FORT COLLINS, Colo. – December 13, 2012 – A study comparing the in vivo receptor-binding and iron transport characteristics of Ventria Bioscience’s Optiferrin™ recombinant human transferrin (rhTF) to native, serum-derived human transferrin (hTF) was published today in the journal BMC Biotechnology1. The results of the study show that Optiferrin is functionally comparable to purified human transferrin in its ability to bind to the transferrin receptor (TFR) and participate in TFR-mediated endocytosis, intracellular iron delivery, and processing in a variety of cultured mammalian and human cell lines. Optiferrin is produced by Ventria Bioscience using ExpressTec and sold commercially by InVitria, the bioreagents division of Ventria Bioscience, for use in cell culture applications. Ventria Bioscience is also pursuing a clinical development program for the protein.
“Human transferrin has a great deal of potential value as a drug delivery vehicle in the treatment a number of diseases, but when purified from human serum it carries with it a serious risk of infectious disease transmission,” said Dr. Wei-Chiang Shen, the John A. Biles Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy and the senior author on the study. “Our study validates the functional characteristics of purified, recombinant human transferrin and confirms that it is an attractive alternative for use in pharmaceutical development.”
The publication, titled “Characterization of transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis and cellular iron delivery of recombinant human serum transferrin from rice (Oryza sativa L.),” adds to findings from previous in vitro biochemical and biophysical studies showing that Optiferrin closely resembles native hTF, both structurally and in its receptor binding and cellular iron uptake properties.
Human transferrin, either purified from human blood serum or biomanufactured using various recombinant protein expression systems, is widely used in biomedical research and the biotechnology industry as a supplement to support mammalian cell growth in serum-free cell culture media. It also has potential therapeutic uses in the treatment of thalassemia, atransferrinemia, and age-related macular degeneration, and as an anti-cancer drug delivery molecule. However, hTF sourced from serum poses the risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens, while current systems for recombinant expression are difficult to scale in a cost-effective manner for biopharmaceutical applications.
“Ventria Bioscience is committed to collaborating with scientific experts to perform thorough characterization and functional validation of the recombinant products we produce using our ExpressTec system,” said Dr. Ning Huang, vice president of research and development of Ventria Bioscience. “These results not only reiterate that Optiferrin is an ideal supplement for immortalized cell lines, but they also further our research and development program aimed at producing biopharmaceutical-grade human transferrin for clinical development.”
1 Full citation: Zhang D, Lee HF, Pettit S, Zaro JL, Huang N, Shen WC. Characterization of transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis and cellular iron delivery of recombinant human serum transferrin from rice (Oryza sativa L.). BMC Biotechnology. 2012;12:92. doi:10.1186/1472-6750-12-92.
InVitria develops, manufactures and markets a portfolio of animal-free cell culture supplements that improve performance, cost effectiveness and consistency of cell-based biomanufacturing systems. InVitria is a division of Ventria Bioscience. For more information, visit www.invitria.com.
Ventria Bioscience develops, manufactures and markets biotherapeutics and products used in bioprocessing, regenerative medicine, cell culture media, and research and development. Ventria Bioscience’s patented ExpressTec biomanufacturing technology enables the development of new and cost-effective biologic products. For more information,
Optiferrin is a trademark of InVitria.