Biolex Therapeutics was a biotechnology firm in the Research Triangle of North Carolina which was founded in 1997 and raised $190 million from investors. It filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 5, 2012.[1]

The company focused on expression of difficult-to-synthesize recombinant proteins in its LEX platform, which used Lemna, a duckweed.[2] The duckweeds are a family of small aquatic plants that can be grown in sterile culture. Biolex developed recombinant DNA technology for efficiently producing pharmaceutical proteins in Lemna.[3] Therapeutic glycosylated proteins, including monoclonal antibodies[4] and interferon (IFN-alpha2b)[5] have been produced using the LEX platform.

Biolex acquired Epicyte Pharmaceutical Inc. on May 6, 2004, and acquired the LemnaGene SA of Lyon, France in 2005.[6] Biolex was a privately held company, originally backed by Quaker BioVentures, The Trelys Funds, and Polaris Venture Partners. The term "plantibody" is trademarked by Biolex. In May 2012 Biolex announced that it sold the LEX System to Synthon, a Netherlands-based specialty pharmaceutical company. The sale included two preclinical biologics made with the LEX System, BLX-301, a humanized and glyco-optimized anti-CD20 antibody for non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma and other B-cell malignancies and BLX-155, a direct-acting thrombolytic. The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.[7]


  1. ^ Chris Bagley, Staff Writer, for the Triangle Business Journal. July 6, 2012. Biolex Therapeutics files for $38M bankruptcy
  2. ^ Goodman Peter S. In N.C., A Second Industrial Revolution: Biotech Surge Shows Manufacturing Still Key to U.S. Economy [1] Washington Post Monday, September 3, 2007
  3. ^ John R. Gasdaska, David Spencer and Lynn Dickey "Advantages of Therapeutic Protein Production in the Aquatic Plant Lemna" BioProcessing Journal, Mar/Apr 2003.
  4. ^ Cox KM et al. Glycan optimization of a human monoclonal antibody in the aquatic plant Lemna minor. Nat Biotechnol. 2006 Dec; 24(12): 1591-7.
  5. ^ De Leede LG, Humphries JE, Bechet AC, Van Hoogdalem EJ, Verrijk R, Spencer DG. Novel controlled-release Lemna-derived IFN-alpha2b (Locteron): pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and tolerability in a phase I clinical trial. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2008 Feb; 28(2): 113-22.
  6. ^ Biolex Therapeutics Acquires Lemnagene S.A.
  7. ^ Biolex Sells LEX System to Synthon and Initiates Sale of Locteron(R) Press Release: Biolex Therapeutics – Mon, May 7, 2012.

External links

  • Official site
  • Background information on production of therapeutic proteins in 'Lemna'