BioProNET 4th annual science meeting

BioProNET’s flagship annual science meeting will be held at the Slate Conference Centre, Warwick on October 10th-11th 2017. Registration is now open, please use the following link:

Registration with accomodation will close at midday on Monday 11th September, or when all spaces have been taken.

Day 1 – 10th October
09:30      Registration

Designing more efficient cell-expression systems (chaired by Kelvin Lee)
10:15  Helene Faustrup Kildegaard – Technical University of Denmark: Improving CHO cell factories with CRISPR-mediated genome engineering
10:45  Short talk: Eva Pekle – University of Kent: Single cell characterisation of CHO cells
10:55  Imre Berger – University of Bristol: Baculovirus expression: old dog, new tricks
11:20  David Humphreys UCB: Protein expression demands and demanding protein expressions: protein sciences the biopharma way
11.45  Short talk: Stefanie Frank – University College London: Engineering spatial segregation within bacterial hosts for bio-therapeutic protein production
11:55  Karen CoopmanLoughborough University: Taking a holistic approach to mesenchymal stem cell culture process design
12:20  Short talk: Robyn Emmins – GlaxoSmithKline: Embedding the Berkeley Lights Beacon: a bright future for cell line development
12:30  Lunch

Building expression systems into optimised process (chaired by Helene Faustrup Kildegaard)
13:30  Paula AlvesiBET, Portugal: Insect cell platforms for production of VLPs and difficult to express proteins
14:00  Short talk: Eleanor Hanson, University of Sheffield: Changes in CHO cell epigenetics throughout cell culture
14:10  Natalio Krasnogor Newcastle University
14:35  Kathryn Lilley – University of Cambridge: Quantitative mass spectrometry to determine the three dimensional relationship of the proteome
15:00  Short talk: Tania Selas Castiñeiras – Cobra Biologics: Periplasmic recombinant protein production: which signal peptide to use?
15.10  Refreshment break, networking, posters

The clinic and beyond (chaired by Paula Alves)
15:45  Leda Castilho – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Production of flavivirus VLPs: zika, yellow fever and beyond
16:15  Jim Faulkner – Autolus: Process development for autologous cell products

16:45  Proof of concept funding awardees (chaired by Mark Smales)
Martin Michaelis – University of Kent: Expanding production time of mammalian cell cultures for biotechnological applications
Cleo Kontoravdi – Imperial College London: Bioreactor design space identification with product quality constraints
Gyorgy Szekely – University of Manchester: Molecular imprinting for sustainable downstream processing of biopharmaceuticals

17:15  Group check-in
18:00  Poster session and drinks reception
19:30  Conference dinner

Day 2 –11th October

Molecular characterization of process quality (chaired by Gary Lye)
09:00  Chris Roberts – University of Delaware, USA: Mechanistic approaches to stabilization of pharmaceutical proteins
09:30  Short talk: Paula Meleady – Dublin City University: Quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis of CHO cells in response to reduced culture temperature
09:40  Ray OwensUniversity of Oxford: High throughput cloning and expression of recombinant proteins for structural biology
10:05  Perdita Barran – University of Manchester: Hybrid mass spectrometry approaches to analyse biologics and distinguish biosimilars  
10:30  Chris Sellick – MedImmune: Application of custom analytics to support bioprocess development for novel biopharmaceuticals
10:55  Short talk: Stephen Perkins – University College London: CCP-SAS – its utility for the atomistic modelling of pharmaceutically-important antibody solution structures
11:05  Refreshment break, networking, posters

Upstream meets downstream: rapid process development (chaired by Chris Roberts)
11:45  Kelvin Lee – University of Delaware, USA: A host cell protein that may impact polysorbate degradation
12:15  Short talk: Mire Zloh – University of Hertfordshire: Effects of excipients on biomolecule structures during dehydration processes at low temperatures
12:25  Gary Lye – University College London: Scale-down approaches to mammalian cell culture process development and primary recovery
12:50  Short talk: Rochelle Aw – Imperial College London: Increasing ribosome content in Pichia pastoris for improved cell free protein synthesis
13.00  Simone Dimartino – University of Edinburgh: 3D printed porous media for packed bioreactors and downstream processing
13:25  Peter Levison Pall: Technology advances in continuous bioprocessing from process development into clinical manufacture
13:50  Poster prizes, lunch, meeting close


Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology Showcase 2017

Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st September 2017, York

This two-day conference and exhibition hosted by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is a major event to bring together industry, researchers, investors and government agencies to showcase how the UK chemistry and industrial biotechnology sectors are helping to enable growth in key UK supply chains through innovation.

Programme themes will highlight the many applications of chemistry and industrial biotechnology, ranging from healthcare to agri-food, from low carbon fuels to synthetic biology, and much more.

It includes an opportunity to attend a BioVale sponsored Networking Breakfast on Value from Unavoidable Food Waste and to take a tour of the Biorenewables Development Centre.

Registration is now open, and Exhibitor and Sponsorship packages are available for the two days.

More information:

Funding secured after BioProNET projects

To date, BioProNET-funded projects have leveraged over £830,000 of funding from industry to support collaborative bioprocessing projects.

Below are details of funding that has been secured following on from, or as a result of a BioProNET-funded project.

Innovate UK funding of £70K for the project ‘Development of a novel membrane photobioreactor for cultivation of Haematococcus pluvialis as a biofilm’ to Varicon Aqua Solutions (following from BIV_Aug15_Allen)

Funding of £681K from the BBSRC and the US NSF for the project ‘synthetic gene circuits to measure and mitigate translational stress during heterologous protein expression’ to Ian Stanfield (following on from the BioProNET sandpit meeting).

Funding of £1.5M from the EPSRC awarded to Paul Dalby et al. for the project ‘Enabling rapid liquid and freeze-dried formulation design for the manufacture and delivery of novel biopharmaceuticals’ (from PoC_Dec14_Warwicker).

PhD: Developing novel biosensors for monitoring antibody production in CHO cells

The biopharmaceutical market is valued at over 100 billion dollars per year with the majority of therapeutic antibodies being manufactured in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. However, the process of generating monoclonal antibody (mAb) producing cell lines suitable for commercial manufacture remains challenging, time consuming and costly.

The cellular pathways underpinning antibody production in CHO cells have been extensively studied over the past 10 years; however, it is still unclear which pathways are most important for this process (protein folding, protein transport and cell stress). The aim of this PhD is to facilitate a deeper understanding of CHO mAb production cell lines by investigating the intracellular phenotypes of CHO cell lines which are producing and secreting monoclonal antibodies. Using the knowledge gained we aim to define a phenotypic fingerprint which correlates with favourable manufacturing and product quality characteristics. Once these fingerprints have been defined, a series of novel fluorescent tools for monitoring them will be developed and applied to our cell line development platform to allow screening for optimal mAb producing cell lines in the earliest stages of cell line development.

This project will provide training in advanced mammalian cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and access to state of the art, high-throughput, automated systems for cell culture (Berkeley Lights Beacon) and phenotypic analysis (Intellicyt iQue)   in place at the GSK laboratories.

The studentship is available starting in October 2017. This project is collaboration between Dr Andrew Peden at the University of Sheffield and Dr Robyn Emmins, GSK Biopharmaceutical Process Research, Stevenage. Candidates should have a strong academic degree in the biological sciences. The successful candidate will be highly motivated, work effectively in a team setting and be interested in cell biology, protein trafficking and technology development.

For an informal discussion regarding the post, please contact:
Dr Andrew Peden
Dr Robyn Emmins

This is a BBSRC-funded Industrial CASE PhD studentship and is full time for four years. The stipend will be £17,553.00 per annum. Applicant eligibility criteria for the studentship can be found at and you must identify that you fit these criteria prior to application.

New BioProNET funding awarded

Congratulations to the awardees of funding in our most recent call:

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.