Summary

The advent of biopharmaceuticals in current medicine brought enormous benefits to the treatment of life-threatening human diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders), and improved the well-being of many people worldwide. The global portfolio of these therapeutic products include proteins and antibodies, nucleic acids, and cell-based products, and continues to expand at a rapid pace - approvals in the period 2015-2018 essentially double the typical five-yearly historical approval pace (G. Walsh, Nat. Biotechnol., 36:1136-1145, 2018) -, representing a significant share of the entire market of pharmaceuticals.

Innovation in the (bio)pharmaceutical industry has been driven towards the development of cost-effective manufacturing processes, envisaging the delivery of products in high quantity, with superior quality (purity), and high specificity, with the ultimate goal of benefiting patients. Progress in this direction have resulted from the application of novel technologies in the upstream stage (high-throughput, single-use devices, statistical optimization of media and fermentation conditions, QbD, and continuous processing), while at the downstream level, chromatography has evolved through the development of new resins and ligands, coupled with advances in process modelling, operating and control strategies.

An emerging trend is the application of alternative solvents such as ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents, in which their structure and physicochemical properties can be tuned to address unmet needs in (bio)pharmaceutical research. These compounds may be derived from natural and reneawable sources and hold great promise in the development of efficient, sustainable and cost-effective biopharmaceuticals purification processes.

This Entry Collection aims to provide the latest progresses achieved in pharmaceuticals bioprocessing. We welcome submissions of original research, comprehensive reviews and perspectives, including, but not limited, to the following fields:

- Upstream processing (genetic engineering, systems biology, difficult-to-express proteins, expression conditions, Quality by Design approaches, process analytical technologies);

- Chromatographic purification methods (process modelling and control, continuous bioprocessing, design and characterization of resins and ligands, new formats);

- Alternative purification methods (aqueous biphasic systems, filtration, crystallization, precipitation);

- Application of neoteric solvents in upstream and downstream stages;

- Analytical characterization of biopharmaceuticals (stability, post-translational modifications, biological activity, immunogenicity); 

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Entries
Topic Review
A Regulatory Perspective on Biosimilar Medicines
By definition, biosimilar medicinal products are biological medicinal products that are similar to other biological medicinal products that are already on the market—the reference medicinal products.
  • 167
  • 05 Mar 2024
Topic Review
Deep Eutectic Systems as Alternative Solvents
Chemists in the medicinal chemistry field are constantly searching for alternatives towards more sustainable and eco-friendly processes for the design and synthesis of drug candidates. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most polluting industries, having a high E-factor, which is driving the adoption of more sustainable processes not only for new drug candidates, but also in the production of well-established active pharmaceutical ingredients. Deep eutectic systems (DESs) have emerged as a greener alternative to ionic liquids, and their potential to substitute traditional organic solvents in drug discovery has raised interest among scientists. 
  • 122
  • 28 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Bioprinting of Hydrogel-Based Drug Delivery Systems
Globally, thousands of people are affected by severe nerve injuries or neurodegenerative disorders. These conditions cannot always be cured because nerve tissue either does not regenerate or does so at a slow rate. Therefore, tissue engineering has emerged as a potential treatment approach. The combination of bioprinting, hydrogels, and drug delivery effectively addresses key issues in nerve tissue regeneration.
  • 71
  • 28 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Stable Packaging and Producer Cell Lines for AAV
Today, recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors represent the vector systems which are mostly used for in vivo gene therapy for the treatment of rare and less-rare diseases. Although most of the past developments have been performed by using a transfection-based method and more than half of the authorized rAAV-based treatments are based on transfection process, the tendency is towards the use of stable inducible packaging and producer cell lines because their use is much more straightforward and leads in parallel to reduction in the overall manufacturing costs.
  • 221
  • 29 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Virotherapy against Glioblastoma
Recent advances in understanding of cancer biology have stimulated the development of numerous therapeutic approaches, one of which is virotherapy. Therapy by oncolytic viruses is a promising method for malignant tumors of various histogenesis, both as a monotherapy and as a part of combination therapy.
  • 99
  • 20 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Mechanisms of Light-Triggered Drug Release from Liposomes
Light-triggered mechanisms that can be exploited to release encapsulated drugs from liposomes are photoisomerization, photocleavage (photo-oxidation), surface plasmon resonance absorption (photothermal activation), photochemical hydrophobicity change (photochemical activation), and photo-crosslinking and de-crosslinking.
  • 129
  • 18 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Gene-Activated Materials in Regenerative Dentistry and Periodontology
Treatment of a wide variety of defects in the oral and maxillofacial regions requires the use of innovative approaches to achieve best outcomes. One of the promising directions is the use of gene-activated materials (GAMs) that represent a combination of tissue engineering and gene therapy.
  • 108
  • 18 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Biomaterial-Based Responsive Nanomedicines for Targeting Solid Tumor Microenvironments
Solid tumors are composed of a highly complex and heterogenic microenvironment, with increasing metabolic status. This environment plays a crucial role in the clinical therapeutic outcome of conventional treatments and innovative antitumor nanomedicines. Scientists have devoted great efforts to conquering the challenges of the tumor microenvironment (TME), in respect of effective drug accumulation and activity at the tumor site. The main focus is to overcome the obstacles of abnormal vasculature, dense stroma, extracellular matrix, hypoxia, and pH gradient acidosis. In this endeavor, nanomedicines that are targeting distinct features of TME have flourished; these aim to increase site specificity and achieve deep tumor penetration. The development of such systems has significantly advanced the application of biomaterials in combinational therapies and in immunotherapies for improved anticancer effectiveness.
  • 205
  • 17 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Approaches to Overcoming Existing Barriers of Curcumin
Turmeric contains curcumin, a naturally occurring compound with noted anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help fight cancer. Curcumin is readily available, nontoxic, and inexpensive. At high doses, it has minimal side effects, suggesting it is safe for human use. However, curcumin has extremely poor bioavailability and biodistribution, which further hamper its clinical applications. It is commonly administered through oral and transdermal routes in different forms, where the particle size is one of the most common barriers that decreases its absorption through biological membranes on the targeted sites and limits its clinical effectiveness.
  • 122
  • 04 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Treatment of Clostridioides difficile Infection
Clostridioides difficile is the most important cause of healthcare-associated diarrhea in the United States. The high incidence and recurrence rates of C. difficile infection (CDI), associated with high morbidity and mortality, pose a public health challenge. Although antibiotics targeting C. difficile bacteria are the first treatment choice, antibiotics also disrupt the indigenous gut flora and, therefore, create an environment that is favorable for recurrent CDI. The challenge of treating CDI is further exacerbated by the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of C. difficile, placing it among the top five most urgent antibiotic resistance threats in the USA. The evolution of antibiotic resistance in C. difficile involves the acquisition of new resistance mechanisms, which can be shared among various bacterial species and different C. difficile strains within clinical and community settings.
  • 92
  • 01 Feb 2024
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