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Making sugary biologics on demand

Updated: May 10

Cell-free glycoprotein synthesis platform enables creation of potent glycomedicines in a single pot with potential for small batch, decentralized biomanufacturing


On-demand biomanufacturing seeks to make it easier and cheaper to provide biologics around the globe. Most efforts, including those of the DeLisa group, are focused on designing cell-free systems because of their ability to work in a multitude of environments. But cell-free systems face challenges. Many protein therapeutics are decorated with sugars, also called glycans or glycosyl groups, that are hard for cell-free systems to add. Earlier this year, a team led by current DLRG member Thapakorn Jaroentomeechai and former DLRG undergraduate Jessica Stark (CBE ’12), now a Ph.D. student in the Jewett group at Northwestern, reported a method for getting E. coli cell-free extracts to add sugars to proteins in a single reaction mixture (Nat. Commun. 2018, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05110-x). That work was recently highlighted in two separate news stories in Chemical & Engineering News (C&E News), including one focused on emerging efforts to produce biologics on demand, potentially enabling personalized medicine.


https://cen.acs.org/biological-chemistry/biotechnology/Making-biologics-demand/96/i45

https://cen.acs.org/biological-chemistry/biotechnology/One-pot-cell-free-method/96/i31


Earlier this year, the work was also featured in the Cornell Chronicle:

http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/07/bioengineers-create-pathway-personalized-medicine

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Robert F. Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University

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