Category: News – Page 2

BioProNET BIV and PoC funding awarded

Congratulations to the awardees of funding in our most recent call for business interaction vouchers and proof of concept funding:

Proof of concept funding:
Improved preservation of biologics by continuous intensified lyophilisation
Gary Montague, Teeside University; Lonza, Glythera, Accelyo
This project proposes to perform experimental trials of model biologics using laboratory-scale continuous intensified lyophilisation, a technology that uses intensified controlled rate freezing followed by continuous sublimation, to investigate whether this improves activity.

Investigating the effects of hydrodynamic force on the structure and biological integrity of a viral vector gene therapy product
David Brockwell, University of Leeds; Cobra Biologics
Here we aim to find whether a device we developed — that can identify ‘bioprocessible’ protein therapeutics and to optimize buffer conditions — can also inform gene therapy viral vector development or as an analytical tool to differentiate between vectors with empty or full payloads.

Top-down mass spectrometry methods for full characterisation of biopharmaceuticals
Perdita Barran, University of Manchester; Covance

Our aim is to characterize the primary sequence, to locate and analyse PTMs and to assess the three-dimensional structure and extent of aggregation of biopharmaceuticals as quickly as possible using direct mass analysis of native proteins directly from crude cell lysates, without any prior purification.

Business interaction vouchers:
Comparing the productivity of three cell-free extracts based on industrial cell lines
Karen Polizzi, Imperial College London; Lonza
It is unclear how much variability there is between cell-free systems produced from different cell lines. This project aims to compare cell-free systems made from three industrial cell lines to understand how much their protein production capabilities vary.

Scale up of vaccine production in a microalgal host for animal trials
Saul Purton, University College London; MicrosynbiotiX
We will examine the pilot scale production, harvesting and recovery of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii biomass that has been engineered to express a vaccine against a major fish pathogen, with the goal of producing sufficient dried algal material for formulation into fish-feed and use in challenge trials.

Click here for a list of all the proof of concept funding and busines interaction vouchers that we’ve awarded.

A look back at 2016


Third annual meeting science meeting
Our 3rd annual science meeting, held at the East Midlands Conference Centre, was attended by over 160 BioProNET members. As well as speakers from the UK, there was a strong international theme to the event; over half the speakers were international, and our two keynote speakers — Bill Barton and Pete Tessier— were from the USA. More details here.

Outreach events
BioProNET, together with the University of Kent, took part in the Big Bang Near Me and Chemistry at Work events, both of which aimed to inspire students to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). At the events, students learned the difficulties in making antibody-based medicines by trying to make replica biologics out of modelling balloons. More details here.

Internationalisation meeting
The BioProNET internationalisation meeting had around 30 invited attendees from across Europe, and aimed to strengthen links within the international bioprocessing community.

Joint NIBB meeting – overcoming cellular barriers


Over 75 BioProNET, BioCatNet and CBMNet members attended this joint NIBB (networks in industrial biotechnology and bioenergy) event, held on July 6th & 7th 2016 in Birmingham. After an introduction outlining the objectives of the event, attendees completed a ‘me profile’ describing who they were, their expertise, their dream project and what the next big development in their field of research could be. This was followed by a series of talks from academics and industry scientists in 3 sessions:

Protein trafficking in eukaryotic cells
Protein export from bacterial cell factories
Delivering therapeutic proteins and other compounds
Attendees then spent the rest of the day formulating potential project ideas and developing these new collaborations. This was then followed by a conference dinner where further networking took place, together with some football watching! The second day focused on ‘technology drivers’; after two talks attendees then moved into to groups to further develop project ideas. At the end of day two, 9 project ideas were generated and champions assigned to take these projects forward.


3rd Annual Scientific Symposium

October 19–20th 2016, East Midlands Conference Centre

Thank you to everyone who attended our 3rd annual science meeting and contributed to its success. A pdf of the conference booklet is available here.


Congratulations to our prize-winners:
Poster prize first place: Tim Eyes (University of Manchester)
Poster prize second place: Ilokugbe Ettah (Lancaster University)
Poster prize third place: Ben Dolman (University of Manchester)
Early career talk prize: Sarah Hedberg (Imperial College London), pictured


Day 1
Keynote speaker William Barton (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA) Over-expression of secreted proteins from mammalian cell lines

Protein Glycosylation Workshop

Challenges and Opportunities for Optimising Protein Glycosylation
Tuesday February 9th 2016, Imperial College London

Increasing efforts are underway to produce recombinant proteins that have a homogeneous glycan profile, which will lead to products with improved in vivo characteristics (such as half‐life and efficacy) and hence offer substantial cost benefits. Studies involve the genetic engineering of cell lines, process modifications (for example, the addition of relevant precursors) and in vitro modification of recombinant proteins. These efforts will also facilitate the use of quality by design framework for the development of biologics.

This event, jointly supported by IBCarb and BioProNET (two BBRSC networks in Biotechnology and Bioenergy), aims to bring together researchers involved in recombinant protein production with scientists involved in product characterisation.

The workshop will feature keynote speakers as well as round table discussions to identify the grand challenges that arise from the production, regulation and technical aspects of recombinant protein glycosylation.  Attendees should also have the opportunity to form working groups for funding applications.

Confirmed speakers include David James (University of Sheffield) and Mitul Patel (GlaxoSmithKline).

Travel bursaries:
A number of travel bursaries are available for early-stage career researchers (PhD students and post-docs) to attend this event. For more information about travel bursaries from IBCarb please see or contact Claire Doherty. For travel bursaries from BioProNET please contact Charlotte Harrison.

For more information and to register for the event please use this link. Please register no later than Monday February 1st.