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Cilian awarded BMBF grant
Grant for innovative expression system for the production of biopharmaceutical proteins


Münster, Germany, February 1, 2007 -- Cilian AG receives, in retrospect from November 1, 2006, in the annual call of the BioChance Plus Grant Program from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funds to establish a new, cost effective expression system for the production of biopharmaceuticals.

Cilian AG uses the unique features of single cell eukaryotic micro-organism, the Ciliate Tetrahymena, in order to overcome the drawbacks of common production technologies. Currently the largest part of all complex therapeutic proteins is produced in mammalian cells. Ciliates exhibit numerous advantages against these so far used conventional mammalian cell systems.

For instance Ciliates have the capability as production system for therapeutic proteins or biopharmaceuticals, respectively, to perform certain posttranslational modifications.

Based on this, Ciliates are able to produce N-glycosylated proteins. Cilians R&D team could demonstrate this by performing a proof of principle study showing, for the first time world-wide, the expression of a therapeutically usable protein, the human DNase I. Furthermore Ciliates have superior features, like simple usage, short generation times, high cell densities and cost-effective culture media, which predestine it as the future production organism for biopharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile the R&D team could transfer this principle to a number other proteins.
By means of the BioChance Plus grant the proof of principle will be transferred now in vitro and in vivo to complex therapeutic proteins with multiple sub units. Furthermore Cilian will investigate the posttranslational modifications, which have a significant relevance for the efficacy of subsequent biopharmaceuticals. Biopharmaceuticals represent a major part of pharmaceutical drugs. The market for biopharmaceuticals will increase in 2010 to $ 35 billion. Within the scope of the research project duration of two and a half years, granted by the BMBF, Cilian can now transfer its production platform to proteins with a tremendous value adding potential. The result of the project will enable Cilian to gain access with its production platform to the world-wide largest markets for biopharmaceuticals.
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Publisher Contact Information:

Cilian AG
+49 (0)251 6 20 310
hartmann@cilian.de

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