|[May 22, 2013]
Agilent Technologies, University of Rouen and A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute to Further Innovation in Biopharmaceuticals and Glycomics
SANTA CLARA, Calif. & ROUEN, France & SINGAPORE --(Business Wire)--
Agilent (News - Alert) Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), the Glyco-MEV laboratory at the
University of Rouen, in France, and the Bioprocessing Technology
Institute at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR (News - Alert)),
in Singapore, have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together
in order to develop tools to effectively analyze biologics and vaccines.
Biologics are molecules such as antibodies and other recombinant
protein-based therapeutics. Used in combination with vaccines, they can
prevent or treat a variety of serious medical conditions such as
cancers, immune disorders and infectious diseases that affect millions
of people annually. These therapeutic agents are typically produced by
bioprocesses using living cells as factories for their production.
Unlike small molecule drugs, biologics produced by cells are typically
more heterogeneous in structure, most notably in glycosylation, which is
the modification of protein drugs by sugars (also known as glycans).
Sugars are known to prolong the half-life of biologic drugs and thereby
reduce the frequency and dosage of drugs given to human patients.
A*STAR's Bioprocessing Technology Institute will join forces with the
University of Rouen's Glyco-MEV laboratory and Agilent to develop
innovative analytical techniques to ensure that these biologics are safe
and effective. BTI is currently working to develop methods of producing
and analyzing these biologics in animal cells while Glyco-MEV laboratory
specializes in the production of those molecules in plant systems.
This strategic partnership strengthens the collaboration between BTI and
Glyco-MEV laboratory and is enhanced by Agilent's technological
expertise to develop new, sensitive and high-throughput methodologies
that are particularly adapted to the analysis of biopharmaceuticals. In
addition, the Glyco-MEV laboratory will be Agilent's glycomics reference
site in Europe, and BTI will be its glycomics reference site for
Professor Lam Kong Peng, executive director of BTI, said, "With
increasing use of biologics to treat human diseases and with more
biosimilars coming to market in the next few years, it is timely for BTI
to develop novel technologies that would improve the characterization
and analysis of protein-based drugs. This collaboration would enhance
Singapore's reputation as a world-class destination for biologics
manufacturing and R&D."
"This collaboration will enhance our international expertise with
regards to the glycan analysis and engineering of biopharmaceuticals
produced in plant and microalgae cells," said Prof Patrice Lerouge,
director of the Glyco-MEV laboratory. "We also hope that such a research
initiative will facilitate exchanges of lab members and PhD students
between Singapore and France."
"This research initiative enables scientists to optimize glycan
analytical workflows on the Agilent HPLC-Chip/MS system," said Dr.
Rudolf Grimm, Agilents director of science and technology and manager
of collaborations in the Asia-Pacific region. "We look forward to
working with these leading organizations to drive discovery in this
About the Glyco-MEV laboratory, University of Rouen
Research projects in the laboratory Glycobiologie et Matrice
Extracellulaire Végétale aim at elucidating the function and
biosynthesis of glycoproteins and polysaccharides in higher plants and
microalgae. We focus mainly, through reverse genetic approaches, on the
function of polysaccharides in relation with plant development and
morphogenesis. Another aspect of our research activity deals with
defense mechanisms occurring specifically in root border cells with the
ultimate goal of identifying novel molecules able to stimulate the plant
immunity against pathogens. Finally, we also investigate the protein
glycosylation processing in higher plants and microalgae by studying
N-glycan pathways, glycosyltransferase activities and their Golgi
localisation. Since plants and microalgae synthesize N-glycans that are
immunogenic in humans, the aim of this topic is to engineer the
endogenous processing to produce in glycoproteins carrying
human-compatible glycosylation patterns.
For more information about the University of Rouen and the Glyco-MEV
laboratory, please visit their respective webpages: www.univ-rouen.fr/
About the University of Rouen
The University of Rouen was founded in 1960 and is a national
pluridisciplinary university. It is organized into six faculties, four
institutes and one school for education. The university offers
bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees to about 25,000 students,
including 3,000 international students from more than 45 countries. The
university has almost 2,300 doctoral students, of which 1,350 in health
and pharmacy and 400 in science and technology. The University of Rouen
is active in wide range of research areas, which provides the foundation
for interdisciplinary activity. The university's strengths range across
the science and technology, medicine, social sciences and humanities.
Its research covers fields as diverse as materials, physics, chemistry,
biomedical research, agronomy, environmental science, international law,
economics, management and education. The University of Rouen has more
than 2,800 staff, including 1,400 faculty members who work within 40
research laboratories and eight federations for research.
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's
lead public-sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research
and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a
vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy. In line with its
mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in
fields that are essential to growing Singapore's manufacturing sector
and catalyzing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic
clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its
partners in industry.
A*STAR oversees 20 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and
engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis and
These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and
international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR's research
entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories.
For more information, visit www.a-star.edu.sg.
About the Bioprocessing Technology Institute
Bioprocessing Technology Institute is a member of the Agency for
Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Established in 1990 as the
Bioprocessing Technology Unit, it was renamed the Bioprocessing
Technology Institute in 2003. The research institute's mission is to
develop manpower capabilities and establish cutting-edge technologies
relevant to the bioprocessing community. Key research areas include
expression engineering, animal cell technology, stem cell research,
microbial fermentation, downstream purification and analytics.
For more information about BTI, visit http://www.bti.a-star.edu.sg/
About Agilent Technologies (News - Alert)
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement
company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences,
diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company's 20,500
employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had
revenues of $6.9 billion in fiscal 2012. Information about Agilent is
available at www.agilent.com.
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