Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB)
Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB)
13 August 2009

IMBcom – The University of Queensland’s (UQ) company for commercialising technology from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) - today announced that PROLOR Biotech Inc (formerly Modigene Inc) has taken out a non-exclusive licence to UQ’s human growth hormone receptor cell line.

Current manufacturers of human growth hormone assay for potency by using hypophysectomised rodents (rats that have had their pituitary glands surgically removed). Human growth hormone is then administered to the animals and the potency determined by measuring the animals’ weight gain and length of femur - this assay is not only extremely expensive, but also produces inconsistent results.

The UQ cell line, which can measure potency or the presence of neutralising antibodies in serum, has three clear advantages:
1. It will result in significant cost savings;
2. It will provide more reliable, consistent results; and
3. It does not require animals for testing.

Dr Peter Isdale, Chief Executive of IMBcom, said he was delighted to licence the technology to a company such as PROLOR Biotech and that he hoped other producers of human growth hormone would follow PROLOR Biotech’s lead.

Shai Novik, President of PROLOR Biotech said “we believe that UQ’s cell line will help us expedite development and manufacturing of our long-acting version of human growth hormone (hGH) - not only can the cell line measure the hormone’s potency but it can also be used to detect neutralising antibodies directed against hGH”.

About IMBcom
IMBcom is The University of Queensland’s company for commercialisation of biotechnology research from the University’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

About PROLOR Biotech
PROLOR Biotech, Inc. () is a biopharmaceutical company applying its patented CTP technology to develop longer-acting, proprietary versions of already approved therapeutic proteins that currently generate billions of dollars in annual global sales. PROLOR is currently developing long-acting versions of human growth hormone, interferon beta and erythropoietin, which are in late preclinical development.

Media Contacts
IMBcom – Christopher Price, VP Commercial Development
PROLOR Biotech – Shai Novik, President