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.
UK biotech to manufacture novel medicines for Inflammatory Bowel Disease using spores of gut bacteria
Three leading British biotechnology businesses have obtained grant funding from Innovate UK to investigate the manufacture of a new class of medicines, targeting a range of clinical conditions through interaction with the human microbiome.
The novel and highly innovative approach is to use spores derived from anaerobic bacteria (Clostridia) that are naturally found in our large intestines to deliver targeted anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Bacterial spores are resistant to acid, so when ingested in a tablet or capsule they are able to pass largely unscathed through the stomach before germinating and releasing the anti-inflammatory bio-actives (payload) to where it is needed in the colon, to treat chronic and debilitating inflammatory conditions, such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
The concept has been proven in pre-clinical tests by the project consortium lead CHAIN Biotechnology, but until now a stumbling block has been the lack of a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the UK, able to scale-up and manufacture Clostridial spore-based medicines to the required standard, following good manufacturing practice (GMP), needed for medicinal products for human testing and use. This is where Porton Biopharma with its knowledge and history of developing and producing bio-therapeutics from various spore-forming bacteria, and Scitech which specialises in design, engineering, construction and validation of facilities within the life-science sector will add their expertise.
Developing and testing the technological approach of microbiome targeted therapeutics, and being first in the market with an advanced medicine manufacturing capability and capacity required for such products, would see CHAIN Biotechnology and the UK taking a step closer to becoming world-leaders in this fast growing emerging health care area.
Dr Basil Omar CHAIN’s Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer said “The output of this feasibility project will support the business case for further investment in a dedicated, advanced manufacturing facility for these breakthrough therapeutic products offering medical treatments and delivering real benefits for long-suffering patients”.
Dr Roger Hinton MD of Porton Biopharma said “This is an ideal fit for us given our history of developing biopharmaceuticals from spore formers, knowledge of GMP manufacture and specialised containment microbiology. We are very excited by the commercial potential.”
Dave Grant MD of Scitech said “Life sciences are an essential part of the UK government’s new industrial strategy and this award facilitates the creation of much needed new specialist manufacturing industrial infrastructure with new highly-skilled jobs”.
Note to editors:
CHAIN Biotechnology Limited was founded in 2014, by serial entrepreneur Dr Edward Green, to exploit the therapeutic potential of Clostridia bacteria found in the human gut microbiome. CHAIN’s innovative platform technology supports a product pipeline, developed through the identification and delivery of small molecules, peptides and natural metabolites that interact positively with the gut microbiome. CHAIN is targeting a broad range of clinical conditions including control of infection and inflammation in the gut as well as interacting with signalling receptors in the gut which have an effect on the Central Nervous System, with potential new treatments for such conditions as depression and neurological disorders.
Porton Biopharma Limited (PBL) manufactures a number of biopharmaceutical products including the UK’s anthrax vaccine and Erwinase®, a treatment for childhood leukaemia. It has state-of-the-art cGMP pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities which are licensed by the MHRA & FDA and employs approximately 300 people. PBL is registered in England and Wales under company number 9331560. It was commercialised from Public Health England (PHE) in 2015 to enable it to be better placed to develop the business of developing & manufacturing life-saving biopharmaceutical products.
Scitech Engineering Ltd are specialists in design, engineering, construction and validation for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life science sectors. Formed in 2002 Scitech is an employee owned, highly specialised and skilled business offering a full range of engineering, construction and professional services.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic and debilitating set of diseases characterised by inflammation in the lower digestive tract. The most common conditions are Ulcerative Colitis and Crone’s Disease. In the EU, IBD affects 2.6M people with annual healthcare costs of >£4.5Bn. IBD is more common in industrialised nations although incidence is rapidly increasing globally, driven by pursuit of ‘westernised’ lifestyles in developing countries.
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk
For more information contact
CHAIN Biotech: Dr Basil Omar, Chief Commercial Officer on 0777 166 0800 email@example.com
Porton Biopharma: Dr Phil Luton, Commercial & marketing Manager on 01980 619723 or 07342 056193 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scitech: Rachel Slater, Business Development Manager on 01483 270 524 email@example.com