The decision, dated 27th October 2008, significantly strengthens the Upperton drug delivery technology portfolio and highlights the growing technology platform that it offers to partner companies. Upperton, along with its collaboration partner Novozymes Biopharma, is now seeking to exploit these technologies with established pharmaceutical companies.
The newly-granted patent describes methods of conjugating antibodies and other targeting agents to protein carriers by means of a heterobifunctional linker. In doing so, it is possible to deliver large quantities of drugs and other agents to selected sites in the body.
The initial focus for the technology will be in oncology. One such application involves using monoclonal antibodies to target recombinant albumin loaded with, for example, a chemotherapeutic agent to cancer cells. By using the carrier properties of albumin, it is possible to target significant quantities of chemotherapeutic agents or radioactive metal ions to cancer cells, whilst retaining the sensitive binding property of the targeting antibody. The result is a significant increase in the amount of therapeutic agent that can be delivered to its target compared to standard administration methods.
"We are pleased to include this latest patent to our expanding portfolio,'' said Richard Johnson, founding Director of Upperton, "We believe that this patent complements our rP-nano drug delivery platform, an emerging technology based on recombinant protein nanoparticles. The granting of this patent will add significantly to our current achievements with this technology."
Upperton is now in the process of seeking development partners to exploit its drug delivery platform. It is anticipated that the Upperton technology platform will add value across a wide a range of pharmaceutical applications. The current focus is in oncology but other areas that are growing in interest include the delivery of nucleic acids for the rapidly growing siRNA market.
The granting of the new patent underlines the growing relationship that Upperton is creating with its collaborative partner, Novozymes Biopharma. Dr. Johnson added: "I am extremely pleased to be continuing our collaboration with Novozymes Biopharma. Use of their animal-free, GMP recombinant proteins will be extremely important as we look to commercialise our unique technologies."
Dr. Dave Mead, Novozymes Biopharma's Business Development Director commented, "We are very pleased to continue collaborating with Upperton as we seek to develop these exciting technologies. This is further exemplification of Novozymes Biopharma's presence in the field of protein drug delivery systems as well as its high yielding expression systems being used for the production of pharmaceutical grade recombinant proteins."
For further press information please contact: Fiona Robinson, The Scott Partnership, 1 Whiteside, Station Road, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire CW4 8AA, United Kingdom T: +44 1477 539539 F: +44 1477 539540 E: novozymes[.]scottpr.com.
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About Upperton Ltd.
Upperton Limited (upperton.com), founded in 1999, is a privately owned biotech company based in Nottingham, UK and specialising in spray drying and particle technologies. They have recently co-patented rP-nano technology with Novozymes as a next generation technology for producing nano-sized particles from proteins, with broad application. The rP-nano technology offers unique competitive advantages over current methods of producing nanoparticles. Upperton welcomes academic and industrial partners to explore and commercialise this technology.
Richard Johnson, Director
T: +44 115 9553387