Who Are We
Leaf Expression Systems is a new contract development business specialising in the plant-based expression and production of proteins, metabolites and complex natural products for research and biomedical applications using a proprietary, transient expression technology, Hypertrans®.
Based in a purpose built state-of-the-art facility on the Norwich Research Park, opened by former Science Minister Jo Johnson MP in January 2017, Leaf Expression Systems comprises of offices, plant potting areas, plant growth controlled environment rooms, a plant inoculation area, microbiology / molecular biology labs, protein purification and natural product processing facilities all designed and engineered to appropriate containment and safety standards.
The company is part of a thriving research and innovation campus, and sits alongside world leading research institutes. We provide services to companies and research organisations by producing sufficient quantities of these valuable proteins and other natural products to enable research and product development.
Vaccine products(Such as Virus-Like Particles)
Metabolic pathway engineering
At Leaf Expression Systems we have recently expressed the anti-HIV antibody 2G12 in the HyperTrans system and achieved expression yeilding 0.1mg of antibody per/g of plant tissue in a fully scalable process at significantly lower costs than could be achieved in animal cell systems.
Vaccine products (Such as VLPs)
"Growing large quantities of VLPs in plants is surprisingly easy and incredibly efficient,” says Advisor to Leaf, Professor George Lomonossoff.
"You simply introduce bacteria containing the genes for the VLP into the plant, which results in the plant’s cells making many copies of the VLP. The process, from introduction of the bacteria to harvesting the VLPs from the crushed leaves, can take just a matter of weeks. The added beauty of this technique is that the risk of contamination with the human viruses using this production technique is significantly lower than other vaccine production systems. "
We have recently produced an active enzyme with a high yield of 500 mg/kg of plant tissue with >95 % purity from a single step. Other enzyme work has included yields of ~15-130 mg/kg.
Metabolic pathway engineering
Our system can also be used to produce metabolites for metabolic pathway engineering to generate complex biochemicals that are difficult or impossible to synthesise chemically or are only found in rare species or trace amounts in nature. Other potential uses include producing many proteins at the same time and so creating new biochemical pathways for producing complex ‘bioactive’ molecules such as novel anti-cancer drugs and anti-infectives.
Our Hypertrans Technology
Originally developed by Professor George Lomonossoff and Frank Sainsbury at the John Innes Centre, Hypertrans® is efficient, safe and simple to use to quickly produce proteins in plants such as vaccines, antibodies or enzymes. The proteins are then extracted and purified to give the desired product. The speed of the system means that it can rapidly produce large amounts of protein, so it is well suited to rapidly responding to emergencies like pandemics.
Other potential uses include producing many proteins at the same time and so creating new biochemical pathways for producing complex ‘bioactive’ molecules such as novel anti-cancer drugs and anti-infectives.
Look out for us at the following upcoming events!
Nordic Life Science Days, Malmo – 10 – 12 September
Festival of Biologics, Basel – 15-17 October