NUMAFERM’s platform technology

Available bioprocesses are successfully applied for the production of many enzymes (and other proteins). Batch sizes in the tons scale are standard and the production costs can be as low as 10-20 €/kg (van Beilen et al., Current opinion of biotechnology, 2002). For the production of peptides, however, available processes are limited by three major bottlenecks: 1. omnipresence of proteases destroying peptides (figure 1), 2. aggregation of peptides complicating downstreaming processes (DSP) and 3. toxic effects of peptides towards the production host.

NUMAFERM’s technology copes with these challenges and serves as a reliable and cost-efficient platform. How have we achieved this success? We have developed the first-in-place secretion technology for Gram-negative bacteria; our working horses are common E. coli strains. Peptides are transported out of the cells into to the protease-free surrounding immediately after biosynthesis. This protects them from being destroyed (figure 1 and 2). Our technology is based on a Type 1 secretion system (T1SS) where a transport complex of three membrane proteins catalyzes the transport. Requested peptides are genetically fused with a transport signal that is recognized by the nanomachinery (figure 2). After transport, the transport signal remains attached to the peptide, which is essential. First, we rationally designed the transport signal in such a way that it increases the stability and solubility of peptides and counteracts aggregation. Second, the return of peptides to the production host is prevented by the transport signal – cells are protected from cytotoxic effects.
Fusion peptides are highly pure (figure 1) and can be easily extracted from the culture supernatant. The transport signal is cleaved-off during the DSP and pure peptide is produced.

In this way NUMAFERM’s technology solves limitations of available technologies and enables the cost-efficient production of peptides.

Advantages of our technology

Peptides become much cheaper with our technology. Especially when it comes to larger amounts and longer sequences, our technology holds significant advantages in production costs.

We can significantly reduce the carbon footprint. The production of 1 kilogram may require more than 25 tons of raw materials of which some a very toxic. Our bioprocess only requires a few hundret kilograms on non-toxic feedstock.

We can produce peptides of any lengths within a week. In chemical synthesis, this process may take up to several months, depending on the length of the peptide.

We can easily produce long peptides. The limitation in peptide length is one of the major drawbacks of chemical synthesis, making them overproportionally expensive with every added amino acid.

FAQ

What is the maximum length of a peptide you can produce?

There is literally no limit in peptide length in regards to our production technology. Peptides are typically defined to consist of 2 to 100 amino acids. Our technology can even go beyond this size and produce small proteins or enzymes.

How do I order peptides at NUMAFERM?

Simply give us a call, send an email to info@numaferm.com or use our contact form. Looking at the desired sequence, we can quickly give you a statement on whether we see our technology capable of producing the peptide.

Which purity levels do you offer?

All our products have a purity of >85% and we can easily move it to >98%. We do not offer anything below as our production technology grants a very high initial purity.

Do you produce under GMP conditions?

Currently, we do not. But we have partners that do and in case you are interested in GMP peptides, we can realize this for you.

Is it possible to produce c-terminus amidated peptides?

No, this is not possible.