Navigation Links
Researchers prolong the half-life of biopharmaceutical proteins
Date:9/18/2009

Many biopharmaceuticals comprise small proteins that are quickly eliminated from the body. Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) combine such small proteins with a kind of molecular balloon that swells and thus prolongs the half-life of the proteins in the body. The TUM spin-off XL-Protein GmbH has now started to further develop this new technology with blockbuster potential.

People who suffer from hepatitis B are often treated with the tissue hormone interferon. However, there is a problem: Interferon is a very small protein, which is filtered from the blood via the kidneys after only a short time. For the patient this means a high-dose injection every other day to keep the effect of the substance from wearing off prematurely.

However, interferon stays in the body much longer when chemically coupled with a synthetic PEG (polyethylene glycol) molecule. PEG is a random coil long-chain polymer string that swells by adsorbing water. That way the PEG molecule becomes large enough that it does not fit through the fine pores of the kidneys the attached interferon remains in the circulatory system longer, and the patient will need an injection only every one to two weeks.

Using genetic engineering, TU Muenchen scientist Prof. Arne Skerra and his coworkers from the Chair of Biological Chemistry at the Center for Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan have now developed an amino acid string that tangles up similarly to PEG and also swells in the presence of water. However, unlike many PEG compounds, there is no danger of this biological polymer accumulating in the body. In fact over an extended period of time it is discharged or biologically broken down. That happens because this amino acid string (polypeptide) consists of three of the 20 naturally occurring amino acids: proline, alanine and serine, or in short, PAS.

The protein substance interferon, which itself consists of amino acids, can thus be easily generated in "PASylated" form. In first trials with animals, TUM scientists established that PASyated interferon has a half-life in the blood that is prolonged by a factor of 60, which should allow a significant extension of dosing intervals during medicinal therapy.

A further advantage is the simplified biotechnological production: The DNA segments carrying the information for the PAS amino acid sequence and for the interferon can simply be attached to each other and then, for instance, used for transforming bacteria. The bacteria then produce the PASylated interferon in one piece, thus making much fewer production steps necessary in comparison with the chemical coupling of PEG. According to Skerra, "this will lead to a significant drop in production cost."

In principle all small proteins currently used as medication or in development in pharmaceutical companies for example, growth factors or functional antibody fragments can be PASylated. Thus there could be a huge market for the new technology. Consequently, Prof. Skerra and his team initiated the founding of a new biotech company, XL-Protein GmbH (http://www.xl-protein.com), which started its operations last spring. "Our technology has the potential to give birth to a whole new generation of blockbuster medications," the TUM biochemist is convinced. Several of the new drugs are already at an advanced stage of preclinical development.


'/>"/>

Contact: Patrick Regan
presse@zv.tum.de
49-892-892-2743
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. WCMC-Q researchers unlock genetic secrets of date palm
2. Weeding out marijuana: Researchers close in on engineering recognizable, drug-free Cannabis plant
3. Dartmouth researchers get personal with genetics
4. Ecosystem researchers to hold science briefing for policymakers
5. UAB researchers looking for genetic predictors for suicide
6. Rice researchers seek better vaccine procedure
7. Researchers find first evidence of virus in malignant prostate cells
8. Diabetes advance: Researchers find gene that causes resistance to insulin
9. Researchers find 2 more genetic risk factors for Alzheimers disease
10. Researchers restore missing protein in rare genetic brain disorder
11. Mayo Clinic researchers find that protein believed to protect against cancer has a Mr. Hyde side
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... NEW YORK , June 2, 2016   The ... (Weather), is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which ... advertising, by being able to ask questions via voice or ... Marketers have long ... with the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... -- VoiceIt is excited to announce its new marketing ... working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer an ... slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration between ... Both companies ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows VoiceIt ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a ... projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric ... combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young ... cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of ... More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today ... Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am ... and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published ... the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D ... cost of cancer care is placing an increasing ... of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity ... intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at ... result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: