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Latest developments in biomanufacturing tech

21-Mar-2012
Last updated on 21-Mar-2012 at 13:50 GMT

March has already been a busy month for the biomanufacturing technology sector and here is in-Pharmatechnologist.com’s round-up of some of the developments so far.

First up is Merck Millipore which has expanded its Mobius CellReady bioreactor range with a 50L single-use stirred tank bioreactor designed to cater for pilot-scale mammalian cell culture process development projects.

Paul Chapman, VP Biopharm Process Solutions at the firm, said: “With this introduction, biopharmaceutical manufacturers now have a wider range of scalable single-use bioreactors offered by Merck Millipore, from three to two hundred liters.

In terms of specifications the new reactor features Merck Millipore’s SensorReady process monitoring technology and what the firm claims is a process container with a 'unique' rigid base and top panel design that “enables simple, reliable and robust installation.”

Elsewhere Merck Millipore – or EMD Millipore as the firm is known in the US – has also expanded its reagents offering with the launch of CellPrime – a recombinant human lysozyme designed to improve protein recovery in E.coli-based biomanufacturing systems.

The firm claims its product delivers a five-fold increase in recovery efficiency compared with animal-derived lysozymes, which cell culture product manager Janmeet Anant said will help reduce costs and improve quality.

Use of animal-derived lysozyme for extracting protein therapeutics has significant drawbacks, including high lot-to-lot variation,” he said, adding that – in contrast - recombinant human lysozyme is a more active in terms of cell lysis reagent and more consistent by virtue of being recombinant.

GE expands China training centre

Moving on to Shanghai, China where GE Healthcare has expanded the number of courses available at its ‘Fast Trak’ biomanufacturing training centre by adding a variety of new manufacturing platforms including cellular imaging technologies and tools for protein interaction studies.

The facility will also provide local manufacturers with bioprocess development services to help customers optimise manufacturing process.

Kieran Murphy, CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences, told attendees at the opening ceremony that: “The Chinese government has identified the development of the biopharmaceutical industry as one of the pillar industries in the country’s 12th 5 year plan of state, and our new investments here in Shanghai are aligned with that.“ 

GE offers similar training programmes at centres around the world, the most recently established of is in Singapore in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

In other GE biotechnology news the firm has  launched a new affinity resin for antibody fragment purification that it developed in partnership with Netherlands- based antibody specialist BAC BV.

The resin – LambdaFabSelect - is a designed tool for the GMP-regulated purification of antibodies and fragments that contain a lambda light chain, which are the focus of much drug industry attention at the moment as they are generally better at penetrating cells than ‘complete’ antibodies. 

The launch follows the pattern GE set when it brought KappaSelect  - an affinity resin developed in an earlier collaboration with BAC – to the market as a means of purifying  antibody fragments containing the kappa light chain.

GEA to buy aseptic valve specialist

And finally still in Europe, GEA Group which has bought Switzerland-based aseptic and hygienic value supplier Aseptomag.

The deal – worth CHF19.5m (€16.1m) – will see Aseptomag portfolio of valve techynologies and 35-strong workforce join GEA’s mechanical equipment segment.

GEA said the acquisition will expand its expertise in the fast-growing area of sterile and aseptic applications and increase its components offering in the food and pharmaceutical markets.

Board member Niels Graugaard said: “Aseptomag is a strong addition to our existing product portfolio. Our worldwide sales network offers new market opportunities for Aseptomag products."

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