Bioscience at a Crossroads

|

article image
Industrial biotechnology has come of age in the last five years. Advances in science and technology, combined with concerns over climate change, energy security, and an interest in more efficient, cost-effective and green manufacturing processes and products, have led to rapid growth in this sector. With increased and significant government support, particularly for biofuels, industrial biotech is “now mature enough to be scaled up from a laboratory of curiosities to full commercialization.”

Spotlight

Exputec GmbH

Exputec is the leading software- and consulting company committed to enable fast process development and safe scale-up of bioprocesses in the pharmaceutical and industrial biotech industry. Exputec consulting services progress biotechnological production processes safely from laboratory to commercial production. Exputec inCyght® software products enable biotechnologists to optimize bioprocesses and leverage the extracted knowledge for bioprocess development and manufacturing excellence.

OTHER ARTICLES

Biotech: Finding The DNA For Success

Article | April 3, 2020

The integration of artificial intelligence within life sciences is making drug discovery and development more innovative, less labor intensive and more cost-effective, says Deloitte’s annual global outlook. According to Deloitte’s 2020 Global Life Sciences Outlook, the biotech sector is at an inflection point. To prepare for the future and remain relevant in the ever-evolving business landscape, biopharma and medtech organizations will be looking for new ways to create value and new metrics to make sense of today’s wealth of data, the report overview says. As data-driven technologies provide biopharma and medtech organizations with treasure troves of information, and automation takes over some mundane tasks, new talent models are emerging based on purpose and meaning. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning approaches within life sciences is making drug discovery and development more innovative, time-effective and cost-effective, the Deloitte report states.

Read More

Pfizer, BioNTech Plan Clinical Trial for COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Candidate

Article | April 3, 2020

Pfizer and BioNTech plan to begin human clinical trials on their lead COVID-19 therapeutic candidate, an mRNA vaccine, by the end of this month, the companies said today, through a collaboration that could generate up to $748 million for the German biotech. The companies announced plans last month to partner on BNT162, the first treatment to emerge from BioNTech’s accelerated COVID-19-focused development program, “Project Lightspeed.” BioNTech and Pfizer established collaboration intended to draw upon BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA vaccine platforms, and Pfizer’s expertise in vaccine research and development, regulatory capabilities, and global manufacturing and distribution network.

Read More
DIAGNOSTICS

Making Predictions by Digitizing Bioprocessing

Article | April 3, 2020

With advances in data analytics and machine learning, the move from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to predictive and prescriptive analytics and controls—allowing us to better forecast and understand what will happen and thus optimize process outcomes—is not only feasible but inevitable, according to Bonnie Shum, principal engineer, pharma technical innovation, technology & manufacturing sciences and technology at Genentech. “Well-trained artificial intelligence systems can help drive better decision making and how data is analyzed from drug discovery to process development and to manufacturing processes,” she says. Those advances, though, only really matter when they improve the lives of patients. That’s exactly what Shum expects. “The convergence of digital transformation and operational/processing changes will be critical for the facilities of the future and meeting the needs of our patients,” she continues. “Digital solutions may one day provide fully automated bioprocessing, eliminating manual intervention and enabling us to anticipate potential process deviations to prevent process failures, leading to real-time release and thus faster access for patients.” To turn Bioprocessing 4.0 into a production line for precision healthcare, real-time release and quickly manufacturing personalized medicines will be critical. Adding digitization and advanced analytics wherever possible will drive those improvements. In fact, many of these improvements, especially moving from descriptive to predictive bioprocessing, depend on more digitization.

Read More

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | April 3, 2020

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

Read More

Spotlight

Exputec GmbH

Exputec is the leading software- and consulting company committed to enable fast process development and safe scale-up of bioprocesses in the pharmaceutical and industrial biotech industry. Exputec consulting services progress biotechnological production processes safely from laboratory to commercial production. Exputec inCyght® software products enable biotechnologists to optimize bioprocesses and leverage the extracted knowledge for bioprocess development and manufacturing excellence.

Events