Process development – Prolactin production

Prolactin (luteotropin) is best known for its role in enabling mammals to produce milk and plays an essential role in metabolism, regulation of the immune system and pancreatic development. High prolactin levels can cause noncancerous tumors on the pituitary gland, leading to headaches, visual impairment, abnormal facial hair in women, and erectile dysfunction. Also known is the problem of mothers with prolactin deficiency and mothers of preterm infants with lactation insufficiency.

Potential application for recombinant prolactin are standard ELISA tests, monitoring the prolactin level in patients with corresponding symptoms (female & male). Treatment of lactation insufficiency is a further potential application of our prolactin.

W42 is working on a state of the art industrial process for production of the prolactin based on our powerful Pichia expression platform The new, smart technology will be much more efficient compared to the actual/traditional process resulting in significant cost reduction.

W42 has developed already a recombinant PLA variant produced in Pichia pastoris (199 AA, 22.9 kD). A production level in the range of 1g/l was already achieved. Further strain development/optimization is running and development of purification protocol is under way.

W42 is looking for industrial partners active in the diagnostic business, to optimize the process all through the different development steps in close cooperation with potential end users.