Low-Cost, Large-Scale Production of the Anti-viral Lectin Griffithsin.


Journal Article

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Decker, JS; Menacho-Melgar, R; Lynch, MD

Published Date

  • January 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 /

Start / End Page

  • 1020 -

PubMed ID

  • 32974328

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32974328

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2296-4185

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2296-4185

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3389/fbioe.2020.01020


  • eng