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Enhancing biological drug production through protein secretion

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SECReTE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: HERZL STREET 234
postcode: 7610001

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Total cost 150˙000 €
 EC max contribution 150˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-PoC
 Funding Scheme ERC-POC
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-12-01   to  2020-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE IL (REHOVOT) coordinator 150˙000.00


 Project objective

Biotherapeutics are bio-materials, which are used among others to treat cancer, diabetes, and rare diseases. It is expected that these medicines will make up half of the medicines in future. Already now, 350 million patients are treated with biotherapeutics, produced from proteins. The proteins that are injected to humans must be “clean” and pure. However, harvesting a protein from cells and purifying it is a daunting challenge. Current harvesting methods are complicated and expensive. We made a discovery, which would significantly improve the harvesting and purification process, therefore lowering drug production costs. In this process, biological cells are producing desired proteins from a gene that was planted into the cell’s genome. The key is that after the protein has been produced within cells, we will then induce the cells to send the protein outside – to the liquid medium. This makes the harvesting and purification process much more efficient. The innovation lies in encoding the protein with RNA-based tag. When attached to a gene of interest, the tag will make the producing cell secrete the encoded protein to the medium. If we program proteins to be secreted to the extracellular medium more efficiently protein harvesting and purification process in Pharma, Biotech and Agricultural industries could be revolutionized. This is extremely important for the Pharma industry, which is struggling on low return on investment, already threatening the sector’s viability. Quicker drug development process, cheaper and higher quality production and improved ROI will create also societal benefit. In the end, new drugs can be discovered and brought to markets quicker. In the PoC, we will characterize and discover the best tags for protein production and secretion and use it to secret key drugs essential for the Pharma industry, and demonstrate the feasibility of our technology and carry out pre-commercialization actions in order to shorten our innovation’s time to market.

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