2 min readdeltaDOT to Play Analytical Role in the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

deltaDOT, a biotechnology company that is developing and commercialising  innovative enabling technologies and products in the bioscience arena, has today  announced that it will play a key role in a new funding initiative by the US government. deltaDOT is part of a US/UK based consortium that has been awarded a grant from DARPA to develop technology and processes to accelerate the production of vaccines and protein therapeutics, reducing long term storage issues and enhancing the response to a wide variety of biological threats.

The consortium, which is lead by Xcellerex of Marlborough, MA, USA, also comprises deltaDOT (London, UK), BioPharm Services (Marlborough, MA, USA) and Dowpharma (San Diego CA, USA).

The DARPA program known as the Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals intends to radically compress the timeline for manufacture of life-saving vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.

Dr Michael Callahan, Program Manager for DARPA commented: “The Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals program will twin rapid protein expression platforms with radically-enhanced technologies that enable extraordinarily fast production of peptide drugs at massive quantities and at pennies per dose.”

According to the announcement, the $7.9 million award is for the first phase of a programme that is designed to accelerate vaccine production timescales, which currently takes  years down to a much shorter time. Phase I of the project will demonstrate small scale production and analytical systems capabilities. Subsequent phases will be aimed at further process optimization and production scale up prior to a full-scale trial.

deltaDOT’s Peregrine HPCE and Osprey protein stability technology platforms will provide critical and cost effective analytical capabilities required to track product quality throughout the research process from R&D to the QA/QC phase. Peregrine HPCE protein analysis systems will be used in at-site bioreactor monitoring, product purification and final product optimisation.

Osprey systems will be used in the final phases of QA/QC product testing. Xcellerex will combine its PDMax process development and FlexFactory manufacturing technologies with Dow’s Pfenex Expression System, while BioPharm Services will provide advanced modelling capabilities for biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.

Peregrine is deltaDOT’s High Performance Capillary Electrophoresis (HPCE) instrument for the 1D separation of proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, small molecules and pathogens. By incorporating deltaDOT’s Label Free Intrinsic Imaging technology (LFII), Peregrine is able to monitor unlabelled proteins directly, in real time in a highly cost effective manner. The report outlines that the system uses advanced signal processing and data mining tools to identify the unlabelled proteins, providing unprecedented resolution, quantification and reproducibility of analysis. The small footprint and robustness of the system will allow it’s positioning at the bioreactors themselves, not in a separate laboratory allowing rapid and therefore relevant analysis of bioreactor conditions and protein production/purity.

The Osprey Biomolecule Stability Analyzer (BSA) is a microfluidic chip-based instrument that applies aspects of deltaDOT’s Label Free Intrinsic Imaging (LFII) to the characterization of the properties of proteins, rather than to their separations, and targets the market for QA/QC of biopharmaceuticals as its first application.

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