Press Release | January 14, 2008

ARTES and Minapharm sign long-term strategic development agreement



Langenfeld and Cairo, January 14, 2008 / b3c newswire / – ARTES Biotechnology, which is specialized in recombinant protein production from yeast expression systems, and Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics, a subsidiary of Minapharm SAE (Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange: MIPH) jointly announced the start of a strategic collaboration to develop three therapeutic proteins. Financial details were not disclosed.

ARTES will apply its proprietary Hansenula technology platform and know-how to the generation of production cell lines, analytical assay development, and lab-scale fermentation. Moreover, ARTES has granted Minapharm a commercial license option to apply its proprietary technologies to the manufacturing and marketing of these therapeutic proteins. In addition, ARTES will be responsible for the 100 L-scale production of a Minapharm protein based on an existing process using E. coli.

Minapharm will carry out the pertinent process research & development, production and commercialization of the therapeutic proteins.

“This long-term agreement marks an important milestone in the existing relationship between our companies. Minapharm’s strategic decision to extend our collaboration is a clear proof of the safety and reliability of the Hansenula technology platform and the quality of our services,” said Dr. Michael Piontek, founder and Managing Director of ARTES.

Dr. Wafik Bardissi, Chairman and CEO of Minapharm added, “The agreement is a logical consequence of the encouraging results of our currently marketed Hansenula-derived products combining high quality and cost-effectiveness. The anticipated outcome is of reciprocal value to Minapharm’s process R&D program and the Hansenula technology platform in general.”

The yeast strain Hansenula polymorpha is often an alternative to E. coli for producing therapeutic proteins or technical enzymes inexpensively. A number of products derived from Hansenula are already marketed worldwide such as hepatitis B vaccine, insulin, interferon alpha 2a and feed and food enzymes. Several others are in clinical trials.


Minapharm is headquartered in Cairo with production facilities in the 10th of Ramadan City and is among the leading prescription medicine companies in Egypt and the Middle East. The company specializes in the manufacture and marketing of innovative specialty pharmaceuticals and through its subsidiary Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics, in the research, development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The biotech subsidiary focuses on liver disease, thrombosis and hemostasis as core therapeutic areas. With three therapeutic proteins already on the market and several in the pipeline, Minapharm’s competence is shortening the time to market while adhering to the highest international ethical and safety standards. Minapharm has a collective workforce of over 700 employees and is listed on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (symbol: MIPH)

ARTES Biotechnology GmbH –

ARTES is a Germany-based biotechnology company specialized in recombinant protein production from yeast expression systems. ARTES offers generation of optimized production cell lines in proprietary yeast expression systems based on Hansenula polymorpha and Arxula adeninivorans. In addition to genetic engineering, the company provides fermentation and downstream process development, analytical assay development and production cell line characterization. ARTES operates worldwide from its 850 sqm S1 facilities in Langenfeld near Duesseldorf. The company focuses on contract R&D for white and red biotechnology products.

Minapharm Pharmaceuticals
Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics
Frank Mueller
R&D manager

ARTES Biotechnology GmbH
Dr. Melanie Dr?ttboom
Business Development Director
+49 (0)2173 275870