Industry News: Waters to help accelerate biologics production through research collaboration with Singapore’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute

28 Jun 2021


Waters Corporation has announced an expansion of its joint work with the Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI), a research institute of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Among their new collaborative projects, Waters and BTI have started work on applying analytics that can rapidly identify and visualize complex molecules within glycomics and metabolomics data to help ensure overall safety, accuracy, and speed of biologics manufacturing.

Waters and BTI are engaging in data analytics research meant to eliminate a major bottleneck in the characterization of biopharmaceuticals, namely the identification and quantitation of complex biomolecules such as released N- and O- glycans and metabolites that influence therapeutic function. Isomerism of both glycans and metabolites is particularly troublesome and can be tackled using Waters’ advanced instruments. However, because the data generated is massive, advanced bioinformatics approaches and machine learning techniques are needed to deliver robust and accurate identification for these and other biomolecules to overcome time-consuming and expensive conventional methods and current analytical software that cannot adequately interpret or visualize the data.

As part of the project, Waters will contribute scientific expertise and the use of Watersinstruments including the SYNAPT™ series mass spectrometry system along with a BioAccord™ LC-MS System. The SYNAPT instrument features ion mobility mass spectrometry technology to provide complete characterization of complex compounds and molecules. The BioAccord system can be used to monitor product quality attributes in real time that can affect efficacy and safety of innovator drugs and biosimilars.

“Complex structural analyses of a molecule may hold the key to the development of novel therapies, including biologics and cell & gene therapies. The understanding of complex glycan and isomeric compound structures is largely constrained by the ability to rapidly and accurately analyze these structures from raw mass spectrometry data,” said Associate Professor Andre Choo, Deputy Executive Director of BTI. “Leveraging BTI’s deep domain expertise in bioprocessing technologies and advanced bioanalytical capabilities, BTI and Waters will develop methods that combine data analytics with extensive bioinformatics libraries to ease complex data annotation. Our aim is to make data interpretation easier and faster for scientists to accelerate discovery, for conventional biologics and novel therapeutics.”

“Our work with BTI spans multiple successful collaborations in the realm of glycomics and bioprocessing research,” said David Curtin, Vice President of Asia Pacific, Waters Corporation. “They are pioneers in biomanufacturing innovation in Singapore with world-class expertise in bioprocess science and engineering. This work aims to help biotherapeutic manufacturers with at-line or in-line measurements of complex molecules to identify issues quickly during routine production and reduce costs or frequency of failed batches.”

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