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Altor awarded SBIR grant for antibody work
September 2006
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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.

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