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Pharming licenses lactoferrin production tech to NZ group


Pharming has licensed rights to its protein production technology, based on the use of transgenic animals, to AgResearch, the largest government owned research organisation in New Zealand, reports Phil Taylor.

The Dutch biotechnology firm said its partnership with AgResearch covers the production of recombinant human lactoferrin (rhLF), made in a herd of transgenic cattle. Pharming is developing rhLF both for pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals applicatons.

The two companies have now pooled their resources for the manufacturing of rhLF, with the NZ company taking responsibility for the production of rhLF and purification, as well as providing research capabilities for product development. AgResearch will also fund the initial production of rhLF and support the commercialisation of the ingredient in the South Pacific and Asia.

Pharming has granted AgResearch a research license to its proprietary technology for the production of recombinant proteins, and in return the Dutch firm will have the first right to review new products arising out of AgResearch's protein discovery and R&D projects. The commercial rights of Pharming will cover recombinant bovine and human proteins produced using its proprietary technology.

Pharming is currently preparing a filing on rhLF for Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) registration with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which would clear the way for its use as an ingredient in foods.

Meanwhile, the company is also seeking partners to help it advance the pharmaceutical applications of the ingredient. These could include its use in treatments for dry eye or eye infections.

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