vor 4 Jahren

Glycobiotechnology in Berlin-Brandenburg

  • Text
  • Pharma
  • Biotech
  • Berlin
  • Institute
  • Glycobiotechnology
  • Sciences
  • Technologies
  • Carbohydrates
  • Brandenburg
  • Diagnostics

10 Key Areas of Research

10 Key Areas of Research and Development – Advancements in Healthcare Will Be Sweet Glycan Microarrays for Improved Diagnostics – Tracking the Affinity to Distinctive Carbohydrates Carbohydrate microarrays have become an indispensable tool for functional studies of glycans. They offer versatile screening platforms to analyze interactions of oligosaccharides with proteins that control cell growth, cell differentiation, cell-cell-interactions, bacterial attachment to target cells and signaling events involving the extracellular matrix. However, access to sufficient amounts of carbohydrates is an essential prerequisite to produce glycan arrays. The isolation of carbohydrates from natural sources is challenging if possible at all, and it results only in limited amounts of glycans. On the other hand, classical solution phase synthesis of oligosaccharides is often a time-consuming task. Peter Seeberger, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) and Freie Universität Berlin, did groundbreaking work to overcome these limitations. He and his team successfully developed a technology that allows automated solid-supported oligosaccharide synthesis. In 2013, the spin-off GlycoUniverse GmbH & Co KGaA was founded to market the Glyconeer ® , the first commercial, fully automated oligosaccharide synthesizer. Scienion AG is another major player in the field of carbohydrate microarrays. The company is well positioned in the ultra-low volume liquid handling systems and microarray technology markets. Scienion has a longstanding collaboration with the Seeberger group at the MPICI and with the group of Véronique Blanchard, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry. The three partners successfully pursued the joint project “GLYCARDIAG” (GLY- Can ARray DIAGnostics) which aimed at the development of a glycan-based microarray platform for In-Vitro Diagnostics. The detection of Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) served as a first application example. This reduction of platelets below normal range can occur as a side effect after administration of the anticoagulant heparin. HIT can lead to deep vein thrombosis and life-threatening conditions such as stroke, myocardial infection or pulmonary embolism. In this project glycans have been used as capture molecules for a completely new sugar-based molecular diagnostic for the first time. The project also included a final bioinformatic analysis of microarray data by MicroDiscovery GmbH, a leading provider of high quality software for biomolecular research. More recently, Scienion and MicroDiscovery carried out a feasibility study to analyze technical requirements for establishing a glycan-based diagnostic platform. The specific focus was on quality-assured production of the arrays and its automatic quantitative analysis. The encouraging results clearly demonstrate the potential of glycan-based rapid tests for diagnostics. A further development of this platform opens up new perspectives for personalized medicine. Future fields of application range from specific pathogen detection up to complex multi-parameter assays, e.g. for differentiation between acute or latent infections or for detection of different types of antibody classes. “Carbohydrate microarrays have become important tools for functional glycomics studies and SCIENION provides an ideal technology for handling the precious carbohydrate samples. High throughput analysis of carbohydrate interactions in a microarray format allows us to study a wide range of carbohydrate binding partners, including proteins, RNA, whole cells and viruses. Glycan-based arrays point the way towards a completely new kind of in-vitro diagnostics. Together with our regional partners we are strongly committed to accelerating this exciting development and transferring our joint research efforts into innovative IVD products.” Holger Eickhoff CEO SCIENION AG

Key Areas of Research and Development – Advancements in Healthcare Will Be Sweet 11 Rational Glycoengineering – Sugars Can Improve Drug Efficacy The launch of the first recombinantly produced insulin in 1982 marked the start of a new era of biopharmaceuticals. Today, therapeutic antibodies account for the majority of approved biologics. About 400 recombinant protein drugs are available and another 1300 under development. Glycosylation is a posttranslational modification of proteins that has a crucial impact on the activity, stability and pharmacokinetics of biopharmaceuticals. Therefore, glycoengineering technologies have become increasingly important for the development of improved, glyco-optimized drugs. With the expiration of numerous patents for blockbuster biopharmaceuticals, the efforts towards biosimilar production have been considerably increased. Due to the manufacturing process, biosimilars or follow-on biologics cannot be completely identical to the reference drug. Being a cell-system dependent process, it varies with expression systems and growth conditions. The term “biosimilar” was introduced to differentiate these products from “generics” of the small molecule type. Technological progress and especially advances in glycomics opened doors to not only replicate existing drugs but to create “biobetters” by means of a rational design process. Biobetters provide improved product properties resulting in better efficacy, increased serum half-life or improved pharmacokinetics. Several universities, research institutes and companies in Berlin and Brandenburg apply highly sophisticated glycoenginering techniques, while the latter translate scientific evidence into innovative products. Glycotope GmbH is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company built on leading global glyco-biology expertise. Using its unique GET and GEX ® technologies, Glycotope has developed a mature and growing pipeline of proprietary cancer therapies, as well as products in infertility and blood coagulation. GET makes it possible to identify and target specific glyco-epitopes found on tumor cells while GEX ® enables the glyco-optimization of fully human glycosylated biopharmaceuticals. With the combined advantages of optimized sialylation, galactosylation, fucosylation, branching and absence of non-human sugar structures, GEX ® products may result in higher efficacy, fewer side effects and/or broader coverage of patients and indications. Three oncology products are currently in advanced clinical development. “At Glycotope, we aim to play our part in the immuno-oncology revolution by using our world-leading platform technologies to develop new, better targeted and glycooptimized immunotherapeutics in cancer and other areas of high unmet medical need. Our glyco-engineered biopharmaceuticals allow us to address tumor specific glyco-epitopes giving the potential for powerful anti-cancer activity and reduced side-effects. Furthermore, our human GlycoExpress ® production platform is drawing increased interest at companies worldwide to be used as a new expression system for glyco-optimized biopharmaceuticals.“ Paul Higham CEO Glycotope GmbH

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