NORWICH, UK – 17 June 2020: Leaf Expression Systems (Leaf), a contract development and manufacturing organisation based in Norwich, UK, has announced today that it has developed a recombinant SARS-CoV-2 N-protein (antigen) to aid research into the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, 2019-nCoV) pandemic.
The recombinant SARS-CoV-2 N-protein consists of the full-length Nucleocapsid protein (N-Protein) from SARS-Cov-2, appended with a His-Tag. The N-protein performs vital functions during the viral lifecycle of SARS-Cov-2; including binding and packaging of viral genomic RNA during replication and interacting with M-Protein (SARS-CoV-2 membrane protein) during viral assembly, making SARS-CoV-2 N-Protein a key research target for antiviral therapeutics and diagnostic testing. The recombinant SARS-CoV-2 N-protein has been produced using the company’s proprietary transient expression technology, Hypertrans®, and can be used to further research potential solutions for the treatment and effective diagnosis of COVID-19 infections.
Simon Saxby, CEO said: ’We are pleased to be able to support the ongoing research into potential diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic with the rapid production of the N-protein using Hypertrans®. This is further demonstration of the speed with which our plant-based transient expression technology can be used to produce diagnostic reagents or vaccines in response to sudden outbreaks of disease and support testing and immunization programmes.’
Notes to editors:
For further information, contact:
Polly Ferris, Marketing & Communications Officer
T: 01603 859 298
About Leaf Expression Systems
Leaf Expression Systems is a contract development and manufacturing business specialising in plant-based expression and production of proteins, vaccines and complex natural products for research and commercial applications. It uses Hypertrans®, the proprietary transient expression technology, which was originally developed by Professor George Lomonossoff of the John Innes Centre.
The Hypertrans® system allows for the rapid simultaneous production of multiple gene products in a controlled and coordinated manner within the tissues of plants. Using gene synthesis and modular vectors, new products such as vaccines, antibodies or enzymes can be produced at speed and on a large scale, so it is well suited to be able to rapidly respond to emergencies like pandemics.