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Industrial-scale plant-based protein production in a cell-free platform

Project description

Lower-cost, industrial-scale protein production for the biotech industry

In the biotech industry, protein-based therapeutics aren't often accessible or affordable, especially when it comes to difficult-to-express (DTE) proteins. With this in mind, the EU-funded PEPPER project aims to make use of a novel proprietary tobacco-based cell-free protein synthesis platform that will meet the current demand for lower-cost DTE proteins in a number of biotechnology sectors. The platform will help the project to scale up protein production capacity and yield to an industrial scale while complying with manufacturing protocols and government regulations for biopharmaceutical proteins. The project will help to make protein-based therapeutics cheaper and more accessible to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.


The company
LenioBio is a biotech company that develops and markets a novel, unique and proprietary protein production platform, ALiCE®, which enables protein-based therapeutics to become more accessible and affordable and specifically targeting the substantial but underserved class of ‘difficult-to-express (DTE) proteins’.

LenioBio has developed a proprietary tobacco-based cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) platform “ALiCE” with a higher yield (3 mg/ml) than any other eukaryotic cell-free system currently available (0.2 mg/ml) at a lower cost, while ensuring protein stability and activity.
The goal of PEPPER is to bring LenioBio to a position of competitiveness and growth to be able to meet the current industrial demands of ‘difficult- to-produce’ proteins for various biotechnology sectors (e.g. pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries). To achieve this, LenioBio will scale-up the protein production capacity and yield to be able to produce proteins at an industrial scale using a semi- automated platform, while complying to GMP protocols and FDA/EMA regulations for biopharmaceuticals proteins.
LenioBio’s mission is to offer a fully integrated protein production platform for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with the ability to scale along with our customers’ needs. LenioBio is developing the ALiCE® technology into the first eukaryotic cell-free production platform for any proteins.

LenioBio launched its first product as a protein expression kit in 2018 under the name ALiCE® (Almost Living Cell-free Expression). Due to its sustainable competitive advantages, already within nine months, 8 of the top 10 biopharma companies are customers, with more in the process of registering LenioBio as a vendor.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 2 373 875,00
40231 Dusseldorf

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 3 391 250,00