University of Manchester - Articles and news items
Industry news, News / 7 June 2012 / Publicis Life Brands Resolute
New efficacy and safety data from the Phase 3 PHOENIX 1 study, one of two pivotal registration trials, showed that maintenance treatment with STELARA® (ustekinumab) for up to five years of follow up resulted in consistent, significant clinical response in adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.1 The data were presented today at the 9th Annual European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Spring Symposium in Verona, Italy.
Issue 5 2011 / 19 October 2011 / Ross Chawner and Claire E. Eyers, Michael Barber Centre for Mass Spectrometry, University of Manchester
Identification of protein biomarkers and the evaluation of changes in protein expression following drug treatment rely on both the generation of peptides from cellular proteins, and the acquisition and interpretation of spectra generated by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Acquisition of MS/MS spectra in a datadependent manner means that a significant number of the protein fragments (peptides) generated are never actually subjected to MS/MS1. Moreover, only a small proportion of acquired MS/MS spectra are ever interpreted, despite the large number of tools for the automated analysis of such data. Furthermore, many fragment ions are simply ignored during data analysis, in large part because automated search engines do not ‘look’ for all potential fragmentation products, and also because we simply still do not sufficiently understand the mechanisms of gas-phase peptide fragmentation to fully interpret the spectra (most likely a combination of the two). The end result is that even though proteome coverage is increasing in large-scale analyses, we are still a long way from the ideal of ‘complete’ proteome analysis. (more…)
Issue 2 2011 / 19 April 2011 / Jim Kinnier Wilson, Partner, Manches
Imagine that you are part of a small biotech company, BiotechCo, whose business is the development of delivery systems for pharmaceutical products. One of your team, who is in charge of developing sales with a large pharmaceutical company, Pharma Co, came to you three months ago with the possibility of a very interesting contract within that company. You went to a meeting where various things were discussed on a confidential basis. As a result of that, you now have a clearer idea of where the pharmaceutical company is aiming to take an important drug, which is approaching the end of its patent life. If BiotechCo can come up with a new improved delivery system, then you will assist Pharma Co in creating a significant market lead for their drug, and by so doing probably increase the chances of selling your portfolio of technologies to Pharma Co. You have set your best research brains on to the problem, and they have come up with a very clever device which uses technology that has been known outside the pharmaceutical sector for a non-medical purpose. Their developments have been reported to Pharma Co on a confidential basis and Pharma Co has been given a prototype. Pharma Co has done some tests on the device. (more…)
Issue 4 2010 / 19 August 2010 / Brian Lockwood, Director of PIAT, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester
Toxicology is the study of the harmful interactions between chemicals and biological systems. Man, as well as other animals and plants, is increasingly exposed to a huge variety of chemicals. These range from metals to large complex organic molecules, all of which are potentially toxic. A toxicologist must understand pathology, biochemistry, chemistry and physiology as these disciplines all contribute to the impact of a given chemical’s toxicity. Indeed the multidisciplinary nature of toxicology makes the area of toxicology a challenging yet rewarding area for research and learning. To gain a true understanding of how a chemical can disrupt a biological system and cause toxic consequences is no easy matter. (more…)
Issue 3 2010, Past issues / 24 June 2010 / Ehsan G. Karimiani, Stephan Mohr & Philip J. R. Day,
University of Manchester
Cancer molecular pathology broadly relies on the comparison between diseased and normal tissues, with statistically validated differences revealing cancerassociated pathways. This approach, although comparatively one-dimensional, has been remarkably successful, enabling identification of many types of malignant biomarkers and providing the means to develop pharmaceutical agents directed against pertinent biological targets. Most typically during the progression of malignancies, pathologists employ morphological screening of cancerous tissues. However, this form of monitoring has significant limitations, particularly in the early stages of pre-treatment or during the clinical remission. (more…)
Issue 3 2009, Past issues / 29 May 2009 /
The pharmaceutical industry continues to experience a high attrition rate during the latter stages of small molecule therapeutic development, most disappointingly during the late, and highly expensive stages of Phase II and Phase III trial1. If left unchecked, it is likely that this late-stage failure in drug development will only increase the already staggering cost of getting pharmaceuticals to market. The failure of drugs at this stage in development occurs primarily because of problems with toxicity and/or failure to produce a significant effect in whole animal models (lack of efficacy)1. The increasingly popular approach of systems biology is perceived by many as a potential solution for overcoming these problems, enabling the design of effective, safe therapeutics on a realistic R&D budget. (more…)
Issue 1 2009, Past issues / 7 February 2009 /
Biotechnological expertise is becoming increasingly important within the pharmaceutical industry, and will play a pivotal role in the monitoring of fermentations, particularly their optimisation within the framework of Process Analytical Technologies (PAT). The ability to harness biological processes for the development of drug therapies, so called ‘biopharmaceuticals’ provides treatments that range from small molecule antibiotics to large recombinant proteins. Typically, synthesis of these drug products is enabled through the exploitation of bacterial, yeast, mammalian or plant cells. One of the earliest examples of protein biopharmaceuticals was the use of recombinant DNA technology to modify ‘Escherichia coli’ for the production of Human Insulin, which was followed by the development of Human Growth Hormone and Human Blood Clotting Factor1.
More recently, liberalisation of the legislation controlling the development of stem cell technologies, allows for further opportunities in the development of biopharmaceuticals. In support of all these efforts, there is a pressing need to develop rapid and accurate methods for bioprocess monitoring, both for product yield optimisation and quality assurance purposes. Often these methods utilise analytical techniques, such as vibrational spectroscopy to obtain broad chemical profiles of the reaction or biotransformation in real-time, ultimately on-line. These data are ‘holistic’ in nature (since many functional groups are measured) and can be interpreted using multivariate pattern recognition methods in a variety of ways, and a common theme is the calibration of spectral data to product concentration, usually employing the partial least squares regression algorithm2,3. Although these methodologies are well developed within the traditional chemical and pharmaceutical industries, the additional challenges of dealing with living processes have generated a great deal of interest in the evolution of PAT for biopharmaceuticals. (more…)
Issue 4 2005, Past issues / 11 November 2005 / Royston Goodacre and Roger M. Jarvis, School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester
Raman spectroscopy is a highly versatile tool that provides chemical fingerprints from biological material that can be interpreted using chemometrics and machine learning. In combination this powerful approach is being developed for the quantitative determination of multiple determinands in bioprocesses and for the characterisation of microorganisms.