enGenes Biotech currently sells three antigens for use in different test settings and is open for partnering to develop SARS CoV-2 variant proteins or other innovative approaches to help to control the pandemic:
- The nucleocapsid protein (NP) is the most common virus protein of the pandemic pathogen SARS CoV-2. It is used in diagnostic tests (so-called "antibody tests") to detect anti-SARS CoV-2 antibodies at various stages of infection. Most of the commercially available antibody tests target this protein.
- The Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) is the part of the spike surface protein that interacts with the ACE2 receptor, the entry point of SARS CoV-2 on the cell surface of human cells.
- The ectodomain of the SARS CoV-2 spike protein (spike S1 + S2), located on the virus surface, mediates the virus's uptake into human cells.
These different proteins are used to set up appropriate serological tests to monitor the vaccination process and the development of immunity in the population. Since the currently available vaccines exclusively use the spike protein's blueprint, a successful vaccination can be monitored using a corresponding antibody signal against RBD and/or spike protein. An immune response against the nucleocapsid protein, however, is not stimulated by currently available vaccinations. In the event of an immune response against the nucleocapsid protein, the developed immunity is due to natural infection rather than vaccination.
The antigens produced were broadly evaluated in a corresponding study by a consortium of academic partners (BOKU, ACIB, AIT, Vetmed, MedUni Vienna) and Viennese companies (enGenes Biotech, Technoclone, NovaSign). The studie´s results clearly show that the antigens' quality has a significant influence on test performance. The ELISA test developed within this study has a specificity of 99.8% and is commercialized as a ready-to-use test format by the Viennese company Technoclone (Technozym NP and RBD ELISA). Details on the study can be found here.
High quality SARS CoV-2 antigenes - made in Austria
With the help of the proprietary enGenes-X-press technology, a manufacturing process with veritable yields on a bioreactor scale could be developed in a short timeframe. This means that even larger quantities can be reliably produced for any application. By producing these proteins in Austria, the supply can be guaranteed quickly, even in crisis times.
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.
enGenes has developed advanced technologies to drive more cost-effective recombinant protein production processes, including its proprietary enGenes-X-press™ technology. This E. coli platform 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 including 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.