Author Archives: Cheryl Scott

Modern Laboratory Design: Creating a Space for Effective Collaboration

When asked to envision a modern biotechnology laboratory, lay persons might describe what they’ve seen on an episode of CSI: Miami. Gleaming glass and striking colored lights might look good on television, but they are not what biological researchers need to do their work most effectively. Most of the real biological laboratories I’ve visited, in fact, have been stark, white, fluorescent-lit environments that more resemble something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But those are becoming passé. The newest concepts…

The 2014 BPI Awards: Recognizing Excellence in Bioprocessing

The mission of the BioProcess International publication has always been to deliver valuable industry information to the biotechnology community to continue on the path of scientific advancements, revolutionary technological applications, and strategic partnerships and collaborations. We are honored to cover this market and work with the many talented people sharing their expertise and projects. Now is the time for us to recognize and honor the outstanding people, organizations, and technologies that have significantly influenced and advanced the efficiency of biotherapeutic…

Unwanted Immunogenicity: From Risk Assessment to Risk Management

Although vaccines and immunotherapies are designed to engage the human immune system in fighting disease, unwanted immunogenicity can be a major problem for protein-based therapeutics. Some patients produce antidrug antibodies (ADAs), which might lead to drug inactivation or adverse effects. Even human and humanized proteins have proven to be surprisingly immunogenic in some cases, suggesting that immune tolerance requires careful consideration in biologic product design. In rushing to deliver new drugs to market, some biotherapeutics developers have overlooked factors that…

BPI Theater at the 2014 BIO Convention

When we launched the BioProcess Theater series at the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s International Convention in 2007, we hoped that our special programming would fill a need within that event’s exhibit hall. We wanted to bring into the hall the type of technical presentations that are not generally part of the main event’s more executive-level, business-focused programming.It has therefore been especially gratifying to see our attendance growing every year — such that standing-room-only is becoming more the rule than the exception.…

Single-Use and Sustainability

What is sustainability? For some people, the special meaning of the word in an environmental context is how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Thus, sustainability is not just about saving resources or preventing pollution within a narrow context; it's more a long-term holistic approach to ecologically relevant activities. For other people, the term includes all environmental concerns, including those of immediate and/or nonbiological nature. Examples of such issues might involve a town's solid-waste disposal system or a…

The Heat of the Moment

Calorimetry (from the Latin calor for heat and the Greek metry for measuring) measures thermodynamics in chemistry. If energy enters or leaves a system, its temperature changes, and most chemical reactions involve changes in energy. Exothermic processes generate heat; endothermic processes consume it. So calorimeters measure the heat of chemical reactions or physical changes to a system. Since calorimetry's advent in the late 18th century, a number of different techniques have been developed. Early techniques were based on simple measurement…

North, South, East, and West

Electrophoresis is the basis of all blotting methods, and BPI Lab covered it last month (1). Electroblotting is a method for transferring electrophoretically separated proteins or nucleic acids onto a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or nitrocellulose membrane for permanence using electric current and a transfer buffer solution. This allows for analysts to further study them using probes, ligands, or stains. Capillary blotting is a variation designed to work with capillary electrophoresis. After electrophoresis the following are stacked in cathode-to-anode order: a…

Enabling Technologies

Many technological advancements in recent years have enabled companies to shorten time to market, to better understand their manufacturing processes, and to characterize their products well. In BPI’s December 2013 issue (pages 47–50), I reported on the first half of an informal reader survey about those technologies, with commentary from some survey participants and others. This month concludes with my examination of analytical, formulation/fill–finish, and facilities technologies. Analytical Technologies After writing several installments of our new “BPI Lab” series this…

Analysis By Size and Charge

An early BPI Lab article addressed the power of liquid chromatographic separations for biopharmaceutical laboratory use (1). Such techniques separate biomolecules based on a number of different properties: size, solubility, hydrophobicity/-philicity, binding affinity. The next most powerful means of separation — and thus high-resolution identification — of nucleic acids and proteins/peptides is based primarily on electrostatic properties: electrophoresis. Although it doesn’t really work in a process or preparative setting, it is a fundamental technique in modern biopharmaceutical laboratories, where it…

Enabling Technologies

    We hear a great deal lately about the maturation of the biopharmaceutical industry — and much advancement over the past decade or so has been in business models, financing, and product pipelines. Meanwhile, regulators around the world have become more well versed in the subject matter and have adjusted their approaches to and expectations from the industry. However, the practical side of developing, characterizing, and manufacturing biotherapeutic products cannot be overlooked — nor its importance overstated. Many technological…