Introduction of Recombinant Insulin in 1982 paved the way for the development of biotechnological products. Today we reached a stage where many biopharmaceuticals traversed from the conceptual stage to the production stage. Developing novel delivery systems like targeted deliveries coupled with nanotechnologies is the way forward to carve a niche in the competitive, yet lucrative biopharmaceutical market. Pharmacy Graduates, with their background in subjects like Microbiology, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Engineering, Biotechnology, and Pharmacology are aptly suited for making a fruitful career in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. The Biotechnology industry is looking up and bound to grow by leaps and bounds with proactive government policies both at Central and State levels. To meet this challenging assignment, quality manpower is the prerequisite.
Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, a constituent college of Manipal Academy of Higher Education has always stood in the forefront in meeting the ever-growing and challenging requirements of the Pharmaceutical Industry. The Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, another jewel in the MCOPS crown and 8th Department, was established in the year 2005. It offers a two-year postgraduate program (MPharm) in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Faculty comprises a good blend of experienced and young teachers and the department has an adequate infrastructure with spacious laboratories, seminar room, departmental library, and equipments. The curriculum is designed considering the rapid advancements in the field of biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals.
The department offers a two-year postgraduate course, MPharm Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. In the first year, theoretical inputs on both basic and applied aspects of microbial biochemistry, immunology, bioprocess engineering, cell and molecular biology, drug discovery, quality assurance of biopharmaceuticals, regulatory affairs, and IPR are given. The students will have extensive practical hands-on training in recombinant DNA technology, basic molecular biology techniques, animal tissue culture, fermentation, proteomics, diagnostic tests (ELISA), Western blot, Nano-biotechnology, etc. In the second year, students have to take up project works and are trained to do extensive literature surveys to identify research gaps, formulating a research problem, designing research protocols and implementing them to generate data followed by interpretation to arrive at conclusions for the defined research problem.
The department has excellent infrastructure, state-of-art laboratories, faculty specialized in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Students with a background in Pharmaceutical Sciences, specializing in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, will have a unique advantage of being placed in the biopharmaceutical industry.
MPHARM PHARMACEUTICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
The Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology offers postgraduate program, MPharm Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. The curriculum of MPharm Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is designed for a period of two years, providing theoretical and practical exposure to the core and fundamental subjects during the first year and research (project) work during the second year.
The program is elaborated in two semesters. The details of each are given below:
The courses for the first semester include,
• MODERN PHARMACEUTICAL ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES: This subject deals with various advanced analytical instrumental techniques for identification, characterization, and quantification of drugs. Instruments dealt are NMR, Mass spectrometer, IR, HPLC, GC etc.
• MICROBIAL AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY: to understand the role of microorganisms in human health and diseases, microbial genetics, antimicrobial chemotherapy and drug resistance
• BIOPROCESS ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY: It enables the students to develop skills to design and operate different types of fermenters and to understand and implement various fermentation procedures. It trains the students in scale up and scale down fermentation operations.
• ADVANCED PHARMACEUTICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY: This paper has been designed to provide the knowledge to the students to develop skills in recent advancements in pharmaceutical biotechnology and enrich students with current status of development and economic importance of biotechnological products.
The courses for the second semester are as follows:
• PROTEINS AND PROTEIN FORMULATIONS: This course is designed to impart knowledge and skills necessary for knowing fundamental aspects of proteins and their formulations which is a part of drug research and development process.
• IMMUNOTECHNOLOGY: This course is designed to impart knowledge on basics of immunology and immune system, biochemistry of antigens, vaccine technology, production and applications of monoclonal antibodies, immunological disorders and immunodiagnosis.
• BIOINFORMATICS AND COMPUTATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY: The course has been designed to provide the necessary knowledge to the students in applied aspects of bioinformatics, which strengthens the student's ability to make use of databases and computational tools in the drug discovery and design.
• BIOLOGICAL EVALUATION AND DRUG THERAPY: This paper has been designed to provide knowledge to the students in the areas of quality assurance, control, formulation and regulatory aspects of biotechnological products.
In Second Year MPharm, (Semester III and IV) students choose a particular area of research and perform a full-year project work in a specified innovative area either in the college or industry.
Semester III also contains following two subjects.
• Research Methodology and Biostatistics
• Journal Club
A student with a postgraduate qualification in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology can take up the following jobs:
Research and Development: Considering the quantum and quality of research happening in the field of life sciences on drug discoveries to age-old diseases like cancer and diabetes as well as old age diseases like neurodegenerative diseases, a PG student from Pharmaceutical Biotechnology stream aptly suits the job. The student can play a significant role in this area.
Production: Considering the market potential for biopharmaceuticals, pharma industry is looking for creating facilities for large scale production of these products. There is a need to create manpower who is trained in the areas of recombinant DNA technology and fermentation technology. The PG students from Pharmaceutical Biotechnology stream aptly fit into this role.
Quality Control and Assurance of Biopharmaceuticals: The students from Pharmaceutical Biotechnology stream with training in the areas of proteomics and basic microbial and molecular biology techniques can form the basis of quality manpower.
Academics: To create quality manpower in this highly specialized area of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, we need to have a pool of qualified faculty. A PG student with altitude and aptitude of teaching profession can opt for academics.
Our students were well placed in biotechnological companies like Biocon, Wockhardt, Lupin, Serum Institute, Panacea biotech, etc. Some have taken up doctoral studies in prestigious universities across the globe and some are in academics.
On a regular basis, Project proposals are submitted regularly to funding agencies based on the preliminary research data generated and the department is successful in getting good financial assistance from DBT, DST, ICMR, AICTE, etc.
Since the inception of the department in 2005, till date (1st June 2015), one hundred and one research papers were published in national and international journals. The faculty and the students from the department presented more than one hundred papers in national and international conferences.
Current Areas of Research
- DNA based vaccine delivery systems.
- RNAi based therapeutics for gene silencing: siRNA/shRNA design, formulation development, in- vitro, ex-vivo and in vivo evaluation (delivery).
- Screening, isolation, characterization, and scale-up of microbial products (enzymes, antibiotics, and other secondary metabolites) from microorganisms of commercial interest and its pharmacological evaluation.
- Microbial synthesis of nanoparticles: Biosynthesis, isolation, and characterization.
- Understanding signaling pathways in cancer pathogenesis and therapy.
- Gene expression studies.
- Immunoproliferators: Isolation, characterization, and evaluation of cytokine-like molecules from a microbial source.
- Development and evaluation of novel nano-formulations, identification of synergistic combinations to overcome microbial antibiotic resistance.
- Peptide therapeutics: Design, evaluation, and formulation of peptides for therapeutics.
- Development and analysis of nano-formulation for brain delivery.
- Drug discovery: Screening of drug candidates for their antimicrobial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, antiobesity, anticancer, antiviral and antidiabetic activities.
Expertise / Collaborations/ Consultancy
- Screening of drug candidates for their antimicrobial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, antiobesity, anticancer, antiviral and antidiabetic activities using in vitro cell culture-based techniques.
- Sterility tests, antimicrobial assays, microbial limit tests of drug formulations.
- PCR, gene and protein expression studies.
- The department also imparts training for students and academicians from sister and other institutions in the latest microbial screening and molecular biology techniques used in biochemistry and biotechnology specializations.
Note: The department undertakes various research works/projects in the above research areas from industries, academic institutions, and individuals.
As envisaged in the introduction above, the department of Pharmaceutical biotechnology strives hard to train the students in niche areas of the Biopharmaceutical industry and make them competent to take up jobs in biotech companies in drug discovery, production of the biopharmaceuticals and microbial quality control labs.
Labs & Facilities
Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology has best-in-class facilities for students of all constituent institutes
Well equipped Cell Biology, Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Bioprocess Laboratories with most modern sophisticated equipment.
The labs are equipped with facilities to carry out research work involving cell culture, nucleic acid technologies, protein separation and purification etc.
Research & Publications
While India is the leading player in pharmaceuticals especially generic based products, over the last decade the focus has shifted towards biotechnology-based products, especially biosimilars. The Biotech sector has grown up to three times in the last five years. Currently, this sector is growing at an average rate of about 20 percent. India's biotech industry consists of biopharmaceuticals, bioservices, bioagriculture, bioindustry, and bioinformatics. For over a decade, since its inception in 2005, The Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (DPBT) has been involved in multidisciplinary research. DPBT carries out research projects and trains students in the field of biotechnology to meet the challenges in the areas of microbial technology, fermentation technology, molecular biotechnology, cancer biology, immunology, bioinformatics, drug discovery and development. During the journey of ten years of the research quest, DPBT published 102 research papers in national and international journals and presented 136 papers in national as well as international conferences held in countries like USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Srilanka, and the Netherlands. The department received nine research projects. Research team of DPBT has received seven best paper awards from conference presentations. Our team has also received 13 travel grants from different funding agencies for conference presentations in India and abroad. The department is successful in receiving funding from various agencies such as DBT, DST, ICMR and schemes such as VGST-SPiCE, DST-WOS-A, AICTE-RPS, AICTE-NCP, AICTE-MODROBS, and DST-FIST.
"The Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, MCOPS, with its distinguished faculty and best-in-class research facilities, has helped me strengthen my understanding of core theoretical concepts and expand my laboratory skillsets, shaping up a deep sense of zeal towards research in therapeutics."
(M. Pharm 2018-2020) Biocon, Bangalore
“I am incredibly grateful for my stay at MCOPS, for it laid my foundation as an independent research investigator. What fascinated me most about the program was its seamless structure and execution. Great combination of didactic coursework backed with a myriad of practicums and a very supportive faculty helped me prepare myself for a successful research career abroad. More importantly my peers were a big support system who taught me teamwork and helped me navigate through difficult times. It always felt like home away from home”.
Dr Priyanka Garg
(M. Pharm 2006-2008) Stanford University, School of Medicine, USA
When I reflect on my two years in the Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, MCOPS; I conclude that the experience not only inculcated research skills in me, but also prepared me in unpredictable ways for my career. It was a wonderful time in my life, and the best educational experience I’ve had.
Dr Rajesh Y
(MPharm 2010-2012) Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
“Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, MCOPS, MAHE is the right choice for those who wants to pursue M Pharm in Biotechnology. Pursuing my M Pharm in this department along with divine guidance of my teachers has led me to make honest career choice. M Pharm in Biotechnology is definitely an outgrowing research field with broader opportunities. I feel wonderful and blessed to be a student of this department”.
(M. Pharm 2018-2020) Indegene Pvt Ltd. Bangalore