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Enhancing biological drug production through protein secretion

Enhancing biological drug production through protein secretion

Objective

Biotherapeutics are bio-materials, which are used among others to treat cancer, diabetes, and rare diseases. It is expected that these medicines will make up half of the medicines in future. Already now, 350 million patients are treated with biotherapeutics, produced from proteins. The proteins that are injected to humans must be “clean” and pure. However, harvesting a protein from cells and purifying it is a daunting challenge. Current harvesting methods are complicated and expensive.
We made a discovery, which would significantly improve the harvesting and purification process, therefore lowering drug production costs. In this process, biological cells are producing desired proteins from a gene that was planted into the cell’s genome. The key is that after the protein has been produced within cells, we will then induce the cells to send the protein outside – to the liquid medium. This makes the harvesting and purification process much more efficient. The innovation lies in encoding the protein with RNA-based tag. When attached to a gene of interest, the tag will make the producing cell secrete the encoded protein to the medium.
If we program proteins to be secreted to the extracellular medium more efficiently protein harvesting and purification process in Pharma, Biotech and Agricultural industries could be revolutionized. This is extremely important for the Pharma industry, which is struggling on low return on investment, already threatening the sector’s viability. Quicker drug development process, cheaper and higher quality production and improved ROI will create also societal benefit. In the end, new drugs can be discovered and brought to markets quicker.
In the PoC, we will characterize and discover the best tags for protein production and secretion and use it to secret key drugs essential for the Pharma industry, and demonstrate the feasibility of our technology and carry out pre-commercialization actions in order to shorten our innovation’s time to market.

Host institution

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE

Address

Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot

Israel

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 150 000

Beneficiaries (1)

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WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 150 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 825761

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 December 2018

  • End date

    31 May 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 150 000

  • EU contribution

    € 150 000

Hosted by:

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE

Israel