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Dowpharma Sharpens Focus on New Expression Systems

Smithfield Facility Will be Closed

30-07-2004: Dowpharma, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, has announced plans to close its biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing facility in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Dowpharma will continue to develop its biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing business by building on promising new developments in protein and peptide expression technologies that will contribute significantly to the pharmaceutical industry's drive for accessible, affordable medicines.

"Biotechnology is a dynamic industry and demands agility," said Nick Hyde, business director, Dowpharma. "The decision to close the Smithfield facility, formerly owned by Collaborative BioAlliance (CBA), is driven by changes in the biotech industry specifically around mammalian cell culture technology. One of the reasons for our decision to purchase CBA in 2000 was a forecast of additional mammalian cell culture capacity needed to supply the market. Market conditions for this technology have not evolved to the point the industry anticipated just a few years ago. We've recognized this and have decided to sharpen our focus on areas where we can deliver truly differentiated value to our customers. Our emphasis will be on enabling technologies for the rapid process development and scale-up of client production processes for therapeutic proteins and peptides."

To enable this, Dow previously announced the consolidation of its process development capability at Dow's biotechnology center in San Diego and recently launched its Pseudomonas fluorescens expression technology for the production of recombinant proteins. This novel technology can increase cellular expression while maintaining critical solubility and activity characteristics of recombinant proteins. Also this year, Dowpharma announced a new peptides offering, including expression and purification strategies for cost effective manufacturing.

Dowpharma will also focus on plant-based systems, having made several recent announcements about its expanded offerings to the industry in antibody expression and peptide expression. "These offerings allow both rapid scale up and higher productivity for complex proteins," Hyde added.

"Dowpharma is committed to offering tailored solutions to our clients through our expanding technical portfolio and key partnerships with other companies. We will continue to invest in opportunities to become a long-term leader in biopharmaceutical manufacturing by using our science base and operational expertise to help bring affordable medicines to market faster," stated Hyde.

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