Bacterial lectins for isolating glycoproteins in the Life Science industries

Paul Clarke Glyco

Dr Paul Clarke - CSO, GlycoSeLect

What is your idea?

Bacterial lectins can be used to isolate and purify glycoproteins, an important class of compounds for the biopharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industries. We have developed a way to produce these new higher quality lectins.

What problem are you solving and what is innovative about your approach?

Glycoproteins are a key class of molecule for several industries: 90% of biopharmaceutical products are glycoproteins, and glycoproteins are important for the diagnostics, food & cosmetics industries.

Analysing and characterising these molecules is difficult, and industries want simpler, better ways to work with glycoproteins. That’s where we come in.

Lectins are naturally occurring molecules which selectively recognise and bind to glycoproteins. As a result they can be used for efficient analysis and separation of glycoproteins.

Our products are unique because our lectins are from bacteria. They are easy to produce. We can genetically enhance their properties and scale their production to manufacture lectins from gram to kilogram quantities

Our bacterial lectins will enable faster, cheaper and more effective analysis and purification of glycoproteins in the biopharmaceutical, food, cosmetics and other life sciences sectors.

What’s the backstory here and how did you get involved?

The approach that underpins GlycoSeLect was developed through an industry-led consortium, the Centre for Bioanalytical Science.

I was involved in the research into bacterial lectins within this consortium. I was the Principal Investigator of its successor development programme in DCU, responsible for the direction and management of its research and commercialisation. This programme developed our licensed technology, Recombinant Prokaryotic Lectins (RPLs).

GlycoSelect has spun out from Dublin City University with myself and other researchers employed by the company.

Big Ideas
How is this idea commercially attractive?

GlycoSeLect’s bacterial lectins make glycoprotein analysis and manufacturing cheaper and more effective, which is a powerful incentive for the biopharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industries to use them.

Our first target market is the analysis and product purification segment of the biopharmaceutical industry, which will have an estimated market worth of $1.6 billion by 2018.

We can readily scale the production of our RPLs, to make our technology work across this spectrum of applications from nanograms (analytical) to kilograms (production).

Our route to market is to partner with analytical and product purification companies. Our end-user customers will be biopharmaceutical and life science companies. GlycoSeLect’s technology will enable them to carry out analysis and production more effectively, thereby reducing costs and timelines, developing products (such as medicines) more efficiently and delivering better outcomes for the client company.

What are you looking for at the Big Ideas event?

We are looking for investment of €250,000. We seek investors and partners with strong industry contacts who can help us expand our customer base for this innovative technology.

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