New automated system for optimising recombinant protein expression is successfully installed in three major pharmaceutical companies
The Automation Partnership (TAP) reports that its Piccolo automated system for rapid optimisation and expression of recombinant proteins in microbial or insect cells, has been sited at three major pharma companies.
The first Piccolo was installed at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Harlow, UK and completed factory and site acceptance tests.
Scientists at GSK have been successful in using the system for high throughput parallel expression, to rapidly identify and optimise expression variables and identify clones to help provide more proteins for the discovery process.
The other Piccolo systems are installed at two major pharma sites in the USA.
The three Piccolo systems installed consist of culture set-up, incubation, lysis and purification modules executing processes configured to suit each pharma company's protein expression requirements.
The systems can independently vary and control a variety of protein culture conditions including pre-induction and expression incubation temperature, inducer and induction OD, media and expression time so can process over 20 times more optimisation experiments, per day than a typical laboratory.
This allows scientists using a Piccolo to increase productivity by defining in days instead of months, the best construct and host strain, as well as reproducibly identifying and recreating optimal culture conditions for each protein.
Richard Wales, of the business development group at TAP, states: "We are delighted to have Piccolo in three major pharmas because it confirms we can deliver on our challenging vision of manufacturing a robust, walk away system for optimising protein expression.
"The Piccolo, which we developed from scratch, including inventing a new culture aeration mechanism, will I believe become a benchmark for pharmas looking to accelerate protein expression and because we now have systems in companies which will embrace this incredible technology, we could soon see Piccolo helping to make a significant impact in many areas of drug discovery."