PLANT-BASED EXPRESSION PLATFORM
The production of therapeutic proteins is a billion dollar industry and AzarGen’s expression platform will enable the production of therapeutically superior proteins at a significantly reduced cost.
Compared to current production systems (mammalian, yeast and bacterial), the use of plant cells to express human recombinant proteins offer greater advantages with regard to:
- Safety - no immunogenic responses or animal/bacterial-derived contamination.
- Complexity - plants are higher organisms with protein assembly mechanisms similar to humans, which can synthesize complex biopharmaceutical proteins (unlike bacterial fermentation systems that lack post-translational modification processes).
- Cost and scalability - plant-based systems allow for significantly lower facility and production costs (compared to mammalian cell-based systems) and production can easily be scaled up to accommodate increased demands.
We have successfully generated tobacco plants expressing different isoforms of a protein candidate using conventional promoter constructs.
However, there are several challenges that include low yield, gene silencing and purification that we aim to address in the current product development
- Design, construct and test synthetic promoters for high-level expression using reporter gene assays.
- Construct a range of plant expression cassettes containing combinations of synthetic promoter, signalling and purification elements, combined with therapeutic candidate cDNA and reporter gene fusions.
- Establish transgenic tobacco lines expressing the current target protein.
- Develop a protocol for purification of the target protein from tobacco plants.
We envisage developing a new plant-based expression technology with synthetic components conferring high-level and/or targeted expression and simplified purification of biologically active human protein.