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Novel Microbial Expression System Yields Dowpharma-Pfizer Agreement
Dowpharma (Midland, MI, www.dowpharma.com) announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement with Pfizer Inc. (New York, NY, www.pfizer.com) to evaluate the production of a Pfizer therapeutic protein using Dow's "Pfenex" expression technology and proprietary solvent extraction technology.
The Pfenex expression technology is founded on specially modified strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria. These strains produce high levels of soluble, nonglycosylated protein. P. fluorescens is both robust and well studied, Dowpharma researchers say, so that users can take advantage of high-density fermentations along with existing molecular and bioinformatics tools (including libraries of stable plasmid vectors, non-antibiotic-dependent plasmid maintenance, precise expression controls, protein-export pathways, and a functional genomics capability).
Recent studies have compared the expression of several therapeutic proteins in a P. fluorescens platform with the expression in other microbial systems such as Escherichia coli (see, for example, C. Squires and H. Talbot, "Pseudomonas fluorescens: A Robust Manufacturing Platform," Specialty Chemicals Jul.-Aug. 2004)