We put our knowledge into practice in projects with life science companies, the pharmaceutical industry as well as in education courses and general teaching.
Pharmaceutically and biotechnologically relevant proteins are expressed in both prokaryotic (e.g. E. coli) and in eukaryotic cells (e.g. CHO, HEK). The goal is to achieve the highest possible expression rates of the target protein for downstream processing. We are experienced in the production of soluble proteins, including antibodies, refolding from inclusion bodies, and purification of membrane Proteins.
In Downstream Processing (DSP) different methods are used to purify the target protein to homogeneity as required e.g. for an active pharmaceutical ingredient. The focus is on chromatographic techniques, but filtration methods are also used. The processes are developed in such a manner that a scale-up to GMP production is possible. At laboratory scale recombinant proteins are purified for preclinical pilot studies. In addition to the classical downstream procedures, we develop new methods, such as the automated screening of appropriate conditions for protein purifications using Design-of-Experiments (DoE).
The development of protein-based therapeutics, e.g. monoclonal antibodies, usually starts with a large number of candidates that have been obtained e.g. by phage display or from immunized animals. However, many of these candidates do not sufficiently meet the desired requirements in terms of specificity, affinity and solubility to develop a safe and marketable drug for patients. In so-called developability assessments, we test the candidates for their suitability for development as a drug using various orthogonal methods. In addition, we support biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the characterization of selected lead candidates. Our developed methods are then used in quality control during GMP production. We have experience in the developability assessment of mono- and bispecific antibodies as well as antibody drug conjugates.
The Biochemistry team carries out applied science in the context of research and development projects, Bachelor’s and Master’s theses in cooperation with industry partners. We use our experience in recombinant protein technology, downstream processing, early development of biologics and bioanalytics, and the infrastructure of our superbly equipped laboratories.
We offer courses in both DSP and bioanalytics according to customer-specific needs. In addition to lectures and theoretical exercises, practical experience in the laboratory is usually included. Since 2005, for example, more than 300 employees of F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG from the MAB Facility in Basel have been trained in the DSP of monoclonal antibodies in 1-2 week courses, with 12 participants per course.
- Raffaela Häner (MSc)
- Claudio Pfister (MSc)
- Stefanie Martins-Senn (MSc)