iConsensus driving new technology for biological drug development and manufacture
The iConsensus project, aims to develop a single platform consisting of miniaturized tools that can monitor and manipulate biological processes for the production of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. The project is focused on developing efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly tools that can consistently monitor and operate animal cell cultures, which are important in the production of biopharmaceuticals. The project brings together small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and academic experts to create new approaches to solve niche problems in the pharmaceutical industry. The project benefits both the industry and SMEs, as the industry gains improved technology for drug production, while the SMEs gain a built-in future client. The project has developed new tools, such as "Sensor Sticks" to measure dissolved oxygen, pH levels, and partial pressure of carbon dioxide in bioreactors and new cell density quantification tools to give automated high throughput cell count and viability determination. These technologies are useful not only for protein production but also in the evolving therapies of the future.