Cambridge Antibody Technology of the UK has signed up for a non-exclusive licence to a technology, developed by Canada's Chromos Molecular Systems, for the commercial manufacture of biologics.
CAT will use the technology to produce its monoclonal antibody-based drugs and will pay Chromos upfront and annual licensing fees, as well as milestone and royalty payments on resulting products.
Chromos' ACE (artificial chromosome expression) System is a gene-delivery technology used to generate high-expressing cell lines for protein production and is claimed to offer improved speed and protein yields over rival platforms. CAT is the first customer for the protein-expression platform.
The global market for monoclonal antibodies is expected to grow by 30 per cent a year to more than $20 billion by 2010, notes Chromos, but current antibody production techniques are not expected to meet future demand for production capacity.