Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) is a plasma protein involved in the innate immune response. It binds to a number of micro-organisms and promotes killing of these through complement activation either directly or through opsonization. Clinical evidence indicates that in a variety of situations genetically determined low MBL levels are associated with increased susceptibility to infections. Infusions of plasma-derived MBL into MBL-deficient individuals was found to be safe in preliminary trials, but we considered that sufficient production and product safety could only be achieved through synthesis of recombinant MBL. A transfected human cell line produces MBL showing the same biological activity as plasma-derived MBL, and an essentially identical profile on MS. The production has been scaled up and clinical trials will start this year.

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