Late last month, EAG Laboratories, a global scientific services company that provides testing, analytical and characterization services to technology- and life-science-related industries, announced that the company is adding to its biopharmaceutical development capabilities by expanding a dedicated cell bioassay laboratory in Columbia, Missouri.

The announcement follows several recent investments made to support its growing life sciences customer base.

“This latest expansion gives our biopharmaceutical scientists a state-of-the-art environment to assist our customers in answering challenging questions unique to large molecule development,” stated Siddhartha Kadia, PhD, EAG Laboratories’ Chief Executive Officer.

Tripling footprint
The expansion more than triples the footprint of EAG’s current cell bioassay laboratory. It includes the addition of cell culturing incubators, as well as new instrumentation to increase capacity and assay throughput, which will enable EAG to simultaneously support multiple development programs. The laboratory is divided into multiple suites to minimize cross contamination of cell lines.

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Image: EAG laboratories. Courtesy: © 2017 EAG Inc. Used with permission.

The company also plans to increase its staff of biopharmaceutical scientists by up to 35% over the next several months to address the needs of existing clients, as well as market trends toward more complex biopharmaceutical development.

“The expansion supports a growing need by industry for more advanced and complicated assays. Cell-based assays help the sponsor develop, optimize and validate the drug’s stability, particularly in terms of its three dimensional structure and ultimately its efficacy,” Glenn E. Petrie, Ph.D.  Senior Scientific Advisor at EAG Laboratories, explained.

“Most bioassays are quite complex—involving cell proliferation, cytotoxicity, activation of cell signaling pathways, cell migration and/or various activities that affect gene expression. While they represent a relatively small portion of the data package required by regulators, bioassays are increasingly in demand as biopharmaceutical science shifts toward molecules with multiple mechanisms, such as Antibody Drug Conjugates, which combine the target specificity of a monoclonal antibody with the therapeutic activity of a highly potent cytotoxic anti-cancer agent,” Petrie added.*

Commercial and laboratory operations
In addition to the news on the expansion, EAG Laboratories appointed Amanda Halford has been appointed as Senior Vice President, Life Sciences, in addition to her role as Chief Commercial Officer. Halford is now responsible for driving growth in EAG’s commercial and laboratory operations. The Life Sciences division provides product development and testing services to the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, animal health, agrochemical, consumer product and specialty/industrial chemical markets. Halford has a proven track record for managing successful growth strategies within the life sciences market.

Prior to joining EAG Laboratories, she spent 15 years at Sigma Aldrich, chemical, life science and biotechnology company owned by Merck KGaA, holding leadership positions including Vice President of the Academic Research business, Vice President of eBusiness, Vice President of Chemistry and Materials Science and Director of Marketing for Sigma Aldrich’s manufacturing business, SAFC.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for EAG in the life sciences space,” Halford noted.

“We have world-class facilities and unparalleled, multi-disciplinary scientific know-how. In the coming year, we will focus on delivering the best end-to-end customer experience in the industry,” she added.

* See interview with Glenn E. Petrie, Ph.D. Senior Scientific Advisor at EAG Laboratories, published in ADC Review | Journal of Antibody-drug Conjugates on March 24, 2017 (Critical Aspects of Investigational New Drug (IND) Applications: An Interview with Glenn Petrie, Ph.D [Article])

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