BioSavita has developed proprietary and patented yeast expression technologies that include expression vectors and yeast host strains that have been genetically engineered for high-level secretion of recombinant complex proteins, antibodies and antibody-fusion proteins. Our yeast technology can readily co-express multiple proteins and assemble them into functional proteins. This capability is advantageous for the production of virus like particles (VLPs) as vaccines.
BioSavita’s proprietary Twin Cassette™ plasmid favors equimolar expression of antibody chains from a single plasmid. Our yeast strains secrete full-length functional monoclonal antibodies and tetrameric complex proteins into the media.
BioSavita has developed a platform which can be used for antibody discovery and to develop cost effective immunotherapeutics, VLP-based vaccines, and biodefense drugs.
Technology for Virus-like Particle Vaccines
Virus-like particles (VLPs) are multi-protein complexes that self-assemble into structures that are similar to their corresponding native viruses. VLPs thus represent a safe and effective vaccine platform with potential to induce strong immune response augmented by its self-adjuvant properties. Two prophylactic virus-like particle vaccines are approved for human use and 12 VLPs vaccines are in clinical development.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae was the first host used to produce a FDA approved VLPs vaccine (HBsAg from Merck). Yeast expression platforms are safe and capable of producing multiple proteins both on a small scale (for testing) and on a larger scale (for vaccine manufacture). An important feature of yeast production systems is the ability to perform post-translational modifications, such as glycosylation or phosphorylation, to the VLP structure.
BioSavita’s yeast platform contains three components that are critical for successful production of a wide variety of VLPs:
1. The ability to express multiple proteins using proprietary expression vectors,
2. Genetically engineered yeast strains that secrete complex multimeric proteins in media, and
3. The development of glycoengineered strains that do not hypermannosylate secreted proteins but can create an array of glycoforms that may enhance the antigenicity and immunogenicity of the VLPs.
Moreover, the cost effective scalability of the yeast system and its high throughput compatibility makes VLP manufacture a viable economic proposition.
Technology for Antibody Discovery
Screening potential lead antibodies from among many candidates (e.g. isolated from phage displayed libraries) involves testing in functional cell-based assays and physical characterization. Milligram quantities of antibody are required to generate physiologically relevant data. Traditionally 2-3 different expression systems are employed during the antibody drug development process, making it cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive.
Our unique platform enables rapid production of lead candidate antibodies in a cost effective manner. BioSavita’s proprietary Twin Cassette™ Plug-N-Play vector allows efficient cloning of the antibody variable genes from a lead candidate to produce full length assembled antibody.
Sufficient quantities of a lead antibody are made available for research and development without the need for transient transfection of mammalian cells. Our platform enables screening for lead candidates through to commercial manufacturing of the antibody using the same Twin Cassette™ Plug and Play vector. Thus, our technology can accelerate the drug development process and bring antibody drugs rapidly to the market.
Technology Available for Licensing
Our proprietary Twin Cassette™ Plug-N-Play yeast expression vectors and genetically engineered secretory yeast strains can be licensed for antibody screening during discovery and for cost effective production of antibodies, antibody fragments and complex proteins.
We are focused on commercializing our technologies to provide a cost effective production platform for antibodies, and other proteins. Five major biopharma companies have non-exclusive licenses to our platform technology. We are actively pursuing strategic alliances with commercial and academic partners for our pipeline candidates.