Microsaic says new bioanalyser may save time and money


Small and large molecules can be measured without ‘labelling’, saving money on reagents

Microsaic Systems has developed proof of concept workflows to analyse in real-time complex samples from bioreactors, which could enable customers to achieve significant costs and time savings.

The developer of point of need mass spectrometry (MS) instruments engaged an independent lab to compare the use of Microsaic's MiD ProteinID technology as an in-situ technique for measuring small and large molecules during the manufacture of biologics compared with the use of traditionally accepted bioanalysers.

The results were obtained by quantifying small-molecule cell media as well as measuring intact proteins. Microsaic's MS technology detected metabolites not usually seen by traditional methods during the bio-manufacturing process.

The results were presented at the American Association of Mass Spectrometry in Atlanta, US, and a copy is available on the Microsaic website.

From the information obtained, Microsaic estimates that there are potentially substantial savings available for its customers by switching from traditional analysis methods to Microsaic's MiD ProteinID technology.

On 5 March, Microsaic published early results with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which demonstrated the real-time analysis of complex protein feedstocks: the results highlighted the importance of storage conditions between fresh-fed batch and frozen perfusion samples to beneficial biologic manufacture outcomes.

Glenn Tracey, CEO of Microsaic, said: "These latest results are extremely exciting for the company and mark yet another important milestone in the strategy set out when I took on the role of CEO.”

Tracey went on to explain the potential of the technology to replace very expensive analysers, which have been the mainstay of bio-analysis over time. As the new technology can measure small and large molecules simultaneously, workflows which use several analysis techniques costing hundreds of thousands of pounds each in capital expenditure, could potentially be replaced.

Another feature of the technology is that it is 'label-free' (scientists do not need to tag their molecules of interest with dyes such that the current technology can identify them). Therefore, Microsaic can potentially save hours of workflow time and provide a significant saving in reagent costs.

Tracey believes that new demands on bioprocessing mean that there is a requirement for real-time information at the point of need.

Microsaic's deployable MS technology samples the media from a bioreactor in real-time, providing critical information regarding process monitoring and quality attributes of the end-product. This information can then be used to maximise yields of biologics by optimising the cell media, cell feeding and harvesting strategies of the target biologic product. As a result of the technology’s ability to measure small and large molecules, we can further analyse these process changes for cell media, feedstocks and end-product biologics.

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Tracey finished: “In addition, MS point of need analysis would provide timely safety assurance, as harmful post-translation modifications of the product, and other dangerous host cell proteins, can potentially be controlled and minimised upstream."