Pfenex uses R&D prowess to develop AMD alternative to Lucentis
- San Diego-based Pfenex has filed for a $75 million IPO to fund development of its wet AMD drug
- If approved, PF582 will compete with the anti-VEGF drug Lucentis (ranibuzumab), which is marketed by Roche in the US and Novartis ex-US.
- PF582 was generated and discovered using a proprietary expression technology platform.
Pfenex started as a spin-off from Dow Chemical Co. in 2009. Because of this, it came with several competitive advantages, mainly in the form of technology. According to bioworld.com, "The platform is based on high-throughput screening of large libraries of genetically engineered Pseudomonas fluorescens bacterial expression strains, constructed from expression vectors that are incorporated into engineered P. fluorscens host strains."
Using this method, Pfenex chooses the strains that express a protein of interest. They are also able to manipulate yield, purity and potency. Increasingly, success in the industry comes down to successful R&D, specifically more efficient and productive R&D. For example, Pfenex brought PF582 from concept to clinical trials in just two years.