Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd has entered into an agreement with Pfenex, a company set up by US chemical giant Dow Chemicals, for the development of a biosimilar therapeutic protein.
Ranbaxy and Pfenex will jointly develop the production strains and the process needed for producing the protein, Ranbaxy said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Pfenex will be eligible to receive maintenance fees, milestone payments as well as royalty payments on any product sales under the agreement.
Ranbaxy and Pfenex scientists will also collaborate on clinical development and commercial production of the biosimilar product, the release said.
"Within our overall bio-therapeutic plan, the Pfenex technology will enable Ranbaxy to develop a high quality, cost effective product", said Atul Sobti, CEO and managing director of Ranbaxy.
"We are pleased to be partnering with Ranbaxy", said Bertrand C Liang, CEO of Pfenex, "This collaboration is a great combination of the strength of Pfenex Expression Technology being leveraged for the cost effective production of biosimilars, and Ranbaxy's proven ability to develop and launch products globally," he added.
The Dow Chemical Company set up Pfenex Inc as an independent company through its Dow Venture Capital group. Dow holds a significant minority stake in Pfenex along with Signet Healthcare Partners, an experienced venture capital investor focused on the healthcare sector.
Pfenex, headquartered in San Diego, California, is a biotechnology company specialising in strain engineering and protein production that helps to accelerate the development of new biopharmaceutical therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases as also oncology.
Using a high throughput parallel processing, robotically enabled approach based on the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pfenex produces high quality protein for discovery, research, development and commercial use.