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Helping researchers spot game-changing drug candidates

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News, Pharmaceuticals

NanoTemper Technologies and PharmAI develop biophysical tools for the analysis of huge amounts of data in drug research

A cooperation now underway between Dresden-based start-up PharmAI and Munich-based NanoTem per Technologies aims to do just that. In the future, the two partners will combine their know-how in innovative products. Among other things, these will enable small laboratories to enter the field of active ingredient research. For example, this would make it possible to conduct more research into drugs for rare diseases, the development of which is currently rather unprofitable for large pharmaceutical companies.

NanoTemper Technologies has been a leader in the development of devices and software solutions for the analysis of biomolecules for years. To this end, the Munich-based company combines various optical measurement methods that use light to make important statements about molecules: about their size, composition, durability or potential use as an active ingredient. The DiscoveryEngine software, in turn, uses artificial intelligence to find suitable drug candidates in large databases based on protein structure data. “We now want to bundle these competencies to create added value for our customers,” explains Dr. Philipp Baaske, one of the two managing directors of NanoTemper Technologies.

Virtual screening, he says, is where the future lies. “However, customers don’t want to spend time dealing with measured values; they want to gain new insights and use them in their work. That’s exactly what we help with.” For Dr. Joachim Haupt, CEO of PharmAI, the collaboration is therefore a next logical step. “Our software makes helpful predictions about drug candidates and reduces millions of possibilities to a manageable size,” he explains. The particular devices and software are able to validate those predictions afterwards, he says, so customers can move forward with the results directly.

In the coming months, the companies will combine their technologies to develop a new generation of tools. “This will make us an enabler, because these products will enable the entire industry to move forward and do things that are impossible today,” Baaske is convinced. For the company, the cooperation also opens up market areas in which the startup has not yet been active. “The collaboration enables us to apply our software to new problems and is therefore extremely exciting for us,” Haupt adds. His team is looking forward to working together.

“Bringing life-saving drugs and therapies to market is more important than ever. In order to make big leaps in research quickly, the focus for these new drug development tools is reliability and ease of use, so they can be used by as many people as possible. Through this collaboration, we are able to focus our products on what researchers need to be successful.”

– Philipp Baaske, Co-CEO of NanoTemper Technologies

Both CEOs are convinced that these tools will help to develop drugs and new therapies in a much shorter time and at a lower cost in the future.

 

Mechanical Processes News

Electrochemical sensors provide new possibilities

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The opportunity to introduce an electrochemical sensor to the market is closer than ever. Metrohm DropSens produces customized electrochemical sensors through a scalable and cost-effective manufacturing process with no quantity limits. An idea, an application, or an incipient research task can be turned into a world-class, certified, market-ready solution that meets individual requirements, regardless of industry or specific need.

Metrohm DropSens’ ability to develop and manufacture both customized and large-volume electrochemical solutions offers great opportunities for the development of sensors and biosensors on small sensor strips. Many projects and research work can gain new perspectives. thanks to the professional manufacturing, which, in addition to cost-efficient production, guarantees the highest product quality and stability, as well as delivery capability without the risk of delivery bottlenecks.

Thanks to the customizability of these sensors, a wide range of modifications and options are possible, such as spatial arrangement, shape, area, substrate and an extensive selection of different materials. This versatility allows the sensor to be adapted to applications from different market areas and sectors in order to measure a wide range of parameters. Suitable areas include health, food and beverage analysis, environmental analysis, water contamination, detection of drugs, viruses, agriculture and animal husbandry, to name a few.

Custom production and large-scale manufacturing of electrochemical sensors can be a suitable way to reach the market, respond to new analytical tasks and achieve high-performance, as well as accurate measurement results: a desired goal, for many fields and industries. From small-scale prototyping to large-scale sensor production, support is provided here throughout the entire process: from initial conception to in-depth prototype design and results with the highest quality standards, always accompanied by a global, reliable and competent service.

 

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage News Quality Management

Cooperation for sustainable investment

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KHS and Martens are continuing their joint strategy for reducing packaging material. Just last year the traditional Belgian brewery invested in an Innopack Nature MultiPack machine which uses adhesive dots to join PET bottles into stable packs. Now the group is planning to purchase a second NMP machine, which processes cans, from KHS. Thanks to the expansion the brewery will have greater flexibility to meet the market’s growing demand for environmentally friendly packaging. The NMP project is just one example of the Dortmund-based full-range supplier’s steadily growing portfolio of sustainable packaging solutions.

Since 2020 the company has been relying on the material-saving Nature MultiPack from KHS. Together the long-standing partners implemented film-free six-packs made of PET bottles for the retail trade. The response to the alternative to classic shrink film has been very positive:

 

“We were able to convince both our customers and consumers. The high demand shows that environmentally friendly packaging is in high demand.”

– Jan Martens, Brewery Manager

 

Into new markets with Nature MultiPack

Thanks to the new line, the Belgian beer producer will in future be able to process not only PET bottles but also cans into stable yet easily separable packs. This eliminates the need for shrink film or cardboard packaging and reduces material consumption by up to 90 percent. “This benefits both consumers and the environment,” says the brewery boss.

While the brewery produces at an output of up to 54,000 containers per hour, which is sufficient for them, KHS now also offers the Innopack NatureMultiPack machine for the high-performance range. This further developed variant enables up to 90,000 containers per hour – and even up to 108,000 if the capacity is exceeded.

This should make it possible to penetrate new markets. “Retailers are increasingly looking for environmentally friendly packaging options. I am very confident that our resource-saving Nature MultiPack solutions will meet with great interest,” predicts the brewery boss. Now his brewery has the necessary flexibility to meet the current needs of the trade in the best possible way.

 

Secondary packaging: KHS offers an extensive portfolio

The Nature MultiPack is just one example of the continuously increasing variety of sustainable and forward-looking secondary packaging from KHS. The Dortmund-based full-range supplier pursues a clear strategy of taking a holistic view, as Sören Storbeck, Global Product Account Manager Packaging at KHS, explains, “Our overriding aim Page 3 of 6 is to meet every need of our customers in the best possible way. We therefore rely on a comprehensive portfolio of line and packaging solutions, as well as on our global service network, which is available to our customers around the clock.”

The line manufacturer’s latest innovations include the Innopack Kisters Wraparound Shrink Paper Packer (WSPP A), which can pack cans either in paper, cardboard or film. This variety is made possible by the modular design of all Innopack Kisters machines. This allows existing models to be quickly and flexibly retrofitted with additional paper functionality. With its combination of different process modules, a WSPP A, for example, can process three different types of secondary packaging: the wraparound carton, the tray, and the pad, which can be wrapped either in paper or shrink film. As of now, it is also possible to process film made from 100 percent recyclate on Innopack Kisters machines – without any loss of quality or performance.

Another pioneering packaging alternative can be produced with the new Innopack Kisters CNP (Carton Nature Packer). This high-performance, flexible packer uses corrugated cardboard and solid board tops to join cans together to form rigid packs. KHS’ development spirit doesn’t stop there, however: “We’re striving for even more efficient and sustainable solutions – whether in the field of primary, secondary, or tertiary packaging,” says Storbeck. “Together with our customers and partners we’re constantly working on conserving even more resources and further strengthening the recycling loop.”

 

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Food & Beverage News

Innovation from proven technology

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Because of the dust which arises when products are created, grinding places particularly high demands on the technology used. The design of a grinding plant with regard to safety, for both machines and their operators. The pressure shock resistant design of the complete grinding system up to an explosion overpressure of 10 bar(g) is the most frequently used version, which, however, is associated with a high level of equipment and corresponding space requirements.

Thanks to the ATEX-compliant Condux® Compact plant concept, the installation of a high performance grinding plant for numerous products is now much easier, since explosion protection valves or explosion suppression devices, explosion isolators, fans and even conventional dust filter systems are no longer required with the newly developed plant concept.

The idea of a compact grinding system is not new but existing solutions show significant disadvantages when it comes to cleaning efforts and hygienic design. NETZSCH has therefore improved the decisive points of its concept once again: The footprint or space requirement of the compact plant is 80 % less than that of comparable standard grinding plants with the same throughput capacities. This also has an effect on the investment costs, which are approximately 30 % lower. By using the newly developed CycloFil cyclone filter in the system, the integrated pre-separation of the grinding stock and the recirculation of the process gas allow a filter area that is over 90 % smaller than that of comparable mill sizes. With CycloFil, the degree of separation can be adapted to the operator’s requirements by means of exchangeable immersion tubes.

These features of the new system result in various advantages. For example, the grinding system can be easily integrated into existing production systems thanks to the minimal space requirement, and the necessary cleaning when changing products is extremely quick thanks to easy access to the parts in contact with the product.

The well-proven Impact Mill Condux® is the basis machine of this grinding system. The products are ground within this mill mainly by impact and shearing action. For use with a wide variety of products and final finenesses, this machine is available in various executions, as either a blast mill, pin-disc mill or wing-beater mill.Press release – NETZSCH Grinding & Dispersing In contrast to conventional grinding plants, the processing gas in the streams in a circular motion. The product is fed directly to the mill via a pressureshock-resistant rotary valve and discharged after the grinding process via a separator with air lock. Parallel to this, the additional rinsing air fed through the valves and mill bearing is continuously discharged through the CycloFil to prevent a build-up of pressure. A subsequent aspiration system generates the vacuum needed to stabilise the system pressure.

Thanks to the innovative CycloFil cyclone filter, the supplied energy is dissipated via the product and the system surface, so that no additional cooling is required. The warmth produced by the grinding process is mainly compensated along with the product when it leaves the machine and to a smaller extent by the system surface, and is therefore throughput dependent.

The expected temperature increase, for e.g. of ground powdered sugar (d90 = 100 μm) is normally in the range of ∆T = 10-25°C. For a large range of products the warming has no influence on the quality or the downstream process. For the grinding of particularly temperature-sensitive products, the system can be additionally cooled with liquid nitrogen. Especially the degree of innovation of the System was confirmed recently by the Fi Europe Innovation Award jury, who awarded the fine impact mill Condux® Compact as the winner of the Food Tech Innovation Award for the most innovative technical processing solution for food ingredients.

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