Press Release | December 16, 2008

Rhein Minapharm and ProBioGen announce additional cell line development agreement


Rhein Minapharm and ProBioGen announce additional cell line development agreement

Berlin, December 16, 2008 – Rhein Minapharm Biogenetics SAE and ProBioGen today announced that they have closed their third cell line development agreement. The agreement covers the development of a second generation interferon-β compound with high economic potential and adds to the first two collaboration contracts signed in early 2007.

Under the terms of the agreement, ProBioGen will retain rights to market the respective, optimized CHO cell lines in certain global regions, whereas Minapharm has exclusive rights to the MENA (Middle East North African) region. The compound is primarily targeted at multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system, leading to demyelination. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in women. Prevalence ranges from 2 to 150 per 100,000 people.

Wafik Bardissi, CEO of Minapharm, commented: “We have been building an excellent working relationship with ProBioGen over the past years. This agreement enables Minapharm to complement its interferon competence program dedicated to the research, development and marketing of innovative interferon-based therapies and further strengthens our biopharmaceutical pipeline to target major disease areas with unmet cost-effective medical needs”

“This is our third project for Minapharm“, added Michael Schlenk, CEO of ProBioGen. “For ProBioGen good relationship management and open communication with our partners and customers are of utmost importance. This long lasting business relationship proves that we consistently deliver and that our customers value the quality of our services highly.”


About Minapharm

Minapharm, headquartered in Cairo with its production facilities in the tenth of Ramadan, is among the leading prescription medicine companies in Egypt and the Middle East. The company is specialized in the manufacture and marketing of innovative pharmaceuticals and through its subsidiary Rhein-Minapharm Biogenetics, in the research, development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. Its biotech subsidiary is focussing on the core therapeutic areas of liver disease and thrombosis & haemostasis. With three therapeutic proteins already marketed and several in the pipeline, Minapharm competence lies in decreasing time to market without compromising ethical and safety standards. By combining its expertise in pharmaceuticals and leadership in biopharmaceuticals Minapharm, along with its worldwide strategic alliances, contributes significantly to the quality of life of many people in the region. Minapharm employs a collective workforce of over 700 and is listed on the Cairo and Alexandria stock exchange (


About ProBioGen AG

ProBioGen is a cell specialist. By combining deep molecular understanding of cells with state-of-the-art industry process engineering and production know-how, ProBioGen’s technologies enable biopharmaceutical companies to develop products with superior efficiency, safety and a more favourable cost profile. Since its inception in 1994, the company has processed more than 300 cell lines and established a GMP unit based on disposable reactor technology, which supports all currently available manufacturing processes. The company is headquartered in Berlin. 
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Dr Gertraud Unterrainer
Goethestrasse 54
13086 Berlin
Tel.: +49. (0)30. 924 006-0
Fax: +49. (0)30. 924 006-19

Frank Müller
R&D Manager
Minapharm Pharmaceuticals