LenioBio teams with Dow for tobacco-based expression system

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

LenioBio will offer cell-free protein expression (CFPE) kits for drug screening through a partnership with DowDuPont, and says it is looking into using the tech for bioprocessing.

The agreement between Dow AgroScience – the agriculture division of DowDuPont – and LenioBio will see the latter market the eukaryotic cell-free protein expression technology under the name ALiCE.

The expression system is based on the extraction of organelles from a fast-growing tobacco cell line, generating a platform it claims gives protein yields three times that of E. coli​ and 30 times that of Human Lysate.

“ALiCE surpasses other CFPE platforms available,” LenioBio chief commercial officer Hakon Birgisson told this publication. “No other systems are close to 3 mg/ml like ALiCE.

“Furthermore, ALiCE is a eukaryotic system, so high yields apply to difficult-to-produce proteins as well as easy-to-produce proteins, while the yields of prokaryotic systems such as E. coli only really apply to easy-to-express proteins.”

The firm boasts that the ALiCE CFPE takes just hours to obtain difficult to express proteins, including antigenic vaccine components, antibodies and antibody fragments, peptide and protein hormones, membrane proteins and glycoproteins, and cytotoxic proteins.

“CFPE is an open system, so the DNA can be added directly into the reaction mixtures and hours later the protein is ready for screening,”​ Birgisson explained. “This way expression cloning is completely circumvented.”

The choice of the technology license was based on years of accumulated data by Dow, which has been using the CFPE platform in its agroscience business. Financial details have not been divulged, but the kit will be available to biopharma firms in the next few months.

Furthermore, LenioBio hopes to target biomanufacturers with ALiCE in the near future, Birgisson added.

“CFPE systems are already being used in biomanufacturing. As ALiCE is the most efficient platform to date, it is logical for us to look into using ALiCE for biomanufacturing in the future.”

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