New CRISPR Tool Depicted As A DNA Shredder With A Motor

RAUL VARNER | April 15, 2019

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An international group of researchers reported the advancement of a new CRISPR-based tool that functions similar to a shredder, capable of eliminating long DNA stretches with programmable targeting in human cells. They depict in a paper published in Molecular Cell how they succeeded in obtaining a diverse sort of CRISPR-Cas system known as type I CRISPR-Cas3 to function as long-range DNA editing mechanism in human cells.

Spotlight

Alkahest, Inc. Alkahest, Inc.

Alkahest is developing therapies derived from blood to treat neurological diseases, with an emphasis on age-related cognitive decline -- key medical challenges of our generation. The company’s breakthrough research has demonstrated that factors in blood plasma of young mice are able to reverse brain deficits in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease models in mice. Clinical studies are being conducted in patients with different types of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. Alkahest is a private company based in San Carlos, CA, with investors including Barcelona, Spain-based Grifols, a global healthcare company and leading producer of plasma therapies, also a collaboration and commercialization partner.

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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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Spotlight

Alkahest, Inc. Alkahest, Inc.

Alkahest is developing therapies derived from blood to treat neurological diseases, with an emphasis on age-related cognitive decline -- key medical challenges of our generation. The company’s breakthrough research has demonstrated that factors in blood plasma of young mice are able to reverse brain deficits in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease models in mice. Clinical studies are being conducted in patients with different types of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. Alkahest is a private company based in San Carlos, CA, with investors including Barcelona, Spain-based Grifols, a global healthcare company and leading producer of plasma therapies, also a collaboration and commercialization partner.

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