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: https://ktn-uk.co.uk/events/chemistry-and-industrial-biotechnology-showcase-2017

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 www.bbsrc.ac.uk/documents/studentship-eligibility-pdf/ 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.

Business Development Manager – Suprex

Suprex Ltd (www.suprex.uk), which specialises in the development of processes using supercritical carbon dioxide, is seeking a Business Development Manager to build new relationships primarily in the natural products sector and to manage the Company’s grant applications. We are looking for a commercially focused scientist with a Masters or PhD in Chemistry or related subject with experience of business development in a science based field. Knowledge of supercritical carbon dioxide theory and uses would be advantageous but can be provided.
For further details contact Andy Beggin andy@suprex.uk.

Relevant Skills
·  A commercially focused scientist with a Masters or PhD in chemistry or related subject
·  Experience of business development preferably in a science based field
·  Experience of writing grant applications (e.g. Innovate UK, Horizon 2020) would be highly advantageous
·  Ability to communicate, written and verbal, with both researchers and commercial contacts will be critical
·  Must be able to work under own initiative and to demanding deadlines
·  Knowledge of supercritical carbon dioxide theory and uses would be advantageous but can be provided