Icon Genetics and Bayer CropScience successfully completed the development of a plant host system with designer glycosylation needed for manufacturing biopharmaceuticals in green plants

Icon Genet­ics GmbH, Munich, Ger­many (ICON) and Bay­er Crop­Science have suc­cess­ful­ly cre­at­ed a nov­el plant host sys­tem for the pro­duc­tion of bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Bay­er has deliv­ered a Nico­tiana plant that is defi­cient in plant-spe­cif­ic sug­ar residues result­ing in dif­fer­ent plant gly­co­sy­la­tion pat­terns. The plant host is already being used by ICON as a new com­po­nent in its pro­tein pro­duc­tion plat­form and as a basis for the devel­op­ment of a fur­ther improved pro­duc­tion host with more com­plex ”human­ized” gly­can struc­tures that also include sia­ly­la­tion path­way. The avail­abil­i­ty of these plant host sys­tems pro­vid­ing dif­fer­ent gly­co­sy­la­tion pat­terns of recom­bi­nant pro­teins are nec­es­sary for man­u­fac­tur­ing of nov­el and more potent bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in green plants.

Since its incep­tion in 1999, ICON has devel­oped a num­ber of plant-based man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nolo­gies with strong empha­sis on plant virus-based tran­sient expres­sion sys­tems. Pro­duc­tion host engi­neer­ing was an essen­tial part of the devel­op­ment as it allowed to gen­er­ate com­pre­hen­sive tech­nol­o­gy and IP pack­age pro­vid­ing for man­u­fac­tur­ing bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in plants. Com­ple­tion of con­tract devel­op­ment agree­ment pro­vides ICON and its cus­tomers with tech­nolo­gies pack­age that has many advan­tages in com­par­i­son with more tra­di­tion­al approach­es.

Dr. Vic­tor Klimyuk, COO of ICON, said: ”The avail­abil­i­ty of plant pro­duc­tion hosts with nov­el and use­ful gly­co­sy­la­tion, will fur­ther enhance ICON’s dom­i­nant posi­tion as the lead­ing tech­nol­o­gy provider in the field of plant-made bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Long-last­ing doubts about abil­i­ty of plant pro­duc­tion host to pro­vide bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals with desired human-like or design­er gly­co­sy­la­tion can be put to rest.”

About ICON:
ICON is a whol­ly owned sub­sidiary of Nomad Bio­science GmbH, Munich, Ger­many. The Com­pa­ny dis­cov­ers and devel­ops new bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and high-val­ue pro­tein prod­ucts using green plants as pro­duc­tion hosts. ICON offers new plant man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nolo­gies which address speed, yield, pre­ci­sion, expres­sion con­trol and safe­ty of prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ing in plants. ICON oper­ates its own cGMP-com­pli­ant man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty in Halle, Ger­many. ICON’s own pipeline includes sev­er­al ‘bio­bet­ter’ anti-can­cer anti­bod­ies (pre-clin­i­cal stage) and vac­cines.