DSM Biologics: Karen King on New Technology and Reducing the Cost of Medicines

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Video title: DSM Biologics: Karen King on New Technology and Reducing the Cost of Medicines
Released on: July 28, 2010. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks with Karen King, President and Business Unit Director of DSM Biologics. Filmed at BioChicago 2010 in Chicago, USA, they discuss:

• What differentiates DSM Biologics from the rest of the biologics contract manufacturers

• Technologies in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process

• PER.C6-cell-line technology

• When younger innovative companies should engage with DSM Biologics

• DSM Biologics' technology in reducing the cost of medicines

• Being a service provider to both generic manufacturers and patented product companies

• Elements of risk sharing

What differentiates DSM Biologics from the rest of the biologics contract manufacturers?
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BIO in Chicago. On this show I have Karen King, who is President of DSM Biologics , welcome to the show.
Karen King:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
DSM Biologics , Karen King has been in business for about 20-years, so DSM has been in the business of Biologics last 20-years, what differentiates you from the rest of the biologics contract manufacturers?
Karen King:
So what we do is we are of course a premier provider of biomanufacturing services but we also have a unique portfolio of technologies that are available to our clients that really optimize the entire biopharmaceutical manufacturing process. So we help to reduce cost, to reduce time, to reduce risk, scale up risk that's what our technology is focused on and provide our customers.
Technologies in biopharmaceutical manufacturing process
Fintan Walton:
So you've also mentioned this technologies could you tell us describe some of these technologies that you have developed and where you would see them placed in relation to your competition?
Karen King:
Sure. So in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process there is the upstream and there is the downstream, so for the upstream what DSM has is a proprietary process which it's called XD and it really boosts the number of cells in the reactors that are producing the proteins and then also the amount of protein produced to a factor of 5 to 10 times of what you would see in standard processes, that's a big difference in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Then when you have that much been created in your bioreactor you move the bottleneck down to your downstream. So some of the things that DSM is now working on is really elevating those bottlenecks, we've just today announced a acquisition of a technology from a company called Upfront Chromatography [PharmaDeals ID = 35896] in Denmark and it's called their Rhobust technology and it's now ours but what it does is allows you to capture that high throughputs stream of materials that's coming out of your bioreactor in a very efficient way and reduces the number of steps in the downstream as well.
PER.C6 cell line technology(Producing antibodies in human cells)
Fintan Walton:
The other technologies that you have developed I understand are ones which allow you to produce antibodies in human cells, so tell us little bit about that technology?
Karen King:
Yes, so that's actually a co-exclusive marketing relationship and licensing relationship we have with Crucell a Dutch biotech firm and that's to promote the PER.C6-cell-line [PharmaDeals ID = 20450] [PharmaDeals ID = 28552], it's a human cell line and of course you can just imagine if you are producing antibodies and proteins for human use to be able to produce that in a human cell it's a quite nice feature.
When should younger innovative companies engage with DSM Biologics ?
Fintan Walton:
Right, now biologics play an important role in pharmaceuticals these days, these are blockbuster drugs and so forth, but some of these products are well established are going to become generic in the future so costs are going to be very important equally there are still younger innovative companies who are trying to take the products through into clinic, so obviously there are two types of customers I could see for DSM , so just go for the smaller company when should a small company who has got some may be some great ideas around at protein production for a particular therapeutic, when should they engage with DSM Biologics ?
Karen King:
Right from the very beginning right in the preclinical stages is when they should start working with us and for the small companies in particular they don't have the capital the means to think about trying to develop their own manufacturing capability. Biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities are very expensive, we are talking about 400 million 500 million sometimes more and for a small company that is just out of the question, so for them to be able to have the partner that can work with them build a relationship from the very beginning and help take them all the way through all the way to commercial if they need to go there that's really the best way for them to go.
DSM Biologics 's technology helps reducing the cost of medicines
Fintan Walton:
Right, now some of the technology you've described helps to improve yield, helps to get speed to market as well, now clearly again biologics these days are expensive molecules or expensive medicines, are you in the game of reducing the cost of medicines?
Karen King:
Absolutely. So what our technology does is really help to optimize the process, drive down cost you know one of the things I am sure you are hearing about an industry now is the onslaught of biosimilars everybody is talking about biosimilars as our originator products are eventually now coming off patent and we see again that our technology can have a lot of applicability there because we can help drive down those costs and as these biosimilars become available then have lower cost alternatives available.
Service provider to both generic manufacturers and patented product companies
Fintan Walton:
Right, so do you see yourselves working both with generics manufacturers as well as with companies who've got their own patented products?
Karen King:
Absolutely, so what we do is we are a service provider to everyone in the industry to those people with innovative drugs of course we are there to help them in any way with our technologies and we hope they'll embrace them from the very beginning so they will always have the best cost position but for those companies also thinking about the biosimilars or follow-on's if they want to be in a position to be very competitive then our technology can help them as well.
Element of risk sharing
Fintan Walton:
These days people look at contract research organizations or contract manufacturers as companies potentially prepared to share risk in manufacturing and so forth, would DSM consider any element of risk sharing with a biotechnology company?
Karen King:
We certainly would consider any options with our customers and have done some unique things in the past, again we are here to provide a service, we think we have some very unique offerings that are going to help them to have the best possible product in the best possible time but we are open to different relationships with our customers.
DSM Pharmaceutical Products: A full service provider
Fintan Walton:
Right, Hans Engels who is President of the DSM Pharmaceuticals is responsible for the end of the high value end of manufacturing in dosage forms, how do you work with Hans's group to ensure that your customers ultimately get the products they desire?
Karen King:
Right, so one of the benefits of working with DSM Pharmaceutical Products is that we are a full service provider from start to finish. So a client can work with us to make the drugs substance and then can work with DPI to do the full finish, so we can help them all the way through the process.
Fintan Walton:
Karen King, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Karen King:
Thank you Fintan Walton.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Karen King
Karen King is President and Business Unit Director of DSM Biologics responsible for all operations and sales for DSM Biologics ' manufacturing business and biologics technology licensing. She has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
DSM Biologics
DSM Biologics a business unit of DSM Pharmaceutical Products, is a global provider of manufacturing technology and services to the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition to the offering of world-class biopharmaceutical manufacturing services, DSM Biologics provides and develops technologies relevant for optimized mammalian cell culture processes. Examples are the proprietary XD Technology for use with mammalian cell lines. The "XD process" leads to very high cell densities within the bioreactor, which result in maximum productivity using readily available equipment. DSM Biologics 's manufacturing services provides companies with a turn-key biologic manufacturing solution reducing cost, risk and time to market.