Dublin City University in Ireland and pharmaceutical major Wyeth have started a four-year research collaboration aimed at improving the production of biopharmaceuticals, reports Phil Taylor.
The research, which will receive €4 million in funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), will investigate the molecular characteristics of Wyeth's proprietary production cell lines and process technology, according to a report on the Biotechnology Ireland website.
The research will be carried out at the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB ) at DCU in collaboration with Wyeth scientists at the Wyeth BioPharma Campuses at Grange Castle, Clondalkin, Ireland and Andover in Massachusetts, US.
Prof Martin Clynes, director of the NICB, said at an unveiling ceremony for the new project that there is an urgent need to make biopharmaceutical development and production costs cheaper the benefits of new biotechnology products are to be brought to those who are in need of them.
Dr Brendan Hughes, development Director at Wyeth BioPharma in Ireland said 'the project will make use of the company's proprietary Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) chip platform to explore the cell biology and physiology of CHO cells under industrially relevant conditions. CHO cells are the most commonly used cell line in biologics production.
"This exciting collaboration with DCU will accelerate the pace of discovery in this program and enable us to acquire and integrate mRNA and protein expression profiling data to get a more complete picture of gene regulatory networks. The joint team is also positioned to move quickly from insights to practical advances in biopharmaceutical production'," commented Prof Clynes
The new Wyeth BioPharma Campus is now in commercial production and this $1.8 billion investment already employs over 1,000 direct staff and over 400 indirect staff in Clondalkin. Wyeth and DCU will each contribute significant scientific resources and expertise to the collaboration.