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Altor awarded SBIR grant for antibody work
MIRAMAR, Fla.—Altor BioScience Corp. recently received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support further development of its proprietary processes for making therapeutic antibodies in transgenic lettuce.
The grant was submitted in response to President Bush's executive order encouraging innovation in manufacturing and provides funding of approximately $1.2 million over a two-year period. Altor's long-term goal is to establish this proprietary technology as the method of choice for producing fully functional antibodies and other targeted immunotherapeutic drugs.
Dr. Hing Wong, Altor's president and the principal investigator of the project, commented, "The funding will allow us to directly compare anti-cancer antibodies generated using our economical lettuce-based system with those made by the current high-cost mammalian cell production methods.
"Ultimately we feel transgenic lettuce technology could represent the breakthrough needed to make low-cost proprietary or biogeneric drugs for existing and emerging markets and stockpiled therapeutic proteins for biodefense purposes."
In the NCI-supported project, Altor's 14th SBIR grant, the company will scale up production of an anti-cancer antibody in stable transgenic lettuce engineered to express high levels of monoclonal antibody under hydroponic growth conditions.