enGenes Biotech reaches proof-of-concept for XPAND bioreactor scale non-canonical amino acid incorporation process

Recombinant proteins specialist CDMO enGenes Biotech GmbH (enGenes) has reached successful proof-of-concept for bioreactor scale incorporation of non-canonical amino acid into antibody mimetic.

This proprietary XPAND process is scalable and delivers ~250 mg/L labeled antibody mimetic that can be selectively modified by dual labelling at a C-terminal cysteine and a non-canonical amino acid incorporated at a specific site.

Advanced bioconjugation solution

The XPAND project, commenced in 2018, was developed in collaboration with acib GmbH with funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) in the BRIDGE program.

The XPAND approach allows, for example, labelling of an antibody fragment or affibody/nanobody with a drug payload and a fluorophore for detection and visualization. It is thus highly relevant for companies seeking solutions in the field drug development and bioconjugation.

Revolutionizing use of non-canonical amino acids

“The significance of XPAND is that it is now possible to incorporate non-canonical amino acids into proteins at industrially relevant scales. The enGenes-X-press technology facilitates the cost-effective use of expensive non-canonical amino acids,” commented Birgit Wiltschi, Project leader XPAND for acib.

enGenes Biotech CEO, Dr. Juergen Mairhofer, added: “Companies doing drug development and who want to decorate their therapeutic proteins easily with more than one payload or molecule can now do so in bioreactors with high cell densities so that access to mg-g scale labelled protein becomes possible when partnering with us.”

enGenes and acib will shortly publish the details of their proof-of-concept study.

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.

About ACIB GmbH

The Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB GmbH) is an international Research Centre for Industrial Biotechnology. ACIB scientists harness natural mechanisms to replace traditional industrial methods with new, more economic and ecological technologies.

Currently, more than 250 ACIB researchers are engaged in some 170 research projects at sites in Austria (Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Tulln), in Germany (Hamburg, Heidelberg, Bielefeld), Italy (Pavia),Spain (Barcelona), Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan as part of an international network of more than 150 international universities and industry partners, including BASF, DSM, Sandoz, Boehringer Ingelheim RCV, Jungbunzlauer and VTU Technology.

ACIB is co-owned by the Universities of Innsbruck and Graz, Graz University of Technology, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and Joanneum Research.

The ACIB Competence Center is sponsored by BMVIT, BMWFW and the provinces of Styria, Tyrol, Lower Austria and Vienna as part of the COMET (Austrian Competence Centres for Excellent Technologies) program managed by FFG, the Austrian Research Agency.


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