Scaling up to the large volume and gaining a new level of knowledge bring enthusiasm and positivity among the team and the actors at the authentic industrial test-bed, Testa Center.
Testa Center was inaugurated August 21 at GE Healthcare’s site in Uppsala and now, a few months later, lots of activities are ongoing.
It has been a few intensive first months and few hick-ups, as with all new startups. But most of all, work has been characterized by enthusiasm and positivity, and it is incredibly rewarding to follow the projects in their upscaling processes. A couple of companies, Ilya Pharma and Biolamina, are already done with their projects in Testa Center. There are projects from all over Sweden, as well as Finland and Denmark who wants to use the facility. Indeed, a very interesting pipeline!
Even though Testa Center might be perceived primarily as an upscaling facility for industrial processes, it is still highly useful for any academic projects that need a biological compound at large amount. For example, if you for research purposes need to purify high amounts of a protein from any source, Testa Center might be the optimal facility for that. Also, all sorts of culturing on large scale (from 2l and upwards) is suitable to run in Testa Center.
An interesting example is the Uppsala University researcher Marwin Seibert. Marwin’s research focuses on the studies of the plant enzyme Rubisco, and it´s carbon fixation properties. His goal is to produce a neutron crystallography structure of rubisco in order to understand more of the enzyme’s catalytic mechanism. A better understanding of this mechanism could provide the key in order to enhance the enzyme’s efficiency and facilitating faster plant growth and increase crop yields.
In order to do neutron crystallography, very large quantities of pure protein are needed. Marwin uses spinach as starting material, and in order to achieve enough amount of rubisco, a fairly large amount of starting material is needed. This would have taken many weeks to process in Marwin’s own lab. Instead, Testa Center showed to be a perfect match in order to perform the large-scale purification.
Another important branch of Testa Centers offer is about competence provision. Recently, the Master program in Biotechnology from Uppsala University performed a large-scale culturing and purification lab at Testa Center. This was extremely appreciated by the students. Testa Center welcomes all Swedish universities and high educational premises, as well as other educational providers to the facilities.
Testa Center really can play an important role to secure Sweden’s future bioprocess excellence.