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SAFC Commercial, the custom manufacturing services business unit of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (SIAL - Analyst Report), has clinched commercial sales and licensing contracts from two premier Asian biopharmaceutical companies. The agreement is for the sale and licensing of CHOZN, the off-the-shelf cell line Bioproduction platform, to the Asian biopharmaceutical developers. This strengthens SAFC’s biopharmaceutical market presence in Asia.

The CHOZN Platform is featured as a prime component of customers' global biotherapeutic commercialization strategy in these contracts. The CHOZN Platform comprises the CHOZN GS-/- CHO cell line and an optimized set of cGMP-produced, chemically defined (CD) media and feeds specifically geared for the cell line to maximize the production of monoclonal antibodies and other r-proteins.

The CHOZN GS (-/-) platform provides a stable cell line that accelerates selection and scale-up of high-producing clones for the production of recombinant protein drugs by conserving weeks of development. CHOZN, along with Sigma-Aldrich's CompoZr Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) technology, provides a gateway from development through commercialization.

SAFC also provides worldwide user support along with cell line, media and feed. SAFC works with customers on building protocols from transfection through to scale-up in bioreactors, as well as providing comprehensive cell line safety testing and development history packages.  Moreover, the CD media and feed system allows for tunable product quality.

Sigma-Aldrich expects to widen its foothold in Asia based on its ability to speed up upstream development timelines to favorably impact the potential profitability of biotherapeutic products.

Sigma-Aldrich currently maintains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Other companies in the specialty chemical space with favorable Zacks Rank are OM Group Inc. (OMG - Snapshot Report), American Vanguard Corp. (AVD - Snapshot Report) and Ferro Corp. (FOE - Snapshot Report). While OM Group and American Vanguard hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Ferro Corp retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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