NIBRT announce new research collaboration with GlycoSeLect

NIBRT announce new research collaboration with GlycoSeLect to develop methods for the control of critical quality attributes of monoclonal antibodies by glycoengineering

Thursday 23rd June, Dublin, Ireland: The new research collaboration programme will be conducted at the state-of-the-art facilities at NIBRT under the guidance of Prof. Michael Butler with Dr Elizabeth Matthews as the lead post-doctoral scientist.

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are produced in bioprocesses from mammalian cells as heterogeneous structures, particularly with respect to carbohydrate (glycan) groups on their structure.  Although the profile of the heterogeneous glycan structures is a critical quality attribute for biological activity, the nature of the profile is difficult to control in the bioprocess. Opportunities now arise to develop an alternative technology to purify specific mAb glycoforms from mAbs isolated from a bioreactor. The isolation of antibodies with pre-defined glycan profiles is highly desirable to maximise their safety and efficacy.  

This collaboration will embrace technologies that have been developed in GlycoSeLect and NIBRT for the control of these structures. GlycoSeLect have developed specific engineered lectins from recombinant bacteria for the detection of specific glycans. This technology will be explored in combination with methods of chemoenzymatic remodelling that have been shown at NIBRT to enable the production of high yields (>95%) of single glycoforms of mAbs. 

The collaborative project is being supported by Enterprise Ireland and involves the development of lectin and enzymatic technologies to prepare single or pre-determined glycan profiles of glycoprotein therapeutics. 

In response to the collaboration Prof Michael Butler, Principal Investigator in the Cell Technology Group at NIBRT commented:

‘’We are delighted at NIBRT to receive funding from Enterprise Ireland in collaboration with GlycoSeLect to enable the development of methods to control the glycosylation of monoclonal antibodies and possibly other recombinant proteins. These methods have the potential to enhance efficacy and safety in the production of glycoprotein therapeutics. This will provide valuable tools in the continuing importance of bioprocessing in meeting growing medical requirements for biopharmaceuticals.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Robert Dunne from GlycoSeLect said: Our team is excited to collaborate with Mike, Liz and the team in NIBRT to bring our technology further into applications for the downstream processing of biopharmaceuticals using our RPL™ products as affinity chromatography ligands. I welcome the support of Enterprise Ireland and guidance from its development advisor team as we move our technology from uses in biopharmaceutical product analysis to complimentary uses improving the products’ safety, efficacy and manufacturing efficiency‘’.





Emer Norton

Marketing and Communications Manager

National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training