The Protein Expression Challenge
Recombinant expression of proteins is inherently difficult due to the uniqueness of each individual protein and the deficiencies of legacy expression host platforms commonly used to produce biopharmaceuticals.
The Pfenex Solution
Different stages of development from discovery through commercial manufacturing place different demands on expression systems. Pfēnex Expression Technology™ platform can be effectively applied to all stages of development. In research when small amounts of protein are required of a large number of proteins, hundreds of toolbox components are screened to rapidly generate protein. In the case of lead proteins when much higher productivity of high quality protein is the objective, thousands of toolbox components are screened to identify the ideal production strain to take forward in clinical development and commercialization.
Pfenex employs a parallel processing approach. The figure above illustrates the extraordinary power of parallel processing for strain engineering. Typically as many as 1,000 completely unique expression strains, containing various toolbox components, are constructed for each lead protein project. In the numerous projects that Pfenex has completed, only a small minority of strains, generally between 1 and 5 percent, express the highest titers of active product. This means that in a typical linear and iterative strain development program the chances of real success, with success being defined as high titers of soluble, active high quality protein, are only between 1 and 5 percent for each cycle of development. Parallel processing and the Pfenex toolbox eliminate that risk. In fact, with proteins that have failed to express in other expression platforms such as E. coli and yeast, Pfēnex Expression Technology™ maintains a success rate in excess of 85%.