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Nuclera Awarded £1.14M Innovate UK Funding for Development of eProtein Discovery

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Nuclera, announced it has been awarded two highly competitive Innovate UK grants totaling £1.14M. The funding, made up of a £790k flexible, agile, scalable, and sustainable technologies (FASST) grant awarded in collaboration with DeepMirror, and a £350k Engineering Biology grant, to further develop the platform, including evaluations by Dr Konstantinos Beis, an independent expert from Imperial College London, and Dr Andrew Quigley from Diamond Light Source.

The FASST grant is part of the Innovate UK Transforming Medicines Manufacturing (TMM) program and has been designed to support and grow the UK’s capabilities in manufacturing medicines by developing first-of-a-kind technologies to accelerate patient access to new drugs and treatments.

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Nuclera is one of 48 companies to be awarded the Engineering Biology grant, which aims to use engineering biology to tackle challenges in the fields of health, environment, food production and sustainability. The funding is provided by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund and delivered by Innovate UK.

Dr Michael Chen, CEO and co-founder, Nuclera, said: “Receiving both grants from Innovate UK is testament to the power of eProtein Discovery and demonstrates that Nuclera has the technical innovation to address global unmet challenges in the fields of manufacturing and engineering biology. We look forward to working with DeepMirror, Dr Beis (via Imperial Consultants), and Dr Quigley from Diamond Light Source on both projects.”

Custom protein reagents, required in drug discovery, are challenging to manufacture both in terms of cost and time associated. The eProtein Discovery platform overcomes this unmet need by providing rapid access to challenging proteins in a benchtop system in less than 48 hours. Accelerating drug discovery processes by up to 30x, the platform provides sequences and optimal conditions to inform protein manufacturing.

Dr Andrew Quigley, group leader of Diamond’s Membrane Protein Lab (MPL), added: “Nuclera’s proposed platform aims to assess the most suitable conditions to obtain functional protein, and the MPL is well positioned to assist in this development with over 30 different membrane protein controls available.”