It sounds like science fiction, but biopharmaceutical science is primed to fundamentally transform healthcare. Here's your Blue Hen-approved crash course.
If you faked an illness to avoid your high school science fair… If you think a beaker is something a duck uses to quack… If “viral contamination” sounds to you like the name of a band… In other words, if you’re less than science savvy… then the idea of a crash course in biopharmaceutical manufacturing likely makes you sweat.
But—before you close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and start la-la-la-ing as loud as you can—hear us out: This field is not beyond a layperson’s comprehension… no matter how sci-fi it sounds.
Let’s start small—with the wondrous molecules known as proteins. The building blocks of life, these workhorses play a role in every one of your bodily functions. In short, they keep you alive. Your genes contain instructions for creating such VIPs (very important proteins), but, sometimes, things go awry. When proteins do not function correctly or are missing altogether, the result is disease or other chronic conditions. We aren’t able to build replacement proteins using traditional chemistry, so what’s a scientist to do?
To address these ailments, scientists use living cells to create healthy replacement proteins—many of the leading biopharmaceutical products on the market today, Think monoclonal antibodies that treat COVID-19, hormones that regulate diabetes, enzymes that battle congestive heart failure and cancer. In other words: many of the extraordinary drugs keeping you or your loved ones alive and well.
But how does a protein therapy come to be?
To boost your scientific savvy, UD Magazine has put together a super concise, ultra simplified, doodle-friendly crash course in one common protein-therapy pathway. Clicke through the slides below—no doctor’s note required.