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Brunel University unveils new 1 Million Advanced Bio Processing Centre (ABC)

Brunel University's Institute for Bioengineering (BIB) today announces the development of a new £1 million advanced bio processing laboratory. This laboratory is set to become a centre for the world's most advanced purification and separation processes that can be used in the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical products.

The facility features high performance equipment, initially developed at Brunel and brought to market by Dynamic Extractions Ltd (DE), that completely revolutionises the performance of chromatographic processes, especially with the polar compounds with which traditional techniques struggle. This approach reduces the time, cost and environmental penalties that impact traditional chromatography techniques, because it combines a number of different separation steps into one.

X It can handle 'dirty' samples easily and without impacting the quality of samples recovered, thereby reducing the number of separation steps it takes traditional techniques to handle particulate samples
X The new technology allows significantly increased sample loading concentrations - up to five times greater than for traditional chromatography techniques
X It routinely allows 100% sample recovery with no loss of sample on solid supports and sample purities in excess of 98%
X The scale-up process can be predicted from analytical pilot runs
X Finally, it often uses just a quarter of the solvents required to produce purified pharmaceutical products compared to HPLC methods.

The ABC facility was set up with £1 million funding from the Science Research Investment Fund , and the new laboratory will enable BIB to continue its research into innovative bioprocessing technologies. Initially a hazards laboratory will feature two large-scale DE Maxi centrifuges, and a development laboratory, which houses a range of preparatory scale purification equipment. These new laboratories will enable Brunel scientists to continue to research and refine innovative techniques, and display these at a number of scales, allowing them to demonstrate their benefit to industry.

Although the ABC facilities are primarily for research, the company Dynamic Extractions Ltd, supported by BIB, will be able to provide industry, with educational, demonstration, and contract purification services, enabling the technology to become more widely accessible to those in industry who want to understand its power.

Dynamic Extractions Ltd is a company founded by Brunel University to use past research in the CCC technology to good advantage. Research work over the last 7 years culminated in the company producing its range of high performance products. Brunel is a shareholder in the venture and hopes to benefit as the company grows by commercialising the technology. DE at towards the end of last year concluded a substantial funding round, when Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc invested.

Prof. Ian Sutherland, Centre Director comments: “By securing the £1 million SRIF funding for our new lab, we've afforded ourselves at Brunel a massive opportunity to educate industry about the benefits our research into new purification and separation technologies can provide.

“An example of this occurred when, working together with Dynamic Extractions Limited; we were able to provide a solution to a separation problem that Johns Hopkins Cancer Research Foundation in the US brought to us. With our combined resources we provided them with significant amounts of purified trial grade material in the time specified, when no one else could, to keep their federal funded project on track.“

Prof. Sutherland concludes: “Our new ABC centre offers education and research opportunities that reflect the pioneering, enterprising and innovative spirit that the name Brunel inspires.“