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An integrated system for purification and extended release of recombinant proteins


Profile Type
Technology offer
POD Reference
Term of Validity
26 June 2023 - 25 June 2024
Company's Country
United Kingdom
Type of partnership
Commercial agreement with technical assistance
Targeted Countries
All countries
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General information

Short Summary
An East of England company is developing technology to manufacture proteins in a simple depot formulation. The production technology encases nascent recombinant proteins inside polyhedral crystals. This technology addresses issues of stability and sustained release that have restricted the potential of many recombinant proteins. Industry and academia developing protein therapeutics and stem cell applications are sought for agreements including licensing, research or technical cooperation.
Full Description
An East of England company owns a platform technology with a number of proven applications around greatly improved stability of proteins such as growth factors and cytokines. The science underlying this technology is based on the survival mechanism used by the Bombyx mori cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (CPV) which infects insects: In late stages of infection, CPV produces polyhedral protein crystals within the infected insect cell. These crystals are perfectly formed, cubes of protein about one to five microns across. Virions become specifically encased within the srystals allowing the shielding them from UV and chemical degradation. This results in much greater durability for the virus whilst it is outside of a host with an extended window of opportunity for infection of a new host.
Based on this work, immobilisation tags have been developed which allow any growth factor (or other protein) to be specifically addressed to, and encased within, the crystal. This polyhedrin delivery system is termed as PODS.
In addition to increased stability, a significant advantage of growth factor PODS is the ease of purification. This is due to the distinct physical properties of the polyhedra which allow isolation of their protein cargo simply by cell lysis followed by washing. Since cargo proteins are not denatured in the process, no refolding steps are required to isolate functional, bioactive product.
To date, the technology has been used to generate dozens of growth factor pods. Compared with standard growth factors, growth factor pods have higher stability in storage and an extended durability in use. Localized therapeutic applications have been developed for PODS to treat the back and front of the eye, bone, joints, inner ear and systemic delivery of cancer exploiting phagocytosis by immune cells.
Advantages and Innovations
The polyhedron delivery system alters the entire production process and the stability profile for growth factors. It is different by means of:
- Ease of purification. Since the present technology allows purification of intact, folded growth factors, it offers a simple way to make any growth factor;

- Storage. Growth factor pods show much higher levels of stability in long term storage. This is particularly important for potential therapeutic use.

- Presentation to cells. Growth factor pods form discrete units which can be incorporated into a surface and stored for long periods of time at room temperature. 2D surfaces and 3D matrices can be uniquely functionalised, for example, in cellular perfusion systems (“organs on a chip”).

- Novel excipient. Many growth factor therapies have been developed for indications which can be readily administered intravenously or topically. However, indications such as neurodegenerative disease or bone fracture require invasive application which can’t practically be repeated. Growth factor pods provide the ability to deliver bioactivity over a period of months. This is significantly longer than can be achieved with other passive technologies. The utility of this approach has already been shown in both small and large animal models of bone repair where it has been demonstrated that the pods persist for >10 weeks. Diseases in which growth factor pods can be expected to make a significant difference include Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), cardiovascular disease, bone and cartilage repair. These are targets where animal models have already indicated therapeutic potential of growth factors, but subsequent clinical trials have failed to meet clinically significant endpoints.

- Ease of purification and controlled release over a prolonged period may mean further applications, for example, immunisation and immunotherapy.
Stage of Development
Already on the market
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being

Partner Sought

Expected Role of a Partner
- Type of partner sought: industry and academia.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: product development and biologics delivery, stents, artificial organs. The end applications may be both veterinary or medical.
- Task to be performed by the partner sought: the UK company is open to various types of agreements including licensing, research or technical cooperation.
Type and Size of Partner
SME 50 - 249SME <=10SME 11-49Big companyR&D Institution
Type of partnership
Commercial agreement with technical assistance

Call details

Coordinator required


Technology keywords
06002007 - In vitro Testing, Trials06002004 - Protein Engineering06002002 - Cellular and Molecular Biology
Market keywords
05003003 - Surgical implants05003005 - Drug delivery and other equipment
Targeted countries
All countries