Cambridge Research Biochemicals expands peptide capacity

First firm in Europe to acquire powerful Overture synthesiser, which upgrades the Cleveland firm's peptide manufacturing capacity

CRB upgrades its peptide manufacturing capacity with the installation of an Overture Robotic Peptide Library Synthesiser

UK-based research peptide and antibody manufacturer Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB) has made a ‘substantial’ investment in its peptide manufacturing capacity by buying the first Overture Robotic Peptide Library Synthesiser to be installed in Europe. Overture is said to be one of the most powerful peptide synthesisers in the world and will enable CRB to offer a much faster and more flexible service.

In the search for new disease-causing target molecules, the peptide libraries produced by Overture can identify the epitopes that cause peoples’ immune systems to react and which may be the key to developing new treatments.

‘The benefit that will be most apparent to our customers will be the ability of Overture's cutting-edge design to speed up the synthesis of peptides and tackle increasingly challenging molecules,’ said Dr Laurent Caron, peptide core technology manager at CRB, based in Cleveland.

The Overture Robotic Peptide Library Synthesiser, developed by Protein Technologies in Tucson, AZ, US allows libraries from 4 to 96 compounds to be made, including overlapping peptides for epitope mapping, alanine-scanning libraries, positional scanning libraries, random libraries, truncation peptide libraries and scrambled peptide libraries for sequence optimisation.

The Overture's flexible software features easy sequence importing, automatic sequence placement, automatic library generation, automated cleaning routines and report and log file generation.

Special features include a safe-response feature, which automatically drains and rinses the resin with solvent when an error occurs, as well as e-mail notification of any problems.

Other features include a workstation utility, which allows syntheses to be created on a PC and then transferred to the Overture with a USB stick. A special door-opening mechanism saves bench space, and an optional solvent cabinet configuration is also available.

Alison White, operations director at CRB, added: ‘This is the second investment in expanding peptide production capacity that we have made in the last six months following our acquisition at the end of 2010 of a Liberty peptide synthesiser, which uses microwave technology to make higher purity peptides up to 10 times faster than by conventional methods.’