Ingenza’s ambitious SYNBIOPRO project for the development of biopharmaceuticals continues to make significant progress, despite the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by a Scottish Enterprise research and development (R&D) grant since 2018, this project has hit a number of key milestones in 2020, demonstrating the potential of Ingenza’s synthetic biology platform for the efficient and cost-effective production of biotherapeutics.
Ingenza’s synthetic biology technologies are already well established across a range of commercial applications, and the company has committed over £4.3m in a programme to establish the SYNBIOPRO platform for adaptable and cost-effective manufacturing of biotherapeutics in a cGMP environment. As part of this, Ingenza has been using the £1.4m grant from Scottish Enterprise to establish pilot projects for a number of high-value biologics over the past two years, including recombinant factor VIII for the treatment of haemophilia A, and synthetic epidermicin, a novel peptide antimicrobial. In addition, Ingenza has been working closely with researchers at Oxford University and the UK CPI, Wilton, using its knowhow to cost-effectively produce the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in large quantities, enabling and accelerating COVID-19 vaccine development.
Dr David McElroy, Chief Business Officer of Ingenza, commented: “We are delighted that Scottish Enterprise recognised the value of this project to the Scottish bio-economy and wider biotechnology industry. Its funding has helped to establish a strong body of evidence to support the use of our synthetic biology approach for the production of biotherapeutics, allowing us to compete in the growing biologics manufacturing market.”
Richie Connor, Account manager at Scottish Enterprise, said: “It has been a pleasure to support Ingenza with this R&D project, and to see the excellent progress the company has made over the past two years, including recent work on a potential vaccine for COVID-19. We have a long-standing relationship with the company, and continue to be impressed by its ability to diversify and innovate, creating solutions to improve health and wellbeing.”