Cobra Biologics Receives Biomanufacturing Research Funding

Cobra Biologics, a biologics contract manufacturer, and The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, have been awarded collaborative funding of £217,000 ($333,000) as one of 23 projects which will share almost £20 million ($31 million) from the Innovate UK/Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-supported Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst.

The joint project, PeriTune, is to develop a protein expression optimization platform for the production of biologics. This platform will enable key bottlenecks and manufacturability challenges of recombinant proteins used in both biopharmaceutical medicines and industrial biotechnology to be addressed.

The platform will use the tuneable gene expression control technology, RiboTite, which was developed at The University of Manchester, coupled with the expertise in bioprocessing scale-up at Cobra Biologics. The RiboTite technology operates at the level of translation initiation and permits cellular-level tuneable control of gene expression. This capability will be used to match expression to the periplasmic secretion capabilities of E. coli production cells. At high levels of recombinant protein overexpression, the secretion pathways can become overloaded, affecting product titres and cell viability. Clones developed through the optimization platform at The University of Manchester will be validated, demonstrated at scale, and assessed for manufacturability within Cobra Biologics. The PeriTune project will allow Cobra Biologics to investigate the use of the RiboTite technology in controlling levels of secreted protein production in E.coli, and also the manufacturing robustness of the system during fermentation scale-up.

Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board, the UK's innovation agency. Innovate UK funds, supports, and connects innovative businesses through a mix of people and programs to accelerate economic growth. Catalysts are run jointly by Innovate UK and the Research Councils. A Catalyst is a form of research and development funding that focuses on a specific priority area and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible. The BBSRC invests in bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public.

Source: Cobra Biologics

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