Biosys Inc. is expanding its technology in insects toinclude the manufacture of humanized antibodies frominsect viruses.

The Columbia, Md., company signed an agreement withSeattle-based NeoRx Corp. to manufacture a humanizedantibody for NeoRx's anticancer drug, Avicidin. NeoRxwill sponsor additional research and development andwould buy the product from Biosys.

Biosys is using the naturally occurring baculovirus, whichis specific to certain classes of insects.

"The potential opens a wide new theater of activity forthe company," said Edwin Quattlebaum, president andCEO of Biosys. "Early indications are that production ofcertain proteins in insect larvae via recombinantbaculoviruses can be very cost effective vs. mammaliancell culture and other options for production."

Patrick Simms, Biosys' senior vice president,manufacturing and development, said quicker productionof proteins also could be another advantage of themethod.

"This is a new business arm Biosys is just beginning,"Simms said. "There are no proteins currently beingproduced for human use via this technology. Ultimately,we want to be the producer of therapeutic proteins forthird parties."

He said the new area fits right into Biosys' areas ofexpertise, which include engineering viruses andproducing them in insects on a large scale.

Biosys' technology for insect control uses nematodes,baculoviruses and pheromone products. _ Jim Shrine

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