Preparation of pancreatic duct epithelial cells from adult organs is possible by limited digestion and outgrowth of cells. These primary cells are mitotically active for only a short period. Therefore transfection with SV40 large-T antigen is one method to obtain an immortalized cell clone. Because the transfection efficacy of primary cells with conventional vectors is comparatively low, our aim was to develop conditions with improved transfection rates. Best transfection rates (˜6% of the resting cells) were obtained by using the BES buffered saline (BBS) calcium phosphate (Ca-P) coprecipitation technique at low pH. By using these optimized transfection parameters, primary cultures of human pancreatic duct epithelial cells were successfully transfected with the plasmid pSV3neo, bearing the large- and small-T antigen of SV40. A G 418 resistant clone (E4) was maintained in culture for 14 months before reaching terminal crisis.