Low-Cost, Large-Scale Production of the Anti-viral Lectin Griffithsin.
Griffithsin, a broad-spectrum antiviral lectin, has potential to prevent and treat numerous viruses including HIV, HCV, HSV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. For these indications, the annual demand for Griffithsin could reach billions of doses and affordability is paramount. We report the lab-scale validation of a bioprocess that supports production volumes of >20 tons per year at a cost of goods sold below $3,500/kg. Recombinant expression in engineered E. coli enables Griffithsin titers ∼2.5 g/L. A single rapid precipitation step provides > 90% yield with 2-, 3-, and 4-log reductions in host cell proteins, endotoxin, and nucleic acids, respectively. Two polishing chromatography steps remove residual contaminants leading to pure, active Griffithsin. Compared to a conventional one this process shows lower costs and improved economies of scale. These results support the potential of biologics in very large-scale, cost-sensitive applications such as antivirals, and highlight the importance of bioprocess innovations in enabling these applications.
Decker, JS; Menacho-Melgar, R; Lynch, MD
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