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PepTalk 2024: The Highlights

Biointron 2024-01-24 Read time: 3 mins

Biointron Weekly Reports

The 23rd annual PepTalk, held from January 16-19, 2024, marked a significant gathering in the biotech and pharmaceutical field. The conference showcased the latest advancements in protein science and production, with illuminating keynote sessions. The key topics in discussion were:

Antibody discovery and engineering

  • AI-driven tools and interpretable machine learning models were the focus for identifying, designing, and optimizing high-affinity antibodies. 

  • Many improvements were made in integrating machine learning into discovery and engineering platforms, as well as high-throughput assays. 

Bispecific antibody development

  • To improve the chance of success, speakers discussed novel formats for developability such as heterodimeric IgA Fc, CD3ε-targeting antibodies, and Fc-free antibody formats.

  • Bispecific antibody-drug conjugates (bsADCs) were of particular interest, as they have revolutionized cancer treatment. Their safety and efficacy were discussed, and Astrazeneca presented AZD9592, a first-in-class bsADC.

Characterization and aggregation in biopharmaceuticals  

  • Developability and characterization for novel biologics were discussed, involving new applications in advanced mass spectrometry and multi-attribute method (MAM).

  • The mechanism and impact of protein aggregation were discussed, e.g. long-term storage of biologics in the frozen state, and the strategies for managing it.

Vector design and delivery

  • Issues with immunogenicity, limited cargo capacity, targeted delivery, purification, and complex regulatory considerations were discussed.

  • Viral and non-viral vector engineering and scale-up considerations such as with bioreactors and engineered hosts were displayed.

Higher-throughput (HTP) bioproduction

  • Decreasing delivery times for the exponentially growing needs of research and manufacturing pipelines were an important topic.

  • HTP techniques in engineering hosts, developing cell lines, and optimizing cell culture for protein expression, purification and quantification speeds up bioproduction platforms.

Thank you to all who came to visit our booth at PepTalk! It was a pleasure to chat with you and feel free to contact us for any follow-up questions, at

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