Phyton Biotech Partners with Agenus to Revolutionize QS-21 Production

Biospace.com | January 03, 2019

Phyton Biotech, today announced an exclusive partnership with Agenus Inc. to develop an alternative manufacturing process for QS-21 to ensure a sustainable supply of this key vaccine ingredient. Agenus received a ~$1-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a proof-of-concept study to manufacture QS-21 directly from plant cell cultures. The novel manufacturing process will be developed using Phyton Biotech’s unique Plant Cell Fermentation (PCF®) Technology platform, under an exclusive partnership with Agenus. The intended outcome of the R&D project is to demonstrate that PCF® is a feasible alternative model for the consistent, large-scale, low-cost and commercial production of high-quality QS-21, independent of any potential geopolitical or environmental threats.
QS-21 is a purified plant extract used as a potent adjuvant in various vaccines targeting infectious and endemic diseases in developing countries, such as malaria, and is currently under clinical evaluation as an adjuvant for numerous vaccine development candidates, including Agenus’ own cancer vaccines. The adjuvant boosts the effectiveness of vaccines by strengthening and broadening immune responses to a vaccine’s antigens.

Spotlight

There is no doubt that the effort and cost to bring a drug successfully to market is significant. In addition, once approved, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies face intense competitive pressures including crowded marketplaces of newly approved drugs. In the years from 2005-2011, the median time from the first and second entrant in a newly approved drug class was 2.3 years compared with 4.7 years from 1998-2004. 

Spotlight

There is no doubt that the effort and cost to bring a drug successfully to market is significant. In addition, once approved, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies face intense competitive pressures including crowded marketplaces of newly approved drugs. In the years from 2005-2011, the median time from the first and second entrant in a newly approved drug class was 2.3 years compared with 4.7 years from 1998-2004. 

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Mogrify | January 11, 2021

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Fauna | June 15, 2022

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