US Patent Granted to AzarGen Biotechnologies for Synthetic Promoter Technology

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 General News
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STELLENBOSCH, South Africa, July 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

AzarGen Biotechnologies (Pty) Ltd (Stellenbosch,

South Africa) announced that it has received grant status for the patent application: SYNTHETIC PROMOTER CONSTRUCT FOR TRANSGENE EXPRESSION (US9670497) from the US Patent office.

     (Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/534951/AzarGen_Biotechnologies_Logo.jpg

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With special emphasis on the genetic enhancement of tobacco for high-value compound production, AzarGen's synthetic promoters have been designed for high level transgene expression in transient and transgenic systems. AzarGen aims to further expand the utility of these synthetic promoters in various dicot and monocot plant species.

AzarGen has recently been featured on CB Insights' top global synthetic biology start-up companies market map list. AzarGen also recently expanded its collaboration with iBio, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IBIO), a leader in developing plant-based biopharmaceuticals, for the development of a "bio-better" version of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody product for the South African market.

"For this project, AzarGen's synthetic promoters are being tested with the objective of including the top performer in iBio's proprietary protein production vector for expression of AzarGen's candidate therapeutic monoclonal antibody," said Robert Erwin, iBio's President. "We are confident that by working together, AzarGen and iBio will succeed in providing an important "bio-better" version of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody for the South African market."

"With the anticipated success in combining iBio and AzarGen's advanced genetic engineering and synthetic biology technologies for plant-made pharmaceutical applications, we expect to grow our biological drug product pipeline for several therapeutic areas." said Dr. Mauritz Venter, CEO of AzarGen. "In addition to applying plant-based synthetic biology techniques for healthcare, we aim to play a role in food security and bio-fuel sectors."

About iBio, Inc.   

iBio, a leader in developing plant-based biopharmaceuticals, provides a range of product and process development, analytical, and manufacturing services at the large-scale development and manufacturing facility of its subsidiary iBio CMO LLC in Bryan, Texas.  The facility houses laboratory and pilot-scale operations, as well as large-scale automated hydroponic systems capable of growing over four million plants as "in process inventory" and delivering over 300 kilograms of therapeutic protein pharmaceutical active ingredient per year. Facility capacity can be doubled by adding additional plant growth equipment in a space already reserved for that purpose.

iBio applies its technology for the benefit of its clients and the advancement of its own product interests. The Company's pipeline is comprised of proprietary candidates for the treatment of a range of fibrotic diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, systemic sclerosis, and scleroderma. IBIO-CFB03, based on the Company's proprietary gene expression technology, is the Company's lead therapeutic candidate being advanced for IND development.

Further information is available at: www.ibioinc.com

About AzarGen Biotechnologies (Pty) Ltd   

AzarGen is a biotechnology company focused on developing human therapeutic proteins using advanced genetic engineering and synthetic biology techniques in plants. The company's lead product is a recombinant human surfactant protein (based on rh-SPB) targeted for various respiratory disease conditions. AzarGen has developed proprietary synthetic DNA promoters for various expression platform applications in plant-made pharmaceuticals, synthetic biology and GMO-crop improvement. The AzarGen management team is supported by an experienced advisory board for strategic guidance and intellectual property management. Based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, AzarGen has made great progress to move a portfolio of proprietary biopharmaceutical products forward with support from South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Further information is available at www.azargen.com

Contact: Mauritz Venter, +27218082764, mauritz@azargen.com

SOURCE AzarGen Biotechnologies



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