Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technology simplifies production of biotech medicines

Date:
May 14, 2014
Source:
VIB
Summary:
The final step in the production of a biotech medicine is finishing with the correct sugar structure. This step is essential for the efficacy of the medicine, but it also makes the production process very complex and expensive. Researchers have developed a technology that shortens the sugar structures whilst retaining the therapeutic efficiency. This technology has the potential to make the production of biotech medicines significantly simpler and cheaper.

Nico Callewaert, who says: "This technology has allowed us to solve an old biotech problem. Since the 1990s, nearly everyone has been working to make the sugar synthesis in biotech production cells as similar to human cells as possible."
Credit: © Bart Van Leuven

The final step in the production of a biotech medicine is finishing with the correct sugar structure. This step is essential for the efficacy of the medicine, but it also makes the production process very complex and expensive. Leander Meuris, Francis Santens and Nico Callewaert (VIB/UGent) have developed a technology that shortens the sugar structures whilst retaining the therapeutic efficiency. This technology has the potential to make the production of biotech medicines significantly simpler and cheaper.

Sugar structures are essential for the mechanism of biotech medicines

Nearly all biotech medicines are proteins. Most of these medicines contain a mixture of complicated sugar structures that are attached to the protein. These sugars are important for the mechanism of the medicine on the one hand, but on the other hand their complicated structure also causes problems during production. This makes the process expensive and often results in a mixture of the same protein with different sugars attached. In some cases, only a few of the many sugar forms are ideal for the treatment and others are not, meaning that a part of the production and treatment efficiency is lost.

Optimizing production cells

The proteins that are used as biotech medicines are produced by living cells. Leander Meuris and Nico Callewaert have altered these production cells so that they truncate the sugar structures to a smaller shape. In order to achieve this they added an enzyme obtained from a fungus, which truncates complex sugars, to the production cells. The stump that remains after truncation is then expanded by the cells to form two similar structures that are very suitable for therapeutic applications. Surprisingly, these production cells do not mind: they grow perfectly and continue to produce the therapeutic proteins.

A satisfying discovery

Nico Callewaert (VIB/UGent): "This technology has allowed us to solve an old biotech problem. Since the 1990s, nearly everyone has been working to make the sugar synthesis in biotech production cells as similar to human cells as possible. This is a very difficult task, because there are so many steps in this synthesis pathway. We have been able to create a 'detour' in this synthesis pathway in a fairly simple manner, making the pathway much shorter and simpler."

Leander Meuris (VIB/UGent): "You can compare it to a pollard willow. The branches of willows are pruned to keep the tree more functional, just like our technology in which we removed the complex branches to make biotech medicines more manageable and in some cases more efficient."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leander Meuris, Francis Santens, Greg Elson, Nele Festjens, Morgane Boone, Anaλlle Dos Santos, Simon Devos, Franηois Rousseau, Evelyn Plets, Erica Houthuys, Pauline Malinge, Giovanni Magistrelli, Laura Cons, Laurence Chatel, Bart Devreese, Nico Callewaert. GlycoDelete engineering of mammalian cells simplifies N-glycosylation of recombinant proteins. Nature Biotechnology, 2014; 32 (5): 485 DOI: 10.1038/nbt.2885

Cite This Page:

VIB. "New technology simplifies production of biotech medicines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514084507.htm>.
VIB. (2014, May 14). New technology simplifies production of biotech medicines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514084507.htm
VIB. "New technology simplifies production of biotech medicines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514084507.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins