US – Codexis, a leading enzyme engineering company enabling the promise of synthetic biology, has completed the transfer of its CodeEvolver platform technology with Novartis.

The transfer comes two years later after both companies signed a platform technology transfer and license agreement, under which Novartis has a non-exclusive license to CodeEvolver to develop novel performance enzymes for use in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.

This licensing move will become the third of its kind and will have Novartis use it within its facility compared to the previous ones that had been implemented virtually.

Codexis has been active within the pharmaceutical industry with a number of activities involving its CodeEvolver technology.

According to nature research, Codexis is at the forefront of directed, evolutionary protein engineering and is applying this expertise to develop optimal protein and gene therapies.

Codexis therapeutic discovery

With the exception of antibodies created by the adaptive immune system, proteins in nature do not evolve to explicitly treat disease.

Thus, most natural proteins administered as therapeutics to patients have suboptimal properties for treating the target disease.

Natural proteins are not only less efficacious and less safe than desired, but their manufacture also often creates additional risks and complications.

Codexis uses its CodeEvolver technology platform to overcome the suboptimal properties and limitations of natural proteins by generating novel biological variants with safety and efficacy profiles specifically tailored to target diseases.

As CodeEvolver acts on the DNA level, the resulting variants can also be developed for mRNA and gene therapy applications. Codexis’s belief is that by applying advanced protein-engineering principles, every biologic can be improved for the benefit of patients.

Codexis developed CDX-6114, an orally administered enzyme for the potential treatment of the orphan metabolic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU).

PKU is an inborn error of metabolism caused by a mutation in the gene encoding the phenylalanine hydroxylase enzyme that converts the essential amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) into tyrosine.

CDX-6114, the orally delivered drug, compensates for the defective liver enzyme as a gastrointestinal (GI)-specific enzyme, working in tandem with natural proteases in the duodenum and jejunum.

The success of CDX-6114 and the recognition that Codexis-designed proteins could function in the harsh environment of the GI-tract, subjected to low pH, proteases, and detergents, provided the impetus for Codexis to further bolster its pipeline of non-invasive proteins.