The technology has proven highly effective in a number of applications, many of which have been licensed to third parties for use as critical source ingredients, primarily for diagnostic applications.
Whereas several expression vectors “for research only” may be acquired from a number of suppliers of tools of molecular biology, the access to, and control of, an expression system which is not restricted to such non-commercial use, is a rather unique feature typically associated with leading gene technology firms.
Such proprietary vectors have properties which permit the generation of so-called “perfect constructs”, ie. enable the expression of proteins which contain the amino acid sequence of interest only, devoid of any carrier moiety. For research purposes, one may well resort to the use of expression systems for fusion- or, hybrid type proteins, the introduced carrier often necessary in order to secure adequate yields of the recombinant polypeptide. Adding irrelevant carrier protein may severely compromise the properties of the active ingredient and is outright unsuitable in products under consideration for pharmaceuticals.
Therefore, it is not surprising that leading firms in the field maintain strict control of the very core of their gene expression technology and are only willing to consider its out-licensing under defined contractual circumstances.