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New analytical approaches to analyse glycans to be developed

15 July 2015 | News
by Ian Michael

Agilent Technologies and the Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI), a research institute of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have announced that they will collaborate on new analytical approaches to analysing specific protein-linked sugar compounds.

The collaboration will address a gap in analytical tests and standards applied for drugs based on glycoproteins, which now form the majority of approved biopharmaceutical drugs. Current analytical methods for characterising glycans are time-consuming and difficult to deploy in commercial environments. They are also limited in their ability to detect and analyse minor glycan species.

“This collaboration between Agilent and BTI addresses a critical need in the biopharmaceutical industry for a novel technology platform that can support detailed glycan analysis quickly and effectively in a high throughput environment,” said Nino Totino, general manager for Agilent’s Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group in the South Asia, Pacific and Korea region. “Agilent, with our industry-leading analytical technology platform, and BTI, with its deep expertise in bioprocessing science and engineering, will work together on several projects that could lead to the creation of rigorous, standardised tests for drug safety and efficacy around the world.”

Professor Lam Kong Peng, Executive Director of BTI, said: “Recognising the increasing importance of biologics to treat human diseases, BTI will continue to work with the industry to improve the productivity of bioprocessing while ensuring that the therapeutics produced are effective and safe. This collaboration will help build glycomics capabilities in Singapore and is part of process analytical technologies relevant to the biomanufacturing industry. Ultimately, this partnership will enhance Singapore’s reputation as a world-class destination for biopharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing.”

The collaboration will further develop Agilent’s AssayMAP Bravo platform, a fully automated solution for high-throughput protein sample preparation and purification. Using this platform along with a mass spectrometer, BTI’s researchers can apply their expertise in the production of therapeutic glycoproteins to develop optimised workflows and methods for the analysis of N- and O- linked glycans.

“Bringing together expertise from Agilent and BTI will allow us to develop an approach for analysis of therapeutic glycoproteins that requires lesser user intervention while keeping to the high standards of analysis needed. Its success would be greatly beneficial to human health and the biologics industry,” said Dr Zhang Peiqing, research scientist at BTI and lead investigator for the projects under this collaboration.

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