Abzena taps into ProteoNic’s viral vector tech

Abzena has licensed ProteoNic Biosciences protein technology 2G UNic to improve production of its Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

December 11, 2023

2 Min Read
Deposit Photos

Abzena has licensed ProteoNic Biosciences protein technology 2G UNic to improve production of its Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. 

Through this partnership, bioconjugate and complex biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Abzena, which specializes in the production of mammalian cell lines for protein targets, aims to increase efficiency and capacity while cutting the cost of goods.  

As per the terms of the agreement, the British CDMO has acquired global, non-exclusive commercial rights of ProteoNic’s 2G UNic to develop its CHO cell lines. According to Abzena, CHO cells have become the “workhorse of the bioproduction industry and have proved to be adept at the generation of complex biologics.”

“To keep pace with the increasing demands for new and more complex biologics, the Abzena’s cell development platform with ProteoNic’s 2G UNic vector has been designed for the rapid generation of high yielding, stable CHO cell clones using a high expressing vector system, a fast-growing CHO cell host, and a robust upstream, downstream and analytics platform,” a spokesperson for Abzena told BioProcess Insider. 

“We are happy to move forward with this improved vector and offer this to our clients as a premium cell line development platform to produce mAbs, next generation biologics and ADCs moving new medicines forward to help patients.” 

According to the firm, the 2G UNic vector technology includes an optimized dual promoter system that drives elevated levels of gene transcription so that more messenger RNA (mRNA) is produced from each gene copy. In addition, optimized untranslated regions (UTRs) help to stabilize the mRNA, aid transport from the nucleus and enhance ribosome binding, to drive a more efficient translation process.  

Through its tech, the firm claims to produce more mRNA per gene copy and more protein per mRNA is a significant increase in recombinant protein production. 

In January 2023, Pfizer acquired Abzena’s drug substance facility in Sanford, North Carolina to expand capacity and support its CentreOne clients.

The CDMO announced the addition of a sixth global site in the US in January 2021, and revealed later that it had selected Sanford, North Carolina as the site of a biologics manufacturing facility, which would cost the firm over $200 million and be equipped with 12 x 2,000 L bioreactors.

The financials associated with this agreement were not disclosed.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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