Edible (milk and egg-derived) EVs for oral drug delivery

Project Details


The University of Salzburg / Department of Biosciences has built up competitive scientific competencies in Biomedical Research of Extracellular Vesicles, represented by the recently established group of Prof. Meisner-Kober.
EvoBiotiX, a biotech start-up company in Switzerland is specialized in agro-biotechnology/naturally derived biologics applications for human and veterinary health. As such, EvoBiotiX has established a close network of partner companies both in the pharmaceutical as well as in the food industry and has a strong research track record in pharmaceutical applications of food derived biologics.
Taking advantage of the unique synergy between the complementary expertises of these two partners, EvoBiotiX and the group of Prof. Meisner-Kober are aiming to jointly evaluate the potential of milk and egg derived Exosomal vesicles (EVs, aka “exosomes”) as drug delivery platform and for passive immunization purposes. EvoBiotiX will be responsible for coordinating the project, sourcing raw material, ensuring future supply, scale-up of crude preparations of exosomes within in partner companies and guiding the chemical engineering of exosomal vesicles. EvoBiotiX will further be responsible to recruit other potential partners from the pharmaceutical field for access to future therapeutic targets and candidate cargoes. In turn, the academic group of Prof. Meisner will bring to the collaboration its know-how in the characterization of Exosomes with high end bioanalytical methods as well as expertise in assaying biological activities. The group of Prof. Meisner-Kober will also carry out animal experiments with engineered Exosomes, isolated by EvoBiotiX and engineered in the laboratory using procedures to be jointly developed.

In the initial stage the collaboration is planned as a feasibility study to explore to which extent milk and egg derived exosomes might be applicable as drug delivery platform. The workplan therefore foresees a 3-year period with go/no-go criteria after the first and second year. After the third year the collaboration will be evaluated by the partners for potential follow-up collaborations and joint grant applications (e.g. CD lab, FFG bridge, etc..).

During this initial feasibility study the following 7 research questions should be answered:

• Is the isolation and purification of milk derived exosomes scaleable and reproducible in amounts suitable for clinical research
• Can the existing isolation process for bovine milk exosomes be applied to other starting materials, such as milk from different species and/or egg white or whole egg.
• What are the intrinsic properties of milk-derived exosomes in terms of oral bioavailability, and natural biodistribution in different animal models
• Can milk-derived exomes be modified by different chemical strategies to carry drug candidates and to present on the surface molecules which alter their biodistribution (targeting ligands)
• What are the properties of natural and modified exosomes in terms of cellular uptake, specifically which cell types are susceptible to exosomes delivery in-vitro
• Can a functional proof-of-concept be demonstrated with an optimized (optimally engineered) exosomes preparation in rodents.
• Can basic exosome properties in targeting cell types be used for passive immunization against viral infections.
Short titleEdible EVs
Effective start/end date1/09/2031/08/23


  • Exosomes