Therapeutic proteins

Developing a medicine involves a great deal of time and expense. Fraunhofer IGB supports pharmaceutical and biotechnology enterprises through the development and biotechnological production of generic proteins, as well as the development of new therapeutic proteins.

Our interest in therapeutic proteins is focused on the recombinant production and protein design of cytokines such as interferons where we already have made great success. As the first therapeutic protein developed at a Fraunhofer laboratory, a biogeneric β-interferon has been approved to the market in 2006. A more soluble variant of interferon-beta genetically engineered at the IGB is being clinically investigated by the Vakzine Projekt Management (VPM) GmbH in Braunschweig, Germany.

In addition, functional genome and proteome analysis technologies established at IGB have led to a large number of potential target molecules for the therapy of infections by the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans and have thus opened possibilities for new medical drugs. Preclinical tests of promising active substance candidates can be supported by IGB's organoid test systems on the basis of three-dimensional human cell structures, thus helping to avoid animal testing.

Reference projects


Duration: October 2014 – March 2018

BioTransporter with auto-loop and "pearls-on-a string" for targeted release of biotherapeutics.

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Cell-free bioproduction with integrated energy supply

The specific application of the components from certain organisms needed for this makes it possible to produce efficiently proteins with complex and even totally new properties in adapted reaction compartments.

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Extraction and purification process for interferon-beta-1b

Scientists at Fraunhofer IGB have been able to establish a highly productive clone, which bears an IFN-β-1b gene sequence adapted to E. coli. This allows the expression of the desired IFN-β-1b proteins within the cells as inclusion bodies. As a result of high-cell-density fermentation, a stable and high expression rate of at least 20 percent IFN-β-1b in the total cell protein is achieved with this clone.

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Recombinant production of blood clotting factor VIIa as a biosimilar

We have established a generic procedure for clotting Factor VII.

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