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enGenes participates in SynBIOcarb initiative
Vienna, Austria: – Recombinant protein specialist manufacturer enGenes Biotech GmbH (enGenes) will be one of the innovative small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in the EU-funded SynBIOcarb program.
SynBIOcarb is the project name for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN) that brings together 15 early stage researchers working in PhD projects to bring forward different aspects of the emerging field of Synthetic Glycobiology towards applications in diagnostics and targeted delivery.
Early stage research
This diverse team of chemists, structural biologists, biophysicists, cell biologists and protein engineers are all supported by the EU-funded European Training Network. The project brings together five leading academic and research organisations from the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, and Slovakia, as well as enGenes and three other companies also leading industrial innovation in glycoscience-, protein- and bio-engineering. All will benefit from having the ESRs on their research teams.
The ‘beneficiary’ organizations will provide the ESRs with advanced scientific training in enabling technologies that underpin the development and exploitation of glycoscience for diagnostics and targeted drug delivery.
“The practical scientific training we are giving these young researchers is complemented by a coordinated programme of industry-relevant transferable skills that will prepare them for future careers in the medical technologies sector,” commented enGenes CEO, Dr. Jürgen Mairhofer.
Production of recombinant lectins
Dr. Mairhofer will supervise ESR Project 15, studying ‘Process Development for the Production of Recombinant Lectins in Escherichia coli’. For this project, PhD researcher Natalia Danielewicz will work in the enGenes laboratories in Vienna to study bioprocess development for the scalable production of different lectins in E. coli. The project will harness the proprietary enGenes X-Press technology platform that allows decoupling of cell growth from recombinant protein synthesis by using an engineered Escherichia coli host cell chassis.
Within this project, Natalia will work with different lectins used within the consortium, developing model manufacturing processes from one liter to 20L working scales, characterizing host cell response to conceptualize strategies for host cell engineering and finally obtaining improved production strains based on enGenes-X-press.
“This is exciting work that will combine state-of-the-art molecular biology with bioprocess engineering,” said Natalia.
Polish-born Ms. Danielewicz comes to enGenes Biotech from Belgium, where she was working at Cargill Inc. in Brussels after obtaining her MSc masters from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, following her BSc. Degree from Middlesex University in the UK.
“As with our recent collaboration with the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology on improving recombinant protein yields of plant glycosyltransferase expression, this participation emphasizes the degree to which enGenes Biotech has become a driver for innovation,” said Dr. Jürgen Mairhofer.
“We are now seen as a valued partner for transnational research programs working closely with leaders in advanced fields of research,” he added.
Most of the partners involved in SynBIOcarb were involved in a previous project SynGlycTis, which between 2014 and 2018 investigated new strategies to build and functionalize proto-cells and proto-tissues within synthetic glycobiology. Europe-wide project was funded under the first joint call of the ERASynBio Initiative. The SynBIOcarb project will exploit many of the methods developed by the SynGlycTis consortium.
“While enGenes Biotech is a new partner, our involvement definitely makes sense since we have the bioprocessing skills and the enGenes X-press host strain platform needed to produce difficult-to-express lectins in E.coli,” commented Dr. Mairhofer.
Pharma and industrial implications
“This is a project with far-reaching implications for pharmaceutical and industrial companies. In particular spin-offs involved in synthetic biology, recombinant protein research and drug-conjugates who are seeking higher quality and yields of carbohydrate-binding therapeutics in upstream and downstream coupled production,” said SynBIOcarb project coordinator Prof. Bruce Turnbull, Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry at University of Leeds.
“The project will explore strategies for the development, quality control and delivery of novel biopharmaceuticals, and new diagnostic methods for detection of cancer based on glycan profiling. The Early Stage Researchers will be trained in a broad range of disciplines including protein engineering and site-directed labelling, cell biology and analytical methods from microarrays.” said Prof. Turnbull.
About enGenes Biotech
enGenes Biotech GmbH (enGenes) is a contract research, development and manufacturing company that provides leading edge technologies and production services focused on recombinant proteins in bacteria. The company’s mission is to provide cost-effective and scalable production of recombinant proteins at a fraction of current cost, allied to a vision of developing a world-class portfolio of cutting-edge protein production technologies, relevant to a broad spectrum of application fields.
enGenes has developed advanced technologies to drive more cost-effective recombinant protein production processes, including its proprietary enGenes-X-press™ E. coli platform that achieves outstanding yields of soluble and active recombinant protein. enGenes-X-press has been successfully applied for the manufacturing of enzymes and biopharmaceutical products that failed to give economically feasible yields in a conventional expression host.
enGenes Biotech offers development and manufacturing services tailored around the needs of pharmaceutical and industrial biotech companies. The services include expression strain and vector development, fermentation process development and optimization, downstream process development, production of purified protein, technology transfer and scale-up support with technology out-licensing and co-development opportunities.
The SynBIOcarb European Training Network brings together a diverse team of chemists, structural biologists, biophysicists, cell biologists and protein engineers already involved in pioneering the development of Synthetic Glycobiology with four SME companies that are leaders in industrial innovation in glycoscience and protein engineering.
The aim of the project is advance pharmaceutical and industrial applications for synthetic glycobiology while simultaneously providing 15 PhD level early stage researchers (ESRs) with advanced scientific training in the technologies that enable and underpin the development and exploitation of glycoscience for diagnostics and targeted drug delivery.
Each ESR will contribute to one or more of the four thematic Work Packages that have been designed to progress the state-of-the-art in Synthetic Glycobiology.
Practical scientific training given to the ESRs is complemented by a coordinated programme of industry-relevant transferable skills to prepare them for future careers in the medical technologies sector.
SynBIOcarb involves leading research institutions University of Freiburg, University of Leeds, France’s Centre for National Scientific Research, Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, University of Copenhagen and the Slovak Academy of Science’s Institute of Chemistry; as well as four advanced research-based companies; enGenes, GlycoDiag, GlycoSeLect and Elicityl.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 814029.
For further information, see: https://synbiocarb.science/.