Alder's MabXpress Antibody Production System
Historically, commercial manufacturing of large molecule proteins has posed a number of significant challenges. In particular, the ability to efficiently, from a time and cost perspective, manufacture biologics has been a bottleneck to the development and successful commercialization of these types of molecules. Furthermore, these inefficiencies have created a barrier to the use of biologics for certain therapeutics. We express complex molecules like monoclonal antibodies in a simple microorganism with our technology we call MabXpress. MabXpress addresses the previous inefficiencies in manufacturing, which we believe may allow us to target diseases that traditionally have not been addressed by antibodies. MabXpress is based on the expression of recombinant polypeptides including antibodies in diploid Pichia pastoris host yeast strains. Pichia pastoris has been widely used in commodity production, such as Purafine, a product that is commonly used in wastewater treatment. Pichia pastoris yields rapid production cycles, excellent scale-up characteristics, and success in production runs at up to 160,000 liters scale. This yeast strain is currently used to produce non-antibody therapeutic proteins approved by the FDA, and which may provide an established framework for regulatory approval for our product candidates.
We employ MabXpress to produce our product candidates because it offers distinct time, scale and viral clearance advantages over traditional mammalian cell culture approaches, such as Chinese Hamster Ovary, or CHO, as depicted in the table below.
We have pioneered the use of this yeast to produce full-length therapeutic antibodies, which are the core products of our business. The purification process makes use of industry-standard methods, and has been scaled to a commercial level for Clazakizumab. These antibodies have been engineered to enhance the fundamental properties of the product candidate. The process results in antibody products, which are similar from lot to lot and we specifically design our antibodies to lack certain sugars in an effort to minimize the body’s recognition of such antibodies as foreign, and to improve product half-life thereby limiting infusion reactions as well as maximizing durability of the therapeutic response.
During product candidate selection, we consider manufacturing attributes including efficiency, product stability, homogeneity and scalability to commercial levels. We also select multiple back-up antibodies all compatible with the final product candidate profile. This supports rapid and successful delivery of product candidate supply and if an unforeseen production or stability problem emerges, we are able to more efficiently transition to an alternate antibody. We have successfully implemented MabXpress in multiple contract manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Upon successful transfer and subject to availability, our contract manufacturers’ facilities can execute production runs in days compared to the weeks required by traditional mammalian production.