Recombinant and Engineered Protein Accumulation System (REPAS)

Period of Performance: 07/21/2006 - 01/17/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Tetragenetics, Inc.
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Cornell University
426 Phillips Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Institution POC


To fully realize the benefits of genetically engineered proteins, manufacturing costs and development time must be significantly reduced. Technologies that combine robust expression, and inexpensive methods of purification are key to this goal. This Phase I proposal will demonstrate the feasibility of Tetrahymena thermophila, a common pondwater ciliate, as a novel system for low cost production of recombinant proteins using strategies that focus on a model vaccine antigen with considerable importance in human and animal health, namely, the hemagglutinin protein (HA) of influenza virus. Our specific goals are to 1) introduce the HA gene from the current H5N1 strain of avian flu into T. thermophilia 2) screen recombinant cell lines for the expression of HA using antibodies specific for the protein; and 3) devise rapid, inexpensive methods for downstream purification of candidate vaccine antigens.