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Pumping up peptide production
June 2005
by Lisa Espenschade  | 


LOUISVILLE, Ky.—AA Peptides, LLC, doing business as AAPPTec (Advanced Automated Peptide Protein Technologies), announced in May it purchased the instrument division of Advanced ChemTech (ACT). Hossain Saneii, AAPPTec's chief operating officer, said AAPPTec will manufacture and sell parts and instruments, and provide continued customer service and technical support for ACT peptide manufacturing equipment. The ACT technology is "well-known in the peptide field," says Saneii, "very established" and capable of all scales of peptide production. AAPPTec also obtained patent rights to the instruments.
Saneii is also the former founder of ACT and served as its president and CEO. He developed the ACT instruments, but left the company two years ago when it underwent bankruptcy reorganization.
AAPPTec will supplement ACT's line with its P4, a new GMP solid-phase peptide and protein production plant that Saneii developed and calls "a very innovative technology that is perfect for making a large quantity of peptides or any organic compound." The custom-designed systems handle capacities from 20 to 1,000 liters. Saneii says the equipment is more efficient and cost-effective than competitors' because "it makes a better product, it makes a higher yield" through continuous monitoring during manufacturing.
If monitoring, for example, indicates the need for more washing, the machine can halt reactions or alter processes as needed, increasing product purity and recovery, claims Saneii. "You know all the time, what's going on," he says. "You're never working in a vacuum." Although AAPPTec hasn't yet sold any P4s, "a number" of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and peptide manufacturing custom houses has expressed interest, he says. Saneii hopes to "make the peptide affordable and encourage people to get into peptides" now that new delivery systems make them more practical medicines.
Saneii said that Futurity Investment Group, a private equity investment company, funded the ACT purchase. Futurity supports AA Peptides and AAPPTec with an undisclosed investment and general business guidance. AAPPTec was established in March 2005 and employs about 15 people.
Rod McNerney of Futurity also sees the potential for growth in peptide use, saying, "We do feel that with the technology that the company has and is developing, that peptides will hopefully be able to lower the cost to the users." He says one of Futurity's principals worked with Saneii previously "and was aware of his status in the community, what he had done with starting Advanced ChemTech and growing it and the success he had with the instrumentation part of that business." Futurity, says McNerney, is an opportunistic fund that doesn't specialize in any one industry.
Craig Kalmer, ACT's director of sales and marketing, says the rejuvenated company's products include amino acids, resins and preloaded resins, plus pre-clinical and Phase I clean room services. "ACT will also have a new line of [peptide] synthesizers that will be coming out in the middle of the third quarter," he says. The synthesizers, made by ACT's sister company Thuramed, include next-generation robotics that differentiate them from AAPPTec's offerings, according to Kalmer. ACT's new synthesizers and the instruments in the line that AAPPTec acquired from ACT show two different philosophies on peptides, he says, but some of the companies' products may compete.
Code: E060511



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