The "Ciliate-based Expression System" (CIBEX) is an innovative expression platform for the highly productive manufacturing of protein-based biopharmaceuticals.

CIBEX is based on the apathogenic eukaryotic protozoan organism tetrahymena
that ideally combines the advantages of various conventional expression platforms.


Excellent safety profile


Short production cycles


Low production costs


Immunogenicity / ciflu effectivity in vivo

Broad application spectrum

The biological safety of the CIBEX system, its cost-effective and productive fermentation processes and its ability to produce glycosylated proteins provide the ideal solution for producing complex recombinant proteins. In addition, the secretion of the proteins greatly simplifies the purification of the protein.

Eukaryotic production host

• Based on the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila

• Secretion of functional enzymes and complex proteins such as antibodies

• GPI-anchored and membrane-bound antigens

• Efficient protein production

• Easy technology transfer

• Rapid production

• Conventional bioreactors

Outstanding safety profile

• safe for humans and animals

• not pathogenic

• complete genome has been sequenced

• lowest biological safety level 1

• no biocontainment necessary

• closed system for API-production

Simple scaling

• No complex infrastructure required

• Simple production process

• Patented technology


• Worldwide production in existing microbial production facilities

The production process is scalable from laboratory to industrial scale without yield losses.

Laboratory scale in Münster:
Multi-fermenter system with 12 parallel 1 litre bioreactors.

Mikrobielle Bioreaktoren im Pilotmaßstab 75 l und Industriemaßstab 900 l in Münster.

Successful technology transfer to 6000 litre to a German CMO.

No complex infrastructure required:

Simple production process without the need for existing technology and the possibility of global production in existing microbial production facilities.


Expertise in the development of purification processes due to the usage of:

• Column chromatography

• Fast and quantitative crystallisation

• Production capacity of up to 6000 litres available
Enzyme crystals

Replacing column chromatography with a comparatively simple and inexpensive process step provides a major advantage from an economic aspect.

The functionality of the CIBEX system has been demonstrated so far by the expression of 14 biopharmaceutical proteins.

The investigations were carried out for both secreted and membrane-bound or intracellular proteins. The volumetric productivity is at least as good as with conventional expression systems. In addition to genetic and analytical methods, various upstream and downstream methods have been developed and successfully adopted to meet the requirements of target proteins. Thus, the R&D team of the Cilian AG is competent in the area of recombinant protein production with ciliates. This enables the upscaling up to industrial production.

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