MultiBac Platform for Vaccine and VLP Production

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Grenoble, France

MultiBac is installed at the Eukaryotic Expression Facility (EEF) at EMBL Grenoble. The EEF consists of a fully equipped cell culture facility including sterile benches, light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, shaker platforms, incubators and tissue culture equipment.  Protein purification equipment and facilities for protein analysis including SDS-PAGE,  immuno-blot and state-of-the-art  biophysical techniques are also provided. All MultiBac reagents, protocols and cell strains required are available at the host laboratory.

The MultiBac platform at the EMBL is the lead technology for eukaryotic multiprotein production (Berger et al, Nat. Biotechnol. 2004; Fitzgerald et al, Nat. Methods 2006; Bieniossek et al, TiBS 2012). MultiBac has been developed by the Berger laboratory, and is an advanced baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS) particularly tailored for producing multicomponent assemblies including VLPs and vaccines. Since its introduction it has been distributed to more than 500 laboratories (academic and industrial) worldwide and has catalyzed research in many areas of the life sciences, in structural biology, VLP vaccine production, gene therapy and more.

MultiBac ultilizes an optimized baculovirus that has been engineered in the Berger lab for high-quality protein production. A fluorescent marker has been integrated into the viral backbone to enable virus performance tracking and protein production. This virus is accessed by multigene constructs containing the DNA encoding for the protein complex produced. This multigene construct is generated from small synthetic precursor plasmid modules into which the genes of interest are inserted.

On-site access

The MultiBac platform has been part of consortia in FP6 and FP7, and has been accessed on-site by many scientists from Europe and world-wide for MultiBac training and for protein production. Visitors are supported in project planning and construct preparation prior to their visit, and intensively trained on a one-to-one basis during their stay at the EEF (usually 10 working days). Users typically work on their own targets.

Modalities of access

Organisation short name:  EMBL

Unit of access: The unit of access is a 10 working day on the job training period. Users typically express one to several own constructs using the MultiBac platform. Fully funded access (travel, accommodation, consumables) is provided by another EC FP7 infrastructure project in a competitive selection process (for application details see or contact iberger [at] embl [dot] fr).

Quantity of access available: A maximum of 12 visits (funded by BioSTRUCT-X)  are offered on a competitive basis.

Timelines: 10-14 working days.

Overview of access provided between January 2011 (1st call) and April 2013 (10th call):
Estimated number of users/User groups: 30
Estimated number of projects: 80
Access already provided: 0 (This service has been included to the TRANSVAC network in July 2012)                                   
Access still available: 10

Last call submission date scheduled for: April 2013 (Call number: 10). After this date, please directly liaise with iberger [at] embl [dot] fr to apply through BioSTRUCT-X.

Input – sample requirements

Constructs prepared by the User related to his/her project.

Output – deliverables to User

MultiBac expression protocol, result of expression (SDS-PAGE and WB), solubility test, small-scale purification, protein sample, cell pellets, virus, wrap-up of experiment.


Dr. Imre Berger

iberger [at] embl [dot] fr

+ 33 4 7620 7061