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Bio-Technical Resources Announces Expertise in Pichia Pastoris Protein Expression

Bio-Technical Resources (BTR), a leading contract research and manufacturing organization, announces the development of custom Pichia pastoris protein expression systems. The company can produce recombinant proteins using this versatile yeast expression host.

Pichia pastoris is a powerful protein production system widely adopted in numerous industries. The yeast expression host can produce proteins that resemble mammalian proteins, giving it a distinct advantage over traditional bacterial expression systems.

In addition, the yeast’s Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) status makes it particularly well-suited for manufacturing food ingredients and pharmaceutical proteins.

BTR has fully realized this potential through its custom development program, which is designed to meet its client partners’ specific needs.

BTR offers customized solutions to produce a selection of recombinant proteins through its Pichia pastoris expression expertise. The company’s program comprises several critical phases designed to deliver optimized processes and maximize product yields.

First, BTR undertakes a feasibility study to evaluate the target protein and assess the suitability of Pichia pastoris. The company screens multiple strains to identify high-producers, utilizing its extensive strain library.

Fermentation parameters and purification procedures are fine-tuned using design-of-experiment approaches. This systematic optimization enhances productivity and ensures seamless technology transfer to clients.

Pichia pastoris confer several advantages that catalyze its rising adoption in recombinant protein production:

  • More straightforward Downstream Processing: Pichia pastoris expresses proteins secreted into the culture medium rather than retained within the cell. As a result, product recovery is greatly simplified, reducing the costs associated with downstream processing. By avoiding placement of the proteins within inclusion bodies, Pichia pastoris also allows for greater protein purity and integrity.
  • FDA Approval: Many recombinant proteins expressed in Pichia pastoris have already earned the FDA’s approval for use as pharmaceuticals or in addition to food. Such acceptance means the yeast can be used in certified good manufacturing processes by regulatory guidelines, unlocking the potential for use with proteins still in clinical trials or needing commercialization.
  • Versatility: Pichia pastoris expression can accommodate various proteins, regardless of their size or complexity. These include antibodies, enzymes, growth factors, interleukins, and peptide hormones. Also, its capacity for folding makes it an excellent vehicle for the expression of large, multidomain eukaryotic proteins, and its ability to perform post-translational modifications results in the production of proteins that are genuinely mammalian-like.

BTR brings years of yeast-based protein production know-how to any client — making its Pichia expertise second to none. Comprised of industry veterans, the BTR team is exclusively focused on yeast expression systems.

After some highly successful Pichia pastoris process developments, BTR has emerged as the apparent choice in recombinant protein services. BTR adopts a collaborative approach, working as a client’s team extension to turn their concepts into reality.

BTR offers a comprehensive range of services that include strain screening, process development, scale-up, preclinical supplies, and cGMP manufacturing. The company’s 7500 ft2, ISO 9001-certified facility features advanced fermentation and downstream purification equipment.

BTR continues to expand its capabilities and stay ahead of the latest innovations. Its robust quality systems and analytical labs ensure product safety and consistency from micrograms to multi-kilograms.

BTR accelerates its clients’ Pichia pastoris projects with expertise that spans the entire bioproduction spectrum. This extensive experience in an emerging field translates into high-performance processes very quickly.

By tapping into BTR’s Pichia capabilities, clients can enhance the value of their biologics pipeline and get life-changing products to market faster.

From Beer to Biotech: A 57-Year Journey

The BTR story began in 1962 and was intimately connected to the brewing industry. Rahr Bio-Technical Laboratories was founded by Rahr Malting Company and focused on research and consulting concerning malting and brewing processes.

However, their work in industrial microbiology extended to waste disposal and food technology, which positioned the company to jump to the burgeoning field of biotechnology.

In a move to greater independence, employees purchased the company and renamed it Bio-Technical Resources (BTR) in 1969. They refocused on biotechnological applications in the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries.

Over the years, the company would go through several changes of control:

  • 1969: It was purchased by ConAgra and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and operated as part of the DuPont ConAgra Visions (DCV) joint venture until 1989;
  • 1989: DCV was dissolved, and BTR was put under independent control with the backing of a venture capital group;
  • 1997: It was purchased by Arkion Life Sciences, LLC, and began specializing in life sciences involving human and animal nutrition;
  • 2001: There it stood, providing contract services in the biotechnology arena.

BTR’s history consists of broadening and deepening of its expertise. From its brewing origins to its prominent position in biotechnology, BTR has consistently adapted and grown to provide 57 years of biotechnological service.

Benefits Across Diverse Fields

Pichia pastoris has so much utility that it extends its power across many industries and applications.


The yeast is well-suited for producing many biopharmaceutical proteins, such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, blood factors, and hormones. Its ability to scale up in bioreactors ensures cost-effective production of these high-volume products.

Pichia-derived pharmaceuticals can exhibit the biological activity of human proteins closely mirroring the native.

Food Ingredients

Recognized as GRAS-certified, Pichia pastoris can generate proteins that are usable as food additives and ingredients.

Examples include chymosin for cheesemaking, lipases for bread improvement, and proteases for meat tenderizing. Pichia additives offer superior functionality, taste, and nutritional profile.


Sturdy enzymes from Pichia pastoris enable better efficiency and sustainability in a multitude of industrial processes.

These include phytases for animal feed, cellulases for biofuel production, and technical enzymes for textile treatment. Pichia’s productivity makes large-scale enzyme manufacture economically feasible.


Many labs exploit Pichia pastoris to produce a cornucopia of proteins for in vitro research. The yeast’s knack for producing properly folded, post-translationally modified proteins makes it helpful in investigating protein structure-function relationships.

Pichia also allows high-throughput production of proteins sold for use as research reagents.

By summoning the power of Pichia pastoris, BTR empowers clients in myriad industries to create products and solutions never before possible. The company’s singular expertise in this area makes it a highly prized partner in innovation.

Organizations exploring high-yield, scalable Pichia pastoris protein production can leverage BTR’s proven expertise. The company welcomes inquiries about developing custom yeast expression processes.

Beyond Pichia pastoris, BTR offers microbial and cell-based mammalian platforms to provide optimal production hosts tailored to each protein product. To learn more about BTR’s capabilities, visit

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