Importance of the History of Medicine and Science

LABROOTS | April 22, 2019

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Why should we be concerned about past advances and discoveries in both medicine and science? Shouldn’t we be focused on moving forward rather than looking back? The truth is that if there isn’t an understanding of the past new hypotheses and theories cannot be formulated. A case in point is the discovery of the smallpox vaccine by Edward Jenner in 1796. His crude method involved taking infectious material from the blister of a person infected with cowpox and inoculating it by scratching it into the arm of the recipient, who Jenner later challenged with material from a smallpox blister to confirm immunity. Advances during the time since he performed his first vaccination have seen the discovery of viruses, development of the germ theory of disease, and the understanding of immunological processes. His discovery and promotion of the smallpox vaccine resulted in the eradication of smallpox by 1980. Without scientists learning from and building on Jenner’s methods, vaccination success rates would not be what they are today.

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GENFIT is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drug candidates in areas of high unmet medical needs corresponding to a lack of suitable treatment and an increasing number of patients worldwide.

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MEDICAL

Better Purification and Recovery in Bioprocessing

Article | August 2, 2021

In the downstream portion of any bioprocess, one must pick through the dross before one can seize the gold the biotherapeutic that the bioprocess was always meant to generate. Unfortunately, the dross is both voluminous and various. And the biotherapeutic gold, unlike real gold, is corruptible. That is, it can suffer structural damage and activity loss. When discarding the dross and collecting the gold, bioprocessors must be efficient and gentle. They must, to the extent possible, eliminate contaminants and organic debris while ensuring that biotherapeutics avoid aggregation-inducing stresses and retain their integrity during purification and recovery. Anything less compromises purity and reduces yield. To purify and recover biotherapeutics efficiently and gently, bioprocessors must avail themselves of the most appropriate tools and techniques. Here, we talk with several experts about which tools and techniques can help bioprocessors overcome persistent challenges. Some of these experts also touch on new approaches that can help bioprocessors address emerging challenges.

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DIAGNOSTICS

Making Predictions by Digitizing Bioprocessing

Article | April 20, 2021

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.

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GENFIT

GENFIT is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drug candidates in areas of high unmet medical needs corresponding to a lack of suitable treatment and an increasing number of patients worldwide.

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