Optimised Commissioning of Control systems Pre-Parameterisation of Control Systems Facilitates their Planning and Commissioning

In the commissioning of control systems, coordination problems between the selected individual components occur quite frequently. Dr Egon Huefner, of Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, discusses a new, integrated controller concept with pre-parameterised control systems and defined components that prevents these problems and ensures fast, trouble-free commissioning.

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Next-Generation Instrument Discovers Low Affinity Inhibitors of the Inositol Phosphate Pathway

Traditional high-throughput screening (HTS) strategies searching for single targets have not led to a high number of promising leads for new drugs. Hence pharmaceutical companies are now increasingly looking for multi-target drugs to investigate. Dr E J Dell of BMG LABTECH explains how a next-generation photomultiplier- (PMT-) based instrument was compared to a high-performance charged coupled device (CCD), and how a next-generation HTS microplate reader provides a new more economical tool for finding lower affinity drug discovery compounds via traditional HTS bioassays.

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Unfolding the Science of Senescence

The ever ageing global population has led to an increasing prevalence of protein misfolding diseases, which underlie a number of serious and chronic degenerative conditions. The misshapen structures of these abnormal proteins make them aggregation-prone, leading to the formation of toxic aggregates that underlie various disease pathologies. As the details of the science of this process continue to unfold, new therapeutic approaches to combat this fundamental mechanism of senescence are now emerging. Dr Mark Treherne, Chief Executive at Senexis, explains that as our understanding of the science underlying this fundamental pathological process continues to evolve, we will come ever closer to unfolding the fascinating science of protein senescence.

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Drug Discovery: Reversed-Phase High Pressure Liquid Chromatography for Protein/Peptide Identification

Scientists typically perform unbiased protein identification by directly coupling reversed-phase high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) via electrospray ionisation to a mass spectrometer. Unlike innovations in mass spectrometric instrumentation, cutting-edge technology in reserved-phase HPLC has generally not been well adopted in drug discovery. Remco Swart at Thermo Fisher Scientific describes the effects of increased peak capacities on the number of identified proteins and peptides in complex mixtures utilising an RSLCnano LC system, providing a rationale for using advanced reversed-phase HPLC technology coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS).

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Molecular Imaging in Preclinical Research and Drug Development

Drug development is a lengthy process; development durations of 10–15 years are commonplace when following the established paradigms. Zheng Jim Wang and Mark R. Lane of MPI Research explain that a recent shift in drug discovery efforts, utilising novel biomarkers against specific molecular targets highlights, has seen the need for robust molecular imaging platforms to provide specific endpoints.

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Should we Leave it to Patients to Identify Counterfeit Medicines?

This is a very topical issue in both developing and industrialised countries, where commercial sites on the internet are increasingly used to buy consumer goods, including medicines – notably those not reimbursed by health insurance, and countless others issued without a prescription. The argument developed for leaving this responsibility to the patient alone is an acknowledgement that the whole distribution channel is corrupted, including the pharmacist and doctor, not to mention wholesalers or local manufacturers. Owing to this, we admit that having reliable intermediaries in such a crucial field as health is not possible and we “make do”. Roland Meylan, co-founder of AlpVision, expands further in this article.

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The EU Directive Against Falsified Medicines and the Role of Security Labels

In 2001 the EU launched a first directive in order to harmonise and regulate the European Medicines Supply Chain. However, that directive (2001/83/EC), which has now been in effect for several years through legislation of the European member states, has turned out to be too weak to efficiently safeguard European citizens. Dr Marietta Ulrich-Horn PhD, Cofounder and Manager of Securikett, provides a detailed insight into globally growing problems with counterfeited, diverted, falsified and expired drugs that have entered the European scene.

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Decentral Automation at all Process Levels Intelligent Control Heads Enable Complete Decentral Automation of Hygienic Production Processes

In the food and beverage industry, and also in the production of medicines and cosmetics, excellent hygiene in processes and around the plant plays a key role. This is ensured by stringent legislative regulations. Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Kundel, Global Marketing/Segment Hygienic Processing at Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, discusses how in an increasingly competitive global environment, companies in this industry are at the same time forced to make their production processes as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

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Safeguarding the Global Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Understanding the intricacy of the cold chain distribution process, and the potential stumbling-blocks associated with conducting clinical trials in emerging markets, will help bio-practitioners more successfully safeguard product quality and chain of custody while dealing with a continuous stream of arms-length exchanges between local representatives, officials and vendors. Dr Rüdiger Lomb, Global Director, Quality & Technical Compliance at World Courier, outlines two effective strategies for securing the “non-science-based” part of the pharmaceutical supply chain equation while reducing both costs and risk.

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