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Biolex and Merial Broaden Collaboration

by 5m Editor
16 July 2010, at 8:59am

US - Biolex Therapeutics, Inc and Merial Ltd have announced that they have entered into a new, broad-ranging research and development collaboration to produce innovative veterinary vaccines.

The collaboration will combine Biolex's proprietary Lemna expression system (LEX SystemSM) with Merial's expertise and commercial presence in veterinary vaccines. No financial details were released.

The Biolex LEX System offers Merial a platform that could redefine the manufacturing environment for a wide range of vaccines, even those that are difficult to express in more traditional systems. In comparison to conventional manufacturing facilities the LEX System offers a simpler and more cost effective option to produce vaccines, leading to improved efficacy, lowered biosecurity issues and reduced needs for capital investment. The LEX System uses Lemna (duckweed) plants, a unique and completely contained plant expression system.

Biolex will collaborate with Merial to research and improve the yield and production of certain, identified targets that have already demonstrated a unique vaccine profile with superior efficacy. Biolex will also work on additional Merial nominated vaccine targets which, when optimized, will enter into the full development and commercialization phase under the control of Merial.

Jan Turek, Biolex President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are very excited about working with a leader in veterinary vaccines. The broad expansion of the Merial collaboration is a clear demonstration of the potential of our LEX System to produce safer and more efficacious vaccines in a more cost and capital efficient manner. We also intend to leverage the benefits of our platform for human vaccines in one or more partnerships with leading human vaccine companies."

Ellen de Brabander, Merial's Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Global R&D commented: "We have been working with Biolex for some years now and are very impressed with the potential of the LEX System. This agreement is an exciting and significant step towards building a next generation manufacturing environment for a new and innovative class of biological products for animals."