This is encouraging news for people with rare and serious diseases.
February 4, 2015
By Val Romberg
The future of protein therapeutics is bright and holds great promise for the development of new medicines that save lives by preventing or treating serious illness. Our forte at CSL Behring is the collection and purification of proteins from human plasma, which is the liquid portion of blood, to create lifesaving medicines.
Proteins play many vital roles
Proteins control almost all of the biology of humans, and plasma contains many proteins that are essential to maintaining health. While CSL Behring purifies 13 different proteins from plasma, including albumin and immunoglobulin, plasma contains thousands of proteins, some of which may hold tremendous therapeutic possibilities for patients who suffer with unmet medical needs.
We are especially excited about the future of protein therapeutics and their significance for people with rare and serious medical disorders. We have been researching proteins and their therapeutic applications for more than century and are uniquely positioned to make outstanding contributions to medicine and human health. In fact, we have invested $2 billion in R&D in the last five years.
Innovative therapy options
Developing new therapy options with greater convenience for patients and healthcare practitioners is also a very important part of what we do. Our focused and talented scientists work closely with physicians, scientists, and patients to understand the challenges unique to treating and managing severe and chronic conditions. First and foremost, our decision to commence R&D for a new therapy is based on medical need and whether the therapy aligns with our technical and commercial capabilities.
Proteins that we are currently researching include CSL112, a reconstituted high-density lipoprotein. We purify the APO-A1 protein, which is the protein in good cholesterol, and then add back the lipid portion to recreate a good cholesterol particle. We believe this gives CSL 112 the ability to rapidly remove cholesterol from the arteries and stabilize plaque lesions at risk of rupture. We are developing CSL 112 as a potential new treatment to reduce the high incidence of recurrent cardiovascular events in the days and weeks following a heart attack.
Recombinant coagulation factor proteins
Our expertise in protein science enables us to design therapies that enhance the well-being of patients, whether these therapies are plasma-derived or recombinant. For example, CSL Behring leveraged our thorough understanding of the bleeding disorders community and coagulation factor replacement therapy to deliver a number of innovative recombinant coagulation factor proteins, including rIX-FP. This long-acting recombinant fusion protein linking recombinant coagulation factor IX with recombinant albumin will, upon regulatory approvals, provide people with hemophilia B and their physicians a long-acting treatment option with dosing intervals up to 14 days.
Passionate about patients
At CSL Behring, we are deeply passionate about patients and creating new, lifesaving medicines for the treatment of rare and serious diseases. Whether we’re scientists in the laboratory, or members of one the many commercial and corporate support groups, what we do is far more than just a job. We provide a safe and consistent supply of high-quality products; twenty-four new products or indications have been approved in the US, Japan and Europe in just the last 10 years.
We are excited about the future of protein therapeutics, which have the potential to save lives and dramatically affect the quality of life of patients around the world. And our commitment to funding research and development of protein-based medicines for unmet medical needs has never been stronger, as we foster the next generation of medical researchers.
Val Romberg, Executive Vice President Manufacturing and Planning
(former Senior Vice President Global Plasma R&D), CSL Behring