Nuclera Secures £1.14M in Innovate UK Grants to Enhance Protein Expression Technology

790k FASST grant, in collaboration with DeepMirror, and £350k Engineering Biology grant awarded for platform development
Funding & Investments
June 10, 2024

Nuclera, a pioneering biotech firm known for expediting protein expression and purification through its innovative benchtop eProtein Discovery™ system, has been awarded two prestigious Innovate UK grants amounting to £1.14 million.

The substantial funding package includes a £790,000 Flexible, Agile, Scalable, and Sustainable Technologies (FASST) grant, awarded in collaboration with DeepMirror, and a £350,000 Engineering Biology grant. This financial boost will facilitate the further development of Nuclera’s cutting-edge platform. Renowned experts, including Dr. Konstantinos Beis from Imperial College London and Dr. Andrew Quigley from Diamond Light Source, are set to conduct evaluations of the enhanced system.

The FASST grant, part of Innovate UK’s Transforming Medicines Manufacturing (TMM) programme, aims to bolster the UK’s medicinal manufacturing capabilities. It focuses on pioneering technologies designed to hasten patient access to new drugs and treatments, thus cementing the UK’s leadership in this crucial sector.

Nuclera stands among 48 companies to receive the Engineering Biology grant, which seeks to address pressing challenges across health, environmental sustainability, and food production through engineering biology. Funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund and delivered by Innovate UK, this initiative underscores the UK's commitment to leveraging scientific advancements for societal benefit.

The eProtein Discovery platform addresses a significant bottleneck in drug discovery—the costly and time-consuming production of custom protein reagents. Nuclera’s system promises rapid access to these challenging proteins within a mere 48 hours, dramatically accelerating the drug discovery process by up to 30 times. By delivering precise sequences and optimal conditions, the platform informs and enhances protein manufacturing, paving the way for quicker and more efficient drug development.

This dual grant award highlights Nuclera’s potential to transform the landscape of protein expression and purification, reinforcing the UK’s status as a global leader in biotechnological innovation.

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.”

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.”

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