Project: Z01

Therapeutic Protein Production Facility

A key goal of our CRC is translating preclinical discoveries into clinical application. Major recent advances in ophthalmology depended on the development of new protein therapeutics (e.g. Aflibercept, Eylea, Ranibizumab and Faricimab in the treatment of AMD). Protein therapeutics include peptides, proteins, monoclonal antibodies, cytokine traps as well as fusion proteins. Commercially available recombinant proteins and therapeutic antibodies are often difficult to obtain in the desired quantity and purity and are very expensive to purchase for in vivo experiments at the University. Within this consortium, this project will provide rapid access to affordable, customized, and large quantity of new protein therapeutics for (i) mechanistic preclinical studies in vitro and in vivo and (ii) translational research in ophthalmology including in situ human tissue experiments.

Newly discovered target proteins from participating projects can either be applied as soluble proteins or inhibited by antibodies or receptor traps, depending on their function. We will also assist in the identification and cloning of therapeutic antibodies using phage display techniques or humanized mouse/rabbit models. In addition, we established cross-linking experiments to define the protein-protein or protein-receptor interaction sites using mass spectrometry, which will allow us to further improve and validate the therapeutic candidates.

Key methods: cloning, phage display, B-cell sorting, cell culture, bacterial culture, chromatography, protein production, Biacore