Protalix is a publicly traded biotechnology company (NYSE Amex: PLX), that is producing recombinant therapeutic proteins through the ProCellEx™ plant cell system.

ProCellEx™ Overview:

ProCellEx™ is our proprietary production system that we have developed based on our plant cell culture technology for the development, expression and manufacture of recombinant proteins. Our expression system consists of a comprehensive set of capabilities and proprietary technologies, including advanced genetic engineering and plant cell culture technology, which enables us to produce complex, proprietary and biologically equivalent proteins for a variety of human diseases. Our protein expression system facilitates the creation and selection of high expressing, genetically stable cell lines capable of expressing recombinant proteins. The entire protein expression process, from initial nucleotide cloning to large-scale production of the protein product, occurs under cGMP-compliant, controlled processes. Our plant cell culture technology uses plant cells, such as carrot and tobacco cells, which undergo advanced genetic engineering and are grown on an industrial scale in a flexible bioreactor system. Cell growth, from scale up through large-scale production, takes place in flexible, sterile, polyethylene bioreactors which are confined to a clean-room environment. Our bioreactors are well-suited for plant cell growth using a simple, inexpensive, chemically-defined growth medium as a catalyst for growth. The reactors are custom-designed and optimized for plant cell cultures, easy to use, entail low initial capital investment, are rapidly scalable at a low cost and require less hands-on maintenance between cycles. Our protein expression system does not involve mammalian or animal components or transgenic field-grown, whole plants at any point in the production process.

Our ProCellEx™ system is capable of producing proteins with an amino acid structure practically equivalent to that of the desired human protein, and with a very similar, although not identical, glycan, or sugar, structure. Our internal research and external laboratory studies have demonstrated that ProCellEx™ is capable of producing recombinant proteins that exhibit a glycan and amino acid structure similar to their naturally-produced human counterparts. In addition, proteins produced by our ProCellEx™ system maintain the biological activity that characterizes the biological activity of naturally-produced proteins. In collaboration with Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science, we have demonstrated that the three-dimensional structure of a protein expressed in our proprietary plant cell-based expression system retains the same three-dimensional structure as exhibited by the mammalian cell-based expressed version of the same protein (Shaaltiel et al, Plant Biotechnology J. 2007). Based on these results, we believe that proteins developed using our ProCellEx™ protein expression system have the intended composition and correct biological activity of their human equivalent proteins.

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