Novel Platform for Production and Use of Nanobodies as Therapeutics in Animal Health

Northeastern University Background
The demand for livestock is growing at a rapid pace. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that livestock contributes to 40% of the global value of agricultural output. From the foods that make up our diet, to providing a natural source of fertilizer, to the preservation of biodiversity and to carbon sequestration in soils and biomass, livestock is critical to so many aspects of life. Infectious diseases have posed a major problem for both livestock, poultry and other animals. An over-reliance on antibiotics has played a key role, and as more and more companies try to move away from their use, they are now exploring biologics as an alternative. Nanobodies have attracted significant attention due to their small size, great stability, and potential in treating a range of diseases. However, the traditional methods for producing nanobodies have proven too expensive for large-scale use.
Technology Overview
Northeastern researchers have developed a novel process for the production of genetically modified probiotics that can deliver nanobodies to neutralize enteric disease-related toxins in the gastrointestinal tract of animals. These probiotics can be manufactured in large quantities and at a very low cost, which can then be fed into livestock very conveniently.
This platform technology involves the engineering of Bacillus subtilis spores for the production of nanobodies. The gram-positive bacteria contain minimum endotoxin levels, removing a key concern from the production of nanobodies through E. coli. Additionally, unlike E. coli which uses an intracellular expression process, the production of nanobodies through Bacillus subtilis uses a less complicated extracellular process. Both of these improvements have the potential to significantly simplify downstream purification efforts, leading to a lower cost and more scalable method of nanobody production. These spores are also known for their exceptional resistance and longevity, independent of their environment. Additionally, through the use of a cellulose-binding domain, the nanobodies can be immobilized on cellulose-based materials for long-term storage.

Simplified process for production and purification
Lower cost method of production
Superior stability against environmental extremes 
Long shelf life


Therapeutics for enteric diseases in livestock and other animals
Human therapeutics (including: oncology, immuno-oncology, inflammation, rare diseases)
Diagnostics (rapid detection of antigen targets)

 Testing and validating MVP with pilot partner(s), Connecting with prospective investors

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