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Start-up Spotlight: Proteios

Posted on November 11th, 2016 by in Pharma R&D


This week’s Start-Up Spotlight, featuring start-ups in the pharmaceutical and biotech spaces, is showcasing the Seattle-based firm Proteios. Dr. Bob Snyder, Managing Director of Proteios, discusses the company and its game-changing research.

What does Proteios do?

Proteios is a leader in protein technology used for the manipulation and purification of recombinant proteins. We are developing research grade protein purification kits based on Car9 tags to enable researchers to easily, economically and rapidly purify recombinant proteins. Kits are available in various sizes at one tenth the cost of the popular His-tag based kits and can purify proteins in less than 15 minutes without the use of heavy metals.

Tell us a little about the company’s background.

Proteios is a spin-out from the University of Washington, where the Car9 technology was developed in the laboratory of Prof. Francois Baneyx, who was awarded a $50,000 grant from the University’s commercialization center to spin-out the patent-pending Car9 technology. Proteios was founded by Prof. Baneyx and myself—a 30-year veteran of life science research and commercialization—to bring products to market based on Car9 technology.

What is Proteios trying to achieve?

The company is initially focused on the development of the recombinant protein purification kits, but Car9 technology also shows great promise for the purification of industrial enzymes and biopharmaceuticals. Recombinant biopharmaceuticals purified using His-tag based methods lack FDA approval due to the high concentrations of heavy metal contaminants; Car9 solves this issue with the use of silica resin during the purification process. Proteios’ strategy is to first offer an alternative to His-tag purification kits to life science researchers and then penetrate the industrial enzyme market.

Why is this research so important? What impact will it have on the industry?

The advance of human civilization has been driven by game-changing technologies that give us new capabilities to improve the fundamental aspects of our lives. One game-changing technology of the future is synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is the engineering of biology to carry out the various functions that we need and want, from producing new food ingredients to molecules for treating cancer, enabling us to engineer biology in the same way that we create computers using electronic components. Synthetic biology is an emerging field of science, which involves the development of genetically engineered products. Moreover, it applies various techniques to design and engineer biologically-based parts, as well as redesign existing and natural occurring biological systems. A fundamental bottleneck in the process is isolating and purifying the protein of interest from the thousands of proteins naturally produced by the host cell. Proteios’ Car9 technology offers many advantages over current techniques in ease-of-use, low cost, and speed.

The global synthetic biology market accounted for $3,933.9 million in 2014, and it is expected to grow with a CAGR of 35.4% during 2015-2020.

What are the next steps for Proteios?

Prof. Baneyx’s lab is currently optimizing the Car9 technology for use in research grade recombinant protein purification kits. Proteios will commercialize these kits, initially through an online store from its web site and it will later add a global distribution partner.

In parallel, Proteios will optimize the Car9 technology for use in industrial enzyme manufacturing.

Why is this work particularly important now?

The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a deep transformation from small molecule drugs to biologics. Over the last decade, the percentage share of biologic-based drugs—including vaccines, therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies—has seen a steady growth of 13.3 percent per year, compared to a 4.2 percent decrease for other drugs. Biologics now account for 55 percent of new drug approvals and 64 percent of pipeline drugs. Use of recombinant proteins as therapeutics has become an attractive strategy for altering the biology of disease progression and offers significant commercial opportunities. Proteins synthesized by host cells ultimately need to be recovered in a functionally active state. Each step in the process requires time and resources, and every step of recovery and purification results in loss of yield.

Are you looking for partners?

Proteios is currently looking for distribution partners for its research grade recombinant protein purification kits. The partner should have a global presence in the life science market.

Within the next 12 months, Proteios will begin looking for collaboration partners to validate the use of Car9 technology for the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.
To get in contact with Dr. Bob Snyder, or to follow Proteios online:



Twitter: @ProteiosLLC

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