Accelerating Time to Market of New Biologic Medicines with Improved Small Molecule Analysis

Innovate UK Grant Awarded for Rapid Metabolite Analyser for Medicines Manufacture


25 April 2018: Camena Bioscience’s innovative sensor technology is being developed into an easy to use research instrument that aims to improve the efficiency and cost of manufacturing medicines. Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, is co-funding a £1.6m project to develop our revolutionary small molecule detection technology. Camena Bioscience will take the lead on this project collaborating with GSK, The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and TTP.

The biologics class of medicines are manufactured by culturing cells rather than traditional chemical synthesis. Cell lines are designed to produce a therapeutic protein, commonly an antibody, and grown to large volumes using defined culture conditions. The production process needs to be carefully controlled to generate a consistent and high quality product. To achieve this the growing cell cultures are monitored for the presence of small molecules (metabolites) that indicate if the cells are healthy and receiving the correct levels of nutrients.

Despite the noted advantages of small molecule monitoring, existing technologies only permit the measurement of a few types of small molecules at infrequent points in the process. Such measurements typically require the use of large, complex and expensive equipment. Camena Bioscience’s innovative sensor technology aims to transform this process by:

  • Extending the range of small molecules that can be monitored
  • Measuring different small molecules simultaneously
  • Giving rapid and accurate results

In addition, Camena Bioscience’s sensor technology will be integrated into an easy to use and compact research instrument making it a versatile and powerful tool for research labs around the world.

“CamenaBio is excited to work with our partners and create a breakthrough in small molecule analysis using our innovative sensor technology”, said Steve Harvey, CEO of Camena Bioscience.  “We believe this ground breaking technology will empower the global research community and open up a host of new opportunities in small molecule testing”.

Dr Philip Probert of CPI said “The benefits of high throughput bioreactor systems are limited by a lack of analytical platforms that can efficiently handle the large number of samples generated. We are looking forward to working with our partners to explore how Camena Bioscience’s novel sensor technology can overcome this hurdle, to aid the development of a new generation of well defined, high yield bioprocesses”.

About Camena Bioscience

Camena Bioscience is the developer of pioneering technology that profiles small molecules, such as metabolites, nutrients or medicines in liquid samples. We aim to enable a new generation of small molecule analysis that improves our understanding of biological processes and how they can be manipulated for biological manufacturing. Camena Bioscience is based in Cambridge, UK and Pasadena, USA.

About CPI

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is a UK based technology innovation centre and part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Established to support the UK process manufacturing industry, CPI collaborates with universities, SMEs and large corporates to help overcome innovation challenges and develop next generation products and processes.

About TTP

TTP has been developing cutting edge technologies for the Life Science  industry for 3 decades. Our scientists and engineers inhabit the fascinating and endlessly changing intersection between physics, engineering and the biological sciences, spotting opportunities to create new technologies and tools for the advancement of this exciting field.

TTP’s focus areas include: bioprocess (manufacture based on living cells or cell products), human and animal diagnostics, biosensors, and instrumentation for molecular biology and pharmaceutical applications.

In addition to Life Science TTP also creates disruptive products and manufacturing systems based on advances in technology and engineering innovation. TTP’s technology lies behind many products and processes in areas as diverse as communications, consumer and industrial products, medical devices, cleantech, and security systems.

Link to Innovate UK Project Grant Details

For more information contact:

Sally Doyle