Part of bacteria’s genome is removed, with the goal of enhancing its use in the production of new therapeutics.

CellMed will use Scarab Genomics’ Clean Genome E. coli Technology to develop a new therapeutic candidates. Scarab Genomics says that it has bioengineered the Clean Genome E. coli Technology by removing over 15% of the bacteria’s genome. The goal is to improve product purity and safety. Scarab licenses the reduced genome technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation on an exclusive, worldwide basis.

The removal eliminates all prophage remnants, which eliminates cell lysis problems during production; as well as recombinogenic mobile IS elements, which is designed to eliminate problems of genome and plasmid stability. Also removed are genes for toxins, virulence factors, flagella, and fimbriae.

“Simply stated, genome reduction optimizes E. coli as a biological factory in all the important production related dimensions,” Scarab CEO Fred Blattner, Ph.D., says.

Scarab says that it is now developing and testing additional reduced strains with over 20% of the genes removed for general cloning, plasmid propagation, production of plasmid-based RNAi, DNA vaccines, and recombinant protein-based therapeutics.

According to Scarab, removing hundreds of unnecessary proteins and growing the E. Coli in a minimal salts medium makes the bacteria ideal for producing new biotherapeutics. The removal enhances genetic stability and lowers production costs by focusing cellular energy on the target, increasing metabolic efficiency. Increased yield also reduces downstream processing costs.

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