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November 5, 2020

Innovative Biopharmaceuticals, such as antibodies, vaccines, gene therapy and cell therapy products are crucial for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases. Nonetheless they are not readily available to those in need, in part as a result from high cost of manufacturing.

Funded with approximately 3 million euros by the European Comission, PURE project gathers an international and multidisciplinary team of scientists that will test new purification matrices based in biological materials, such as nanofibers, for the efficient capture of biopharmaceuticals. New, faster and more efficient purification processes are essential to potentiate the wide use of biopharmaceuticals — traditionally more expensive — in low income populations.

“Currently bioseparation accounts for 70-80% of manufacturing costs of biopharmaceuticals. In this project, iBET will benchmark the performance of biobased adsorbents for the purification  of large biological assemblies, whose manufacturing is hindered the lack of efficient bioseparation processes. Thus, iBET will contribute to establish a sustainable platform to design affordable and  industry-compliant purification processes for new biopharmaceutical entities” says Cristina Peixoto, responsible for the Downstream Process Development Laboratory at iBET.

The PURE project is coordinated by Cecília Roque, Principal Investigator of the Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory of the Applied Biomolecular Sciences Unit (UCIBIO) and professor at the NOVA Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT-NOVA), and has the participation of the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences – BOKU (Austria), Bayreuth University (Germany) and iBET – Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (Portugal).

The FET Open (Future and Emerging Technologies) contest is a program under the Horizon 2020 Community Framework Program for Research & Innovation that aims to promote research and technology beyond what is known, accepted or widely recognized, and to encourage new ideas leading to the discovery of new technologies.

Representative structural models of viral particles, one of the biopharmaceuticals to be purified within the PURE project

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