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An Introduction to Biologics

Robert Hindes, MD, an erstwhile executive for a major pharmaceutical company based in Connecticut and infectious disease specialist at Danbury Hospital, now serves as the chief medical officer of Trek Therapeutics, where he supervises all clinical trials and clinical operations. Over the course of his career, Robert Hindes, MD, has developed and monitored numerous clinical trials for next-generation biologics.

Short for biological products, biologics refer to compounds isolated from natural sources or engineered via biotechnology methods. Most pharmaceuticals come in the form of small organic molecules that exert an effect on a target receptor within the body. Biologics, on the other hand, may mimic the actual proteins or blood components of various organ systems.

Because many biologics come in the form of proteins, they require special handling considerations in the laboratory and clinic. Proteins tend to lose their essential structure at high temperatures, making it necessary for researchers and clinicians to store them in a cool environment. In terms of synthesis, biologics are almost always impossible to create from scratch in the lab. Instead, biologics developers must “trick” cells such as yeast and bacteria into making the protein using biotechnology techniques.

 

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