Utilizing a solid media platform in lieu of conventional liquid fermentation, MicroProtein Technologies’ proprietary MPTxpress process provides a stress-free and more stable environment for Escherichia coli to grow. This results in higher yields, shorter production times, better plasmid stability, and much lower production cost and reduced investment in equipment than conventional fermentation processes. MPTxpress platform may be utilized to produce almost any recombinant protein expressed in E. coli, including proteins, enzymes and plasmid DNA. MPTxpress platform provides flexibility from R&D to process scale to commercial distribution
MPTxpress involves use of 12-inch square trays (each a mini-bioreactor in parallel) containing agar-gelled culture media with a permeable membrane laid on top. Trays are inoculated with transformed E. coli and incubated at room temperature in a standard lab incubator. Harvesting the next day involves scraping thick cell paste off the membranes. Each tray provides ≥1.2 grams of expressed protein, with ≥800 trays fitting in 2 incubators providing hundreds of grams. of protein overnight. This process is fully automated and will eventually be available for purchase/licensing transportable cGMP upstream modular units.
The cell growth phase of conventional fermentation requires multiple days; large volumes of nutrients and water; complex mixing, pressurization, heating/cooling, etc.; and use of fixed stainless steel bioreactors. In contrast, MPTxpress utilizes solid media and passive incubation to produce high yields overnight, and is fully single-use.
While conventional fermentation output often has significant batch variability, the MPTxpress platform produces consistently reproducible per-batch yields, while maintaining a contamination-free bioprocessing. Plus, the process is physically stress free, unlike liquid fermentation, resulting in expressed proteins that ar often purer and with improved functionality; harvested protein paste (scraped-off the tray membranes) requires no clarification, e.g., centrifugation; with less chromatography steps required.
We have successfully and consistently produced multi-gram quantities of recombinant proteins, including candidate biosimilars: somatropin (rHGH), granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), erythropoietin (EPO) and human interferon beta (rINF-β); also epidermal growth factor (rEGF) and nerve growth factor (rNGF); and large quantities of Proteins A, G and A/G for 3rd party manufacture of affinity resins. MPT has verified the structure and function of many of these proteins, including biological activity confirmed by third party testing in tissue culture and animal models.
In contrast to conventional fermentation, MPTxpress technology utilizes no toxic chemicals, and less energy and water, producing fewer waste products and requiring much less energy and infrastructure. The production platform is based on a simply biodegradable gelled culture media, which can be recycled into plant fertilizer (composted) or otherwise readily disposed of. The MPTxpress platform is the first truely "green" technology for the production of biologics.