French firms Calixar and Synthelis are pooling their respective protein crystallization and production expertise to offer services for the production and isolation of membrane proteins. Through the agreement Synthelis will use its multi-expression systems and functional characterization and configuration expertise for the production phase. Calixar will be responsible for any upstream identification, isolation, purification, stabilization, and crystallization of target membrane proteins.
The firms claim the combined service offerings will provide clients with the ability to have their target membrane proteins produced in their native conformation, for applications in antibody development, drug discovery, structure-based research, or vaccine formulation.
“We have been undertaking joint R&D programs since the end of 2011, which have confirmed that our two companies have very complementary expertise,” remarks Calixar president and co-founder Emmanuel Dejean. “We now want our customers to benefit from this critical mass of knowhow and technology, which no other company currently offers in Europe.”
Both Calixar and Synthelis were established in January 2011. Calixar’s expertise hinges on a suite of technologies and processes for the production, extraction, solubilization, purification, stabilization, and crystallization of functional membrane proteins/antigens. The firm raised €875,000 (about $1.1 million) in an initial round of fundraising with private investors and business angels last month.
Synthelis specializes in the production of fully functional membrane proteins, including ion channels, porins, and GPCRs from plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses. Its production platform uses using a single-stage manufacturing process that avoids the denaturation state normally associated with membrane protein production. The firm claims the manufacturing processes also enable the scale-up of production to generate milligram quantities of membrane proteins in just a couple of months, rather than the 12 months required using traditional processes.
Synthelis also offers a range of related services spanning structural and functional research, anti-membrane protein antibody production, protein-protein/ligand interaction studies, therapeutic protein development, and vaccine development.