last year. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Pharming has bought patents and licenses on various products and technologies, including the production and purification of recombinant human fibrinogen and recombinant tissue sealant compositions.

After exiting from the transgenic production business, PPL made a short-lived effort to reposition itself as a product development company focusing on fibrinogen, but was unable to drum up interest from investors.

Pharming has also obtained access to processes and know-how for the large scale Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-grade purification of recombinant human fibrinogen as part of the deal.

This allows Pharming to strengthen its own recombinant fibrinogen and recombinant tissue sealant programme, saving the company time and resources in the development of these products, said Francis Pinto, chief executive of the Dutch firm.

In addition, he noted, "this transaction significantly advances the worldwide patent position of our protein production technology, along with recent agreements with Infigen and ProBio, and will allow the company to actively pursue licensing and partnering opportunities."

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