Patent issued for generating genetically evolved mammalian cells through the regulation of mismatch repair

Morphotek announced today the issuance of United States Patent 6,825,038 covering the regulation of mismatch repair (MMR), a powerful process for generating functional diversity in mammalian cells, to yield sibs exhibiting desirable phenotypes for target discovery, drug screening and/or product development.

This enabling technology is important for the rapid and efficient generation of genetically evolved sublines that exhibit desired phenotypes for uncovering genetic pathways associated with disease as well as discovery and product development.

Dr. Nicholas Nicolaides, President and Chief Executive Officer of Morphotek, commented, "This is yet another expansion of our intellectual property and further extends Morphotek's competitive advantage in the field of directed cell-based evolution for systems biology and product development."

"The claims in this patent are very broad and cover the genome-wide manipulation of mammalian cells to generate pools of sibs exhibiting a wide range of traits, such as sublines expressing enhanced levels of a therapeutic biologic for scaleable manufacturing as well as evolution of target cells for developing sublines suitable for drug screening and target discovery," added Dr. Philip M. Sass, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

The mismatch repair pathway is a highly conserved process that all living organisms use to repair naturally occurring mutations that occur during DNA replication. Morphotek has developed a broad patent estate that covers regulation of this process in single celled organisms such as bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells as well as in more complex multicellular organisms such as rodents and plants. These patents also cover the use of derived organisms for the generation of a variety of commercially important traits (gene and pathway discovery, antibody maturation, vaccine development and titer optimization). Morphotek has formed successful collaborations that implement its proprietary technology for discovery and product development with Abgenix, Centocor, The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, The National Cancer Institute, Novo Nordisk, Protein Design Labs, Tanox, The Wistar Institute, Wyeth and the United States military.

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