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
Computer-Aided Drug Design and Drug Discovery
In the dynamic landscape of drug discovery, Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) emerges as a transformative force, bridging the realms of biology and technology. The core principle underpinning CADD are the utilization of computer algorithms on chemical and biological data to simulate and predict how a drug molecule will interact with its target—usually a protein or DNA sequence in the biological system.
  • 486
  • 29 Dec 2023
Topic Review
Skin Health and Microbiome-Targeted Strategies
The skin microbiome is a complex and dynamic ecology that resides in the skin, which is the largest organ of the human body. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers and compounds found in certain foods that promote the activity and growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut or skin. On the other hand, live microorganisms, known as probiotics, benefit in sustaining healthy conditions when consumed in reasonable quantities.
  • 251
  • 19 Dec 2023
Topic Review
Industrial Production of Antibiotics in Fungi
The natural fermentation of antibiotics, along with semi-synthetic and synthetic approaches, is one of the most important methods for their production. The majority of the antibiotic market comes from the fermentation of high-yielding (HY) fungal strains. These strains have been obtained since the 1950s from wild-type (WT) isolates as a result of classical strain improvement (CSI) programs primarily involving multi-round random mutagenesis and screening.
  • 292
  • 19 Dec 2023
Topic Review
Microalgae in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an invalidating chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by joint inflammation and progressive bone damage. Dietary intervention is an important component in the treatment of RA to mitigate oxidative stress, a major pathogenic driver of the disease. Alongside traditional sources of antioxidants, microalgae—a diverse group of photosynthetic prokaryotes and eukaryotes—are emerging as anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory food supplements.
  • 210
  • 12 Dec 2023
Topic Review
Impact of Technologies on Diabetes-Related Comorbidities
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood, with a progressively increasing incidence. T1D management requires lifelong insulin treatment and ongoing health care support. The main goal of treatment is to maintain blood glucose levels as close to the physiological range as possible, particularly to avoid blood glucose fluctuations, which have been linked to morbidity and mortality in patients with T1D. 
  • 191
  • 11 Dec 2023
Topic Review
NanoBubble-Mediated Oxygenation for Hypoxic Pathologies
Nanobubbles also known as ultra-fine bubbles or sub-micron bubbles, are extremely small gas-filled spherical bodies enclosed by an interface (gas–liquid or gas–solid) with a diameter of less than 1000 nm (i.e., ranging in size from tens to hundreds of nanometers in diameter). In other words, nanobubbles are composed of gas, such as oxygen or nitrogen, encapsulated within a liquid, typically water, and stabilized by a thin layer of molecules at the gas–liquid interface.
  • 505
  • 05 Dec 2023
Topic Review
Lyotropic Liquid Crystals for Efficient Intestinal Lymphatic Targeting
Lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) are liquids that have crystalline structures. LLCs as drug delivery systems that can deliver hydrophobic, hydrophilic, and amphiphilic agents. Due to their unique phases and structures, LLCs can protect both small molecules and biologics from the gastrointestinal tract’s harsh environment, thus making LLCs attractive as carriers for oral drug delivery.
  • 282
  • 30 Nov 2023
Topic Review
Nanosized Janus and Dendrimer Particles
Nanosized Janus and dendrimer particles have emerged as promising nanocarriers for the target-specific delivery and improved bioavailability of pharmaceuticals. Janus particles, with two distinct regions exhibiting different physical and chemical properties, provide a unique platform for the simultaneous delivery of multiple drugs or tissue-specific targeting. Conversely, dendrimers are branched, nanoscale polymers with well-defined surface functionalities that can be designed for improved drug targeting and release. Both Janus particles and dendrimers have demonstrated their potential to improve the solubility and stability of poorly water-soluble drugs, increase the intracellular uptake of drugs, and reduce their toxicity by controlling the release rate. 
  • 203
  • 27 Nov 2023
Topic Review
miRNA-Based Technologies in Cancer Therapy
The discovery of therapeutic miRNAs is one of the most exciting challenges for pharmaceutical companies. Since the first miRNA was discovered in 1993, our knowledge of miRNA biology has grown considerably. Many studies have demonstrated that miRNA expression is dysregulated in many diseases, making them appealing tools for novel therapeutic approaches.
  • 280
  • 23 Nov 2023
Topic Review
mRNA and Synthesis-Based Therapeutic Proteins
Recombinant technology has been around for nearly three-quarters of a century and has revolutionized protein therapy. However, the cost of developing recombinant therapeutic proteins and the manufacturing infrastructure keep their cost unaffordable for most patients. Proteins are produced in the body via messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. This process can be readily replicated by administering a chemical nucleic acid product to manufacture the same protein recombinantly. The progress made in creating these proteins ex vivo in a cell-free system also offers a lower-cost option to produce therapeutic proteins.
  • 236
  • 23 Nov 2023
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