GALAB Technologies Tools for Glycosciences
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Potential for the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Glycoconjugates as glycoproteins and glycolipids play an essential role in many physiological processes. Consequently they are potential candidates for the development of new drugs. Important glycoproteins for the pharmaceutical research and development are for example tumor markers, enzymes, receptors, cytokines or antibodies.

Often alterations within glycan structures can be related to a certain disease and thus are important for diagnostics (e.g. different glycosylation pattern in tumor related tissues). In a promising approach glycan structures of a therapeutic protein can be modified to improve its physiological properties like bioavailability and in-vivo half life or to direct the drug to a certain target tissue. The glycoprotein drug EPO displays a famous example for successful glycan design. In the field of xenotransplantation the glycosylation apparatus in the donor organism is planned to be modified in order to enhance the compatibility of the donated organs in humans.
Biological Membrane
Fig: Glycoproteins and glycolipids incorporated into a biological membrane
Innovative Tools and Methods are needed

For the investigation and application of glycoconjugates it is necessary to isolate these compounds from complex samples like serum, cell and microbiological cultures, tissues or synthetic libraries at a high purity and with a defined structure. Conventional physico-chemical separation techniques like size exclusion or ion exchange chromatography often lack resolution and yield a product with limited purity. This is especially when a defined carbohydrate structure is needed. Additionally, organic solvents, low pH or other harsh separation conditions can reduce protein activity.

Hence bio-specific techniques like lectin affinity separation are preferred for the purification of glycoconjugates. They have several advantages over physico-chemical separation techniques, as there are the high specificity for a certain carbohydrate structure, mild separation conditions that preserve the biological activity of the glycoprotein and the ability to concentrate the product from a dilute sample.
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