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Low-cost Production and Purification of Cytokines and Growth Factors for Cell Therapy Products

The aim of this project is to scale-up and standardize the manufacturing of a low-cost purification medium capable of capturing large scale quantities of tagged proteins and releasing the protein pure and tag-free
Proteins/ Antibodies
Equipment and Supplies
Project status
100% Completed

Industry Need

  • Cytokines are proteins used in cell culture to support cell growth, survival, and differentiation.   
  • While they are a vital component of cell therapy manufacturing, they are also the most expensive, with costs ranging from $1K to $50K for a single milligram per cytokine.   
  • The industry would greatly benefit from a new approach to manufacture cytokines for cell growth that is more cost effective.  


Focusing on IL-2 and FGF2 cytokines, Potomac Affinity Proteins teamed with the University of Maryland to scale cytokine production reliably and at a fraction of the cost. The team aimed to use Potomac Affinity Proteins’ e. Coli expression system to create a platform process for cytokine production and purification that integrates molecular machinery into traditional manufacturing technologies. The process would allow for greater scale up potential at a reduced cost, while expanding flexibility for the industry to adopt the novel purification process for other critical cytokines or proteins.  

Updates, Related Publications, and Deliverables

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Project Lead

Potomac Affinity Proteins

Potomac Affinity Proteins

Participating Organizations

University of Maryland College Park

University of Maryland College Park