The CSIR’s technology demonstration research group focuses on the development of biomanufacturing technologies (products and processes), and their demonstration in laboratory and other relevant environments. The group provides its partners with cost-effective technologies to drive industrial development and promote expanded access to high-quality, safe and efficacious biopharmaceuticals. The group leads the CSIR’s work in the platforms outlined below.
Biopharmaceutical process development
The development of bioprocesses for biologics production forms a significant part of the group’s focus. Researchers use innovative recombinant approaches and synthetic biology to develop expressions systems and integrated processes for biopharmaceuticals like antibodies, vaccine antigens and therapeutic enzymes. The group also utilises the same platform to produce reagents for research and development, and diagnostics.
Biocatalysis and enzyme applications
The CSIR’s biocatalysis platform has a sound track record of applying whole-cell and enzyme-based biocatalysts to produce fine chemicals and platform chemicals using green chemistry. The CSIR plays a leading role in supporting the South African National System of Innovation in promoting the diffusion of biocatalysis in industry. The team uses metagenomics and synthetic biology for bioprospecting and the valorisation of indigenous microbial diversity for biocatalyst development. The group also has experience in innovative immobilisation of biocatalysts for enhancing recycling and performance.
The group hosts the following capabilities to deliver value:
- Upstream process development – Fermentation (yeast, bacteria), seed stocking, recombinant production, plant-based protein production, biocatalysis and biotransformations.
- Downstream process development – Filtration, fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC), formulation, centrifugation, homogenisation, disruption.
- Structural, functional and analytical expertise – ultra performance liquid chromatography(UPLC), gas chromatography (GC), molecular modelling, spectroscopy, electrophoresis and mass spectrometry.
We are currently developing our vision of providing cGMP biopharmaceutical process development for the local innovation system.