Fighting Ebola with 21st Century Biotech


Currently, production of vaccines and diagnostic systems for infectious diseases have failed to provide a systematic vision that merges state-of-the-art technologies with industry to provide an effective commercial solution. Infectious and rapidly transmitted diseases, such as Ebola and influenza, should be a focus of interest for these prospects.

While technological advances of recent years have been dizzying in the life sciences industry, specifically in the field of medical biotechnology, these advances have not been proportional in terms of their applications towards infectious diseases and those of a degenerative chronic nature, which is where the majority of pharmaceutical-biotech companies’ efforts are found.

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) laboratory is constantly working on the development of recombinant technology for the production of chimeric proteins in cells genetically modified for that purpose (mammalian, yeast, and bacterial). Proteins that are developed through a process of molecular engineering, which begins with in silico bioinformatic processes, through validations and algorithms, subsequently create synthetic biology, molecular biology, genetic engineering, and BioProcess engineering with the aim of scaling our efforts towards a pilot plant level. The primary goal of those proteins is the development of integrated solutions that can be used as antigens or antibodies in diagnostic systems, as well treatments and vaccines, in the form of single chain fragment variables (ScFv) of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant antigens.

The principal challenge of this type of technology is the final application of ScFv that results in the free exposure of epitopes for recognition between the antibody and the antigen of interest, which implies their effectiveness in terms of use. A secondary challenge is productivity rates in bio-production systems, which vary greatly depending on the platform used and the quality of bioprocess developed. However, in terms of effectiveness, they represent a viable, strong, and profitable option for diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases such as the Ebola virus.

Source: American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)

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