CHAIN has worked closely with the University of Nottingham since our beginning, and it is our pleasure to announce Anastasiya Buryak the winner of the CHAIN Biotechnology Award for Best Student Ambassador for Biotech and Best Academic Performance. CHAIN attended the award ceremony last week at the University’s Sutton-Bonnington Campus and we caught up with Anastasiya for a quick interview about her thoughts on biotech and her plans for the future.
What do you like about studying biotech?
What fascinates me the most about studying Biotechnology is that it allows the exploration of multiple disciplines, whether it is microbiology, nanotechnology, agriculture or pharmacology. I value that Biotechnology effectively uses biological principles to develop revolutionary technologies and products which positively impact on health, medicine, food and the environment. There are no limits to knowledge exploration and what ideas you can bring to this discipline.
What have you achieved as student ambassador for biotech last year?
Being a student ambassador for biotech is not just about presenting the Biotechnology course and university to visitors, leading a group of prospective students around campus or talking about student life. For me it is so much more: it is about demonstrating how important it is to study science and what benefits it can bring to humanity. What I enjoy the most as a student ambassador is meeting new people and share my passion, views and experiences with them. Sometimes I get a chance to meet ‘academically disoriented’ students, who have a great interest in biology and its applications but struggle to choose a particular course. And I learned to use this opportunity to help them understand what Biotechnology is about and how it revolutionised the scientific world. It is especially relevant to me, as I was at that stage whilst doing my A-levels. Similar to any student, I went through stressful and significant time choosing what I want to do in the future. Importantly whilst doing laboratory demonstrations during open days, I conveyed my enthusiasm in studying biotechnology and learned how to encourage and motivate students to study this course.
What would you like to do after graduation?
I am currently going into my third year of Biotechnology at the University of Nottingham and my career plan is to contribute to the healthcare industry. I have an interest in the pharmaceutical industry, in particular working on the development of novel drugs and cosmetics products, which will significantly advance public health, improve patient care and benefit customer needs. Among the main principles, I live my life by is “Be useful for this world! Target your energy on making this world a healthier and safer place”. Therefore after graduation, I see myself working in a company with a scientific environment among talented individuals. I hope to meet with various every day challenges whilst generating extraordinary and influential ideas, which have the potential to make life better. Constant learning and collaborating with others is what, I believe, will help me and others to achieve a valuable and unique contribution to improving human health.
CHAIN has been awarded two grants to support its therapeutic delivery platform from Innovate UK (IUK), the UK’s innovation agency. The grant-funded projects will focus on the development and testing of two new biotherapeutics using CHAIN’s proprietary delivery platform CADDTM. The projects build on successful IUK funded projects that were used to develop and validate the CADDTM platform. Platform expansion has begun under another IUK project, ‘Developing Clostridium as a Novel Secretion System for Therapeutic Peptides’, now in its final 12 months.
About the projects:
MICRoMED – ‘Microbial restoration of intestinal Metabolite balance for type 2 diabetes’ – aims to produce a natural metabolite of gut bacteria. This metabolite is lacking in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is a 12-month proof of concept project that leverages our skills in metabolic pathway engineering of Clostridium bacteria. In the UK, 90% of 3.7 million diabetes patients suffer from type 2 diabetes, with a further 12 million at risk of developing the illness. Globally, over 400 million people worldwide have diabetes and its prevalence is rising in low-middle income countries.
The second project focuses on novel cancer vaccines, called ‘Mucosal delivery of Clostridium spores encoding recombinant overlapping peptides of HPV antigen as therapeutic vaccines for cancer’. This is a 12-month proof of concept project funded from the IUK Biomedical Catalyst and performed in collaboration with the University of Oxford. We aim to deliver antigenic peptides that stimulate an immune response against human papilloma virus that could lead to a cost-effective vaccine. The gut mucosa offers a novel route for immunisation. HPV is a common virus that will affect 8 in 10 people, largely without symptoms. High risk, sexually transmitted strains of HPV when untreated lead to cancer, the most common of which is cervical cancer. Approximately 3,100 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually, almost all caused by HPV. Vaccines against HPV help the body clear the virus, reducing the risk of cancer development.
Both projects should deliver new live biotherapeutic products that exemplify our platform technology and demonstrate the broad functionality that can be achieved using an engineering approach. CHAIN’s CADDTM technology targeting the gut microbiome is highly differentiated with the potential to transform healthcare across a broad range of chronic and debilitating diseases.
NOTTINGHAM, UK. — January 9th, 2019 — CHAIN has joined EuropaBio as a full member after placing runner-up in the Biotech SME Awards announced in November. As part of this membership, CHAIN gains access to EuropaBio’s network and will receive updates from working groups operating in diverse areas such as IP, regulatory policy and personalised medicine.
The awards ceremony in Brussels was held on December 3rd where MEP Paul Rübig, who sits on the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy, hosted the awards ceremony. CHAIN Chief Executive Dr Edward Green represented the company giving a presentation. On becoming a member of EuropaBio, Dr Green said, “CHAIN is delighted to be recognised by the EuropaBio SME Awards; we are an early stage UK-based microbiome therapeutics company, so recognition on the European stage is a big boost for us and validation of our innovative technology platform. We hope recognition will raise awareness of CHAIN’s novel and highly differentiated approach to use superior live biotherapeutics to treat chronic and debilitating gut related diseases.”
EuropaBio is the largest biotech advocacy group in Europe, with members including national biotech organisations like the UK’s BioIndustry Association, industry giants Merck and Bayer, and SMEs. EuropaBio are implementing an SME platform where companies can attend workshops and webinars dedicated to providing advice and helping their development.
CHAIN Biotechnology is a UK microbiome company focused on the development and commercialisation of microbial technology for the production and delivery of biotherapeutics to the gut. The company’s microbial technology has the potential to be highly disruptive both in terms of cost but also efficacy for the treatment and prevention of chronic and debilitating gut related diseases. CHAIN was founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Dr Edward Green. The Company has bases in Marlow (Head office) and MediCity Nottingham (Research Lab).
Dr David Kirk
Senior Scientist, CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd
Phone Number: +44 (0) 115 784 0106
CHAIN has been awarded £0.5M grant funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation agency, to expand its range of biotechnology products. Building on a successful synthetic biology program, the grants support further development of CHAIN’s proprietary Clostridium platform for therapeutic and specialty chemical applications.
A two-year project will focus on the development of novel therapeutics targeting gut-related disease. CHAIN has successfully demonstrated the use of Clostridium to deliver small molecules to the gut. In this project, we will expand the range of therapeutics to include anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory peptides. This work will be carried out in collaboration with leading researchers in Clostridium genetics at the Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) at the University of Nottingham.
The second project focuses on the production of high-value chiral chemicals. CHAIN has already successfully developed a Clostridium strain that produces (R) 1,3 butanediol, an important building block for several nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. In this project, we plan to improve microbial performance and deliver a cost-completive fermentation process for chemical production.
CHAIN is currently focused on the testing and progression of its lead gut microbiome therapeutic for the clinic, targeting inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr Edward Green, Chief Executive at CHAIN comments
“Grant funding supports our highly skilled discovery team, based at the SBRC and strengthens ties with the Centre. Ultimately, this serves to build and accelerate our product discovery pipeline without undue distraction from our lead product.”
This article first appeared on chainbiotech.com on 09/09/2017 and was covered by SynBioBeta synthetic biology news: https://synbiobeta.com/chain-awarded-0-5m-grant-funding-develop-healthcare-platform/.