Antibiotic-free protein production

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Antibiotic-free bioproduction

Our Pop-Out-PlasmidTM Technology allows to produce recombinant proteins in E. coli without antibiotics

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High expression of target protein

Our Switcher Technology enables to get high expression of recombinant proteins


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13 April 2023

NEW PRODUCT: E. coli strain for antibiotic-free protein production

We are happy to announce the novel product line of E. coli cells equipped with both Switcher and Pop-Out-PlasmidTM technologies. We believe to serve our partners with highly beneficial features:

  • antibiotic-free production with stable markerless plasmid (no resistance gene or addiction system)
  • growth-decoupled production stage
  • inducible protein expression without chemical inducers

See below our Pop-Out-Plasmid video on how we make it possible!

12 April 2023

Check how our Pop-Out-PlasmidTM technology works

A video explaining our innovative technology for antibiotic-free protein production in E. coli.

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22 March 2022

Three awards from sTARTUp Pitching 2023

We were pitching in the finals at sTARTUp Day 2023 festival in Tartu, Estonia and won three great prizes:

125,ooo € investment from Baltic Sandbox Ventures

10,000 € equity free cash from Swedbank

2500 € worth of legal services from Sorainen


Gearbox Biosciences is developing a new type of production strains for industrial recombinant protein production.

Pop-Out-PlasmidTM Tehnology is our most advanced expression system for E. coli.

In Pop-Out-PlasmidTM Technology the gene of interest is integrated as a single copy into the host chromosome and therefore is stably maintained during the biomass growth stage at 30ºC. At the desired time the production stage can be switched on by temporarily increasing the culture temperature to 37ºC. This triggers a series of events at the molecular level:

1)          Cell division is stopped by excision of the origin of replication, oriC from the bacterial chromosome. The mechanism is the basis of our patent pending Switcher Technology, in which the Switched cells do not divide but remain metabolically active. This decouples protein production from cellular growth and increases protein expression. Please find more details about Switcher Technology from our research published in ACS Synthetic Biology here.

2)         The gene of interest together with other genetic elements is excised from the chromosome and forms a replicating plasmid. The copy number of this plasmid increases because a plasmid-specific origin of replication becomes active. Consequently, this results in a high protein expression level. Most importantly, the production process is antibiotic-free, because plasmids cannot be lost from non-dividing cells.

3)        Protein expression can be induced by relocating a promoter in front of the encoding gene during plasmid formation. No chemical inducer is needed.

The animated video below will give a better visual overview of the Pop-Out-Plasmid Technology and its key benefits.



Gearbox Biosciences is a spin-off company from University of Tartu, Estonia.

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Co-Founder & CEO

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Co-Founder & Chief Scientist

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Co-Founder & Head of Operations


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Our technology is available for licensing.

Interested in trying our tech on your protein?

Reach us:

OÜ Gearbox Biosciences

Office: Nooruse 1, Tartu, Estonia


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