PolyTherics receives grant to develop novel fusion proteins

Project aims to develop a way of fusing proteins that is quicker and cheaper

PolyTherics, a precision engineer of proteins, has started work on a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funded project to produce fusion proteins using its chemical linker technologies.

The project is scheduled to run for six months, with the TSB providing £104,700 to support the work.

PolyTherics will chemically fuse different but complementary proteins using its proprietary polyethylene glycol (PEG) linkers. The project’s aim is to develop a way of fusing proteins that is quicker and cheaper than producing a fusion protein using recombinant techniques, while retaining the different functions of both proteins. This will allow for rapid generation of new fusion proteins for screening for use in a variety of industries, including as potential therapeutic products.

PolyTherics’ PEGylation technologies enable the PEG to be attached to a specific site on a protein, either on the histidine residues added to facilitate its purification, or at a naturally occurring disulfide. The effect of the PEG on the function of the protein can be minimised. PEG also protects proteins from breakdown by proteases, thus improving their stability, which is a potential advantage over recombinant fusion proteins.

Dr Keith Powell, chief executive of PolyTherics, said: “We are delighted to have received this additional support from the TSB to expand use of our technologies into a broader field of application.’