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Sepragen wins Phase 1 STTR award from National Science Foundation for using its Express bioreactor technology to develop a low cost process for recombinant Heparin

July 15, 2013, Union City, CA ... Sepragen Corporation announces the award of a Phase 1 STTR by NSF for a collaborative project application jointly submitted by Sepragen and its academic partner SUNY, Albany.

The award of $250,000 is for the two parties to work on using Sepragen’s unique wicking matrix high density bioreactor for growing the Heparin expressing cell line. Heparin is an anticoagulant protein widely used in surgery with a $6Bn market. It is currently extracted from pig intestines and is manufactured mostly in China. It was notoriously in the news a few years ago when contaminated Heparin resulted in several deaths. The quest to make a genetically engineered Heparin via mammalian cell culture, manufactured in a safe and controlled environment has thus of late certainly become a desirable societal goal. Equally important is the ability to make this protein cost effectively.

This project contemplates using Sepragen’s Express wicking bioreactor (which has been previously demonstrated to result in 30X the cell density or productivity of conventional cell culture) to grow Heparin producing cells to high densities and have them continuously express Heparin or Heparin analogs whih would then be suitably purified. If successful, the bioreactor could very well enable high density Heparin secreting cells to be grown in a small footprint plant thereby reducing both capital and operating costs dramatically. The two parties in that case would pursue further optimization and scale up studies jointly via and would anticipate for a much bigger a Phase 2 award STTR grant in 2014.

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