Synpromics to develop synthetic promotors for GE’s CHO platform

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/AlexLMX
Image: iStock/AlexLMX

Related tags Biotechnology

GE Healthcare hopes to increase the yield of biopharmaceuticals made using its Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) expression system through a partnership with synthetic biology firm Synpromics.

The deal will see Edinburgh, UK-based Synpromics use its PromPT platform to develop a bar-coded library of synthetic promoters for screening in GE’s CHO expression system, in an attempt to increase biopharmaceutical and protein yields.

“The work will be performed as part of a collaboration between both companies, some by Synpromics in Edinburgh and some by GE,”​ David Venables, CEO of Synpromics, told

GE is paying an upfront fee to access the technology and will have the rights to commercialise the improved platform.

GE, Sartorius and beyond

The partnership comes a month after​ Synpromics announced it had struck a similar deal to increase stability and reduce the lead time for Sartorius Stedim Cellca’s CHO expression platform.

“The two deals are very different in approach with unique endpoints required for each project; meaning that different facets of our technology will be deployed for each specific project. Each project is customised to the specific technology employed by our partner, and unique promoters and expression cassettes are developed for each,” ​Venables told us.

“Currently, we have multiple collaborations ongoing where we are working in similar areas with competitor organisations. We therefore have clearly defined mechanisms in place on how we maintain separation and confidentiality between each.” 

Over the past year, Synpromics has doubled its staff and while this latest agreement with GE will not directly result in further staffing increases, Venables said his firm will continue to expand headcount to support other projects and to further develop its core technology.

“Bioprocessing is a large market opportunity, and there are many unique applications we can develop from our technology. Each partners requirements differ, and not all are looking for the same thing, and our technology is highly customizable to different CHO systems, so this leaves the field open for numerous collaborations.”

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