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Whole lot of learning at PEGS!

In late November we (Martin & Tony) once again made our way to Portugal to attend PEGS Europe 2019. We travelled light without an exhibitor booth this time, but Martin was armed with a new poster tube, and we had plenty of lively discussions with researchers who are now reconsidering how they can make use of state-of-the art Circular Dichroism technology in the future. 

The conference was again hosted in Lisbon and despite mostly rainy weather (to make us feel at home), there were a few glimpses of sun that allowed us to enjoy the city’s charm and experience some great food and drink alongside the scientific program.

For us, the poster sessions were one of the highlights. It was great to meet so many people from Contract Research Organisations that are interested in adding automated circular dichroism to their portfolio as they see the potential to offer their customers statistically validated CD data. Again, scientists we spoke to agreed that a Higher Order Structure comparison based on e.g. Weighted Spectral Difference is an approach superior to  visual comparisons of spectra and ultimately supports informed decisions without user bias and in line with current demands by regulatory authorities (visit our website to read more).

Besides having had conversations during coffee breaks and poster sessions, we followed the talks in the analytical track. It started off with the Optimisation & Developability session which included an interesting presentation by Andreas Evers from Sanofi who uses Circular Dichroism to assess the aggregation of peptide therapeutics that may convert from alpha-helical structure to fibrils dominated by beta-sheet structure. The following sessions dealt with Analytical Characterisation of Biotherapeutics and Protein Aggregation & Stability with a clear focus on Mass Spectrometry-related approaches such as Multi Attribute Methodology – did you know that CD spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry make for a great team.

At Applied Photophysics, we believe that “every day is a school day” and this was also true at PEGS Europe – like last year we picked up little pieces of insight here and there to take home with us that make the whole experience so worthwhile; e.g. did you know that histidine, which is a common excipient in formulation buffers, forms a stable adduct with hydrogen peroxide? That’s something to consider in your next forced degradation study!

In a nutshell, PEGS Europe 2019 has been a valuable event and who knows, maybe we’ll see you there in 2020?


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