March 2009

Growing the Future

      No segment of the biotechnology industry has received more public scrutiny than agricultural biotech — except maybe its application to food. And none has been subject to more “hype” and high hopes for instant results than biofuels. By contrast, industrial biotechnology seems almost invisible to the public at large. In general, the more immediate the effects on consumers, the more likely they are to pay attention and either laud or loathe the associated technology. The general public…

Automated Liquid Handlers As Sources of Error

    Use of automated liquid handling equipment for rapid testing and reproducible screening of thousands of molecules, cells, and compounds has become an essential component of life-science laboratories across the globe. Along with an increase in such use, transferred volumes have shrunk, as demands increase on transfer accuracy and precision when aspirating, diluting, dispensing, mixing, and washing. Automated liquid handlers are generally used to increase the productivity and repeatability of volume transfer, but as discussed here, they are still…

A World of Possibilities

      Biotechnology truly is global, with some form of the industry in progress on every continent but Antarctica. Countries such as Brazil are even outpacing Europe and North America in the advancement of biofuels technology. But as in the developed world where this industry began, we see other countries looking first and foremost to the medical applications of biotech — because historically that’s where the money has been. Some countries are building their own fully integrated bioindustrial sectors.…

Use of Membrane Technology in Bioprocessing Therapeutic Proteins from Inclusion Bodies of

The ultimate goal of recombinant fermentation research is cost-effective production of desired proteins by maximizing volumetric productivity (to obtain the highest amount of protein in a given volume in the least amount of time). Bioprocessing for recombinant proteins using genetically modified organisms requires a stable, high-yielding recombinant culture, a highly productive fermentation process, and cost-effective recovery and purification procedures. Escherichia coli has been a widely used host for expression of recombinant proteins (1). Its advantages lie in the enormous data…

Pursuing Excellence

      As new medicines, vaccines, biomaterials, and biofuels move through development, companies often face some of their toughest hurdles in moving from benchtop to production-scale processes. These are not only technological, but as technology advances it becomes more difficult to find experienced talent to make use of it. Some regional endeavors, such as the National Biomanufacturing Centre in the United Kingdom and the Massachusetts Biomanufacturing Center in the United States are pooling skills and resources to help companies…

TIDES

For 2009, TIDES renews its focus on science. The agenda was put together by leaders in oligonucleotide and peptide development and manufacturing. The result is a program with novel, in-depth scientific data in each presentation. The agenda once again includes comprehensive coverage of drug candidates in development; new strategies for formulation and delivery; and the latest in regulatory updates, quality initiatives, process and analytical development, and manufacturing. This allows you the opportunity to benchmark your progress against that of your…

Biologics New and Improving

By far the most successful applications of biotechnology have been in the medical field. The vaccine industry is undergoing a complete transformation thanks to biotechnology. And cutting-edge research is giving us whole new ideas about disease therapy using nucleic acids and regenerative medicine. Proteins and Other Therapeutics Cancer has been a primary target for many MAb “magic bullets” and a major research area for life scientists over the past quarter-century. Oncologists have identified ∼200 cancers that affect human beings, some…

Global Marketplace

Point-of-Use Filtration Product: SFE filter cartridges with -222 O-ring adapters Application: Small-batch processing of liquids and gases Features: New high-performance, small-flow–element filter cartridges with optional -222 O-ring adapters come in 2.5-in. (6.4-cm) or 5-in. (12.7-cm) lengths. They are designed for point-of-use filtration and small-batch processing of liquids and gases with flow requirements 10 log reduction of Acholoplasma laidlawii at 107 cfu per mL. Laser barcodes simplify data capture. The filters are available in sheet, cartridge, and capsule formats. Contact Pall…

The Human Network

      Biotechnology is not simply about science or technology, process engineering or cell lines, corporations or regulations. It’s ultimately about the people involved in all these things — and about the people they hope to serve with their biotech aspirations. It’s about scientists and technicians, businessmen and medical professionals, patients and consumers, farmers and governments, all their lives touched in one way or another by the biotechnology industry — some admittedly more than others. Policy decisions made by…

The Vaccine Renaissance

The global vaccine industry has undergone a dramatic and well publicized rebirth. Near the end of the 20th century, it faced an uncertain future with increased pricing pressures and liability challenges for marketed vaccines. Many long-standing members of the industry chose to scale back their R&D efforts or abandon them altogether. Today, however, the landscape has changed. Because of a confluence of positive factors (advancements in science and technology, greater appreciation for the role of vaccines as antibiotic resistance increased,…