BRIC1: Research projects
The first phase of BRIC, BRIC1, supported 25 innovative research projects at 19 institutions with £13.7M of funding and has developed the UK bioprocessing community through biannual dissemination meetings since 2007. Funding available for research projects has now been awarded through 3 rounds of funding.
The scopes of the calls for proposals were identified by a BBSRC Working Group and the BRIC Steering Group (detailed below).
In 2009 an interim evaluation of the first phase of BRIC was published, alongside a report from a working group on the next phase of BRIC. Both reports concluded that BRIC1 had been a great success, and recommended continuation into a second phase of BRIC, and the working group report in particular started to map the areas for future research into bioprocessing. A BRIC future plans workshop held in December 2009 took this forward to identify and prioritising research priorities for BRIC2.
BRIC phase 1 activities and research projects concluded in 2012.
The third call focused on:
- Alternative processes for the recovery and purification of biopharmaceutical products
- Bioprocess integration and intensification for biopharmaceutical manufacture
- Quantification and characterisation of products and impurities in biopharmaceutical manufacture
9 projects were funded totalling £4.7M.
- Lyophilization of proteins - an in-situ study on structural changes and molecular interactions
- An amphipathic reagent to extract, stabilize and purify proteins
- Raman spectroscopy as a novel analytical bioprocessing tool for PAT
- Developing scalable and standardised manufacturing methods for human pluripotent stem cells
- Non-invasive biophotonics tool for phenotypic identification of pluripotent stem cells and their progeny
- Exploitation of the Tat export machinery for protein production by bacteria
- Bioprocess Intensification by MicroCapillary Separations Systems
- Integrating upstream host cell line selection and development with improved downstream bioprocessing
- A novel characterisation and separation technique for pluripotent human embryonic and hematopoeitic stem cells
A report of the December 2007 workshop to promote the third call can be found in the downloads section.
The second call focused on:
- Rapid bioprocess development
- Improved downstream bioprocessing and understanding
- Controlling and manipulating metabolism in microbial fermentation
7 projects were funded totalling £3.5M.
- Identifying and overcoming protein secretion bottlenecks in yeast and filamentous fungal cell factories
- Combined /omics approaches to understand and control library enriched microbial cell factories
- Pichia pastoris protein secretion: analysis of constraints, optimisation and methods development
- Multifunctional Chromatography materials for improved downstream processing
- Protein nucleation and crystallisation on novel 3-D templates
- Delta3D; Bench top assays for the rapid detection of protein 3D structural changes
- New approaches to high throughput protein, isolation, purification and concentration
The first call was open to all areas of the BRIC remit.
9 projects were funded totalling £5M and mainly focused on mammalian cell culture.
- A new microfluidic tool for rapid analysis of protein stability and integrity in bioprocesses
- Application of metabolomics profiling of recombinant mammalian cells to bioprocess design
- Packaging cell lines for inherently manufacturable viral vectors
- Characterization of post-transcriptional constraints that determine rP yield during bioprocessing in mammalian cells
- A Novel Bioreactor System for Manufacturing in Stem Cell Therapy and Tissue Engineering
- Identification of novel signal transducers in the mammalian unfolded protein response
- Microbial physiology underpinning the production of difficult recombinant proteins
- Modelling cellular processes underpinning recombinant monoclonal antibody production by mammalian cells
- Strategy for the consistent preparation of sufficient non-viral large chromosomal vectors for biopharmaceutical applications
Further details of all BRIC awards are available in the downloads section. For an overview of BRIC projects in the UK see 'Google: BRIC Projects map' in external links.