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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Engineering Bacteria for DNA Medicine Production

Plasmids prepared from Escherichia coli are fundamental tools in molecular biology, and their most recent applications as DNA medicines for gene therapy and DNA vaccines is a field that has expanded rapidly in the last decade. DNA vaccine candidates are in clinical trials against important diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and various cancers; plasmids are also important in gene therapy and anti-cancer therapies. Unlike DNA vaccines, gene therapies can require relatively large doses of purified plasmid DNA.

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By Dr Rocky Cranenburgh, Molecular Genetics Team Leader, Alexandra Bloor, Molecular Biologist, Matthew Leckenby, Molecular Biologist and Julian Hanak, Director of Production at Cobra Bio-Manufacturing Plc

Rocky Cranenburgh is the Molecular Genetics Team Leader at Cobra. He has a BSc from the University of Bristol and a PhD from the University of Newcastle. Shortly after joining Cobra in 1997, Rocky moved to the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford for a research collaboration, then relocated to Cobra's headquarters at Keele.

Alexandra Bloor is a Molecular Biologist in Cobra's Molecular Genetics Team. She has a BSc from Nottingham Trent University. Alex's research positions prior to joining Cobra in 2001 include the Molecular Genetics Unit of Cambridge University and the Molecular Sciences Institute, La Jolla, California.

Matthew Leckenby is a Molecular Biologist in Cobra's Molecular Genetics Team. He has a Licence en Biologie from Geneva University. Prior to joining Cobra in 2001, Matthew held a studentship at the Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Germany.

Julian Hanak is the Director of Production at Cobra. He has a BSc from University College London and an MSc from the University College of North Wales. He has held positions in cell and microbial fermentation at the National Institute of Medical Research (Mill Hill), Bioproducts Laboratory (Elstree) and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals (Cheshire). He joined Cobra in 1994 to manage production operations.
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Rocky Cranenburgh
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Alexandra Bloor
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Matthew Leckenby
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Julian Hanak
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