Biopharmaceutical Protein Structure – Part 2

Introduction Our last post entitled, ‘Biopharmaceutical Protein Structure – Part 1‘, looked briefly at the interplay of different chemical bonds common to proteins and their respective contributions to the maintenance of protein structure. We will now apply those principles to the current discussion and explore in greater detail the four levels of protein structure with particular emphasis on the structural complexity of proteins. The Structural Complexity of … Read More

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Biopharmaceutical Protein Structure – Part 1

Figure 1: Basic Amino Acid (AA) Structure

Introduction Given that the overwhelming majority of biopharmaceuticals are proteins, this article will explore some key points on protein structure. This is particularly important because protein function is directly related to protein structure. Specifically we will look at the different types of molecular bonds found in proteins and their relationship to the final three-dimensional configuration of said proteins. If we are to appreciate … Read More

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What is a Biopharmaceutical? (Part II): Biopharmaceutical Characteristics

Image of Monoclonal Antibody

The following list while not comprehensive, provides some key characteristics of biopharmaceuticals / biologics: 1. They are produced within ‘Living Cells’. 2. They are proteins in most cases although more recent developments have seen nucleic acids entering the fray as therapeutic agents. 3. They have very large molecular weights and by extension tend to be very large molecules. (This is … Read More

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What is a Biopharmaceutical? (Part I): The Role of Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering

‘ Biopharmaceuticals‘ or Biologics‘ as they are also known are medicines derived from biological sources as suggested by their ‘bio-‘ prefix. Technically this would include, medicines derived by extraction of natural products from plants, animals or even fungi. Penicillins would be one such noted example. Based on this broad definition, vaccines and blood products among others would also be considered … Read More

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