Updated on 4 May 2012
Mr Yang Daichang, Wuhan Healthgen
Human serum albumin (HSA), a blood protein that is widely used in drug and vaccine production, is in high demand around the world. The primary source of the HSA is donated human blood, which suffers from shortages and high potential risk of spreading viral diseases. The demand for the HSA is estimated to be more than 500 tons per year globally and its commercial availability is based on collected human plasma. To eliminate the potential risk of viral contamination, regulatory agencies have encouraged pharmaceutical companies to use non-animal derived sources for pharmaceutical production and, therefore, development of a low-cost method for the production of recombinant HSA (rHSA) is essential as a safer and potentially unlimited alternative to polymerized HSA (pHSA).
With the objective to bring revolution in derivation of blood protein, Wuhan Healthgen Biotechnology, founded in 2006 in China, studied and analyzed that the recombinant HSA derived from transgenic rice seed could ease this situation based on its rice endosperm-specific expression technology. As compared to other expression systems, recombinant HSA produced from rice seeds is cost-effective, safe and environment-friendly.
Utilizing the knowledge of expressing protein in unconventional method, Wuhan Healthgen is conducting research and manufacturing services for expressing and producing proteins and small peptides utilizing the rice endosperm specific expression technical platform called OryzHiExp. The platform can ease demand for the HSA and reduce potential risk of spreading viruses in blood plasma.
OryzHiExp maximizes the innovative animal-free product development opportunities for clients and partners. The company has gained a number of patented technologies, and has developed and commercialized products, such as OsrHSA (recombinant human serum albumin), OsrAAT (recombinant human α1-anti-trypsin), OsraFGF (recombinant human acid fibroblast growth factor), and OsrbFGF (recombinant human basic fibroblast growth factor).
Healthgen is currently focusing on developing, manufacturing and marketing a series of environment-friendly and safe products by using OryzHiExp that can highly express proteins or small peptides in cereal crops. "With the purpose of serving human health, we focus on the human serum albumin for both pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We are using our platform to produce safer, cost-efficient and environment-friendly products for satisfying the demand of the markets," says Mr Yang Daichang, CEO, Wuhan Healthgen.