Close this search box.

Monoclonal Antibody Expression in Fast Alternative Hosts: Demonstration & Reference Material

The overall goal of this project is to assess the readiness of a yeast currently used to produce commercial therapeutic monoclonal antibody for rapid responses to pandemic situations.
Proteins/ Antibodies

Industry Need

  • Identifying monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from convalescent patients for pathogens like coronaviruses is efficient and fast today, requiring only 1-3 weeks from initial discovery to selection of lead candidates for therapeutic use.  
  • In contrast, the expected typical timelines to manufacture these proteins using mammalian cells for initial clinical studies is about 5-6 months.  
  • Reducing the time required to achieve the first quantities of such mAbs for emergency use could allow for faster responses to emerging pathogens.  


Using alternative cell types, such as yeast, could reduce mAb production time from 5-6 months to 2-3 months. MIT studied the readiness of a yeast currently used to produce commercial therapeutic monoclonal antibody for rapid responses to pandemic situations.  

Steps of the project included: 

  • Cloning of antibody sequences into a set of engineered yeast strains 
  • Evaluation of production in batch cultivation and small-scale fermentation  
  • Generation of small batches of purified proteins for analytical assessments on quality 

Outcomes and Impacts

Proof-of-concept data from this study for sustained continuous production of recombinant protein using yeast provides support for next‐generation manufacturing strategies for fast, efficient production of recombinant proteins that may enable improved equitable access and affordability of medicines in the United States and globally, including mAbs and other recombinant protein products such as insulin.

Established reference cells and materials to guide additional development for fast efficient production of Mabs in a yeast organism that could enhance capabilities for pandemic responses.

Informed an alternative manufacturing solutions for on-going responses to protect from COVID-19 or other emerging pathogens.

Directly advanced the biotechnologies that enable small‐footprint biomanufacturing of proteins.

Updates, Related Publications, and Deliverables

  • Login to the NIIMBL member portal for access to project updates, related publications, and deliverables. 

Not yet a member? Learn more about which level of NIIMBL membership is right for you and your organization.

Project Lead

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Join Our Mailing List

MailChimp NIIMBL Mailing List Signup
Organization Type
How did you first hear about NIIMBL?