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IgYPurTech Report Summary

Project ID: 337753
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Portugal

Mid-Term Report Summary - IGYPURTECH (IgY Technology: A Purification Platform using Ionic-Liquid-Based Aqueous Biphasic Systems)

The major goal of this project consists on the use of aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) for the purification of egg yolk antibodies, namely immunoglobulin Y (IgY), as a new class of biopharmaceuticals. Biopharmaceuticals, including antibodies, are reaching a priority place in the market for medical applications, such as in vaccination, and in the treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that, according to the World Health Organization, lead to the death of 38 million people each year. These NCDs include, for instance, cancer, autoimmune, inflammatory and neurological diseases. For these diseases, antibodies are a promising therapeutic option; however, they are still amongst the most costly therapeutic products available in the market. In recent years, large attention has been given to antibodies from mammals (IgG), and only less than 2% of the total polyclonal antibodies produced worldwide are IgY. This low production yield is mostly a consequence of the difficulties in isolating antibodies from the egg yolk complex matrix. Hitherto, and within the framework of this project, three cost-effective technologies which lead to high-quality/high-purity IgY have been developed. The developed technologies are two-step-based and, currently, the research team engaged in this project is focused on the development of even more cost-effective (one-step) methods to purify IgY and on the development of alternative technologies to purify other value-added biopharmaceuticals, expecting that their large-scale application in the near future will allow a widespread use of biopharmaceuticals to fight chronic diseases characteristic of an ageing society.

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