Biobetter Ltd. presents a patent-protected innovative platform technology that dramatically simplifies and reduces the cost of protein manufacturing and purification of biologic drugs. The company successfully implemented the innovative platform in producing the human mAb “Humira”, an antibody-based drug indicated for an array of inflammatory conditions, and has the capacity to build a broad pipeline of biopharmaceuticals.
Manufacturing of biologic drugs is complex and costly. It requires very large capital investment in bioreactors and clean rooms, expensive growth media, high maintenance expenses and costly purification procedures. As a result, the cost of biologic drugs is prohibitively high, and they are currently available for only the lucky few that are privileged with health insurance or sufficient means for purchasing them.
The core proprietary technology exploits transgenic plants that co-express target therapeutic proteins, together with enzymes that remove antigenic sugars from the target protein. In parallel, the plant is designed to express Protein A, genetically fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD). The CBD-Protein A serves as a bridge between the target protein, which binds Protein A with high affinity, and plant cell wall cellulose, which specifically binds CBD.
Purification of the CBD-ProteinA-target protein complex bound to the predominant material in the plant cell wall is then achieved by extensively washing the cell wall pellet, followed by release of the target protein with a selective elusion buffer (typically low pH). This process effectively eliminates many contaminants present in the crude plant extracts, yields a concentrated, relatively pure protein and significantly reduces downstream processing volumes and purification steps. In addition, the platform provides therapeutic biologics that lack plant-specific glycosylation sites, reducing the risk of immunogenicity.
Prof. Oded Shoseyov, Cofounder
Professor Shoseyov is a faculty member at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the founding scientist of nine companies, including Collplant, an agro-biotech/medical device company producing human recombinant type I collagen in transgenic plants.
Avi Tzur, BSc, MBA, Cofounder
Mr. Tzur brings 30 years of managerial experience in Israeli and American high-tech companies. Mr. Tzur was the CEO and co-founder of various high-tech companies and currently runs his commodity and high tech business in Brazil.
Dr. Dana Yarden, Cofounder
Dr. Yarden brings with her more than 10 years of experience in medical R&D, biotechnology, business development and clinical research. Dr. Yarden, is the founding member of the WuXi AppTec team in Israel.
Dr. Amit Yaari, CEO
Dr. Yaari brings with him more than 10 years of scientific and management experience in the development of recombinant human proteins for medical applications. Prior to his position at BioBetter he served as process development team leader and operations manager at Collplant.
The Market Opportunity
During the last twenty years biological drugs have become a major sector of the pharmaceutical market effectively addressing unmet clinical needs. Today, seven out of the ten best selling drugs (blockbusters) are biologics, and 5 of them are antibodies or antibody-like. Several of the leading block-buster antibody drugs are reaching the end of their patent period between 2015 and 2020, and by 2024, patented antibody drugs selling today at over 68 billion $ will be in the public domain.
BioBetter’s production platform is suitable for production of a variety of antibodies, and the company is preparing itself for taking a major role in the developing biosimilar market.