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Dr. Ashesh Kumar, Paras Biopharmaceuticals  Finland Oy CEO and Director: ‘Our Ultimate Objective is to Use Innovative Scientific Ideas to Make Healthcare More Affordable through the Efficient Production of Biologics’

Dr. Ashesh Kumar, Paras Biopharmaceuticals Finland Oy CEO and Director: ‘Our Ultimate Objective is to Use Innovative Scientific Ideas to Make Healthcare More Affordable through the Efficient Production of Biologics’

Paras Biopharmaceuticals Finland Oy is a fast-growing biopharmaceutical technology development company. It has successfully developed the proprietary Diabrid® Platform Technology for the high-level expression of biosimilars and long therapeutic peptides in specially designed genetically stable clones. Paras is specialized in the design, development, and optimization of manufacturing technologies for therapeutic peptides and soon to be off-patent biologics. The company is building a robust portfolio of proprietary technologies and has developed extensive intellectual property.

Paras Biopharmaceuticals is headquartered in Oulu, Finland.

Dr. Ashesh Kumar, Paras Biopharmaceuticals Finland Oy CEO and Director (Biologics & Licensing), spoke exclusively to CIO Bulletin. Below is an excerpt.

Briefly walk us through the technology that made Paras Biopharmaceuticals possible.

Paras Biopharmaceuticals has developed unique and cutting-edge technologies that solve critical biomanufacturing challenges in biologics medicines production.

Many biologic medicines are extremely expensive, chiefly because of challenges in their manufacturing technologies. Paras-offered technologies enable us to overcome these challenges and provide unique solutions for manufacturing complex biologics for affordable healthcare and rare and orphan diseases (un-met medical) needs.

Paras technology platform is a unique biomanufacturing innovation and provides solutions for new biologics for un-met medical needs.

Located in the innovative and technology-advanced city of Oulu, Finland, Paras Biopharmaceuticals brings together a unique mix of world-class microbial biologics development technologies and a sound understanding of customer needs for the development and production of recombinant biologics. Paras was founded in 2012 and has since seen significant growth in its microbial recombinant therapeutics technology solutions. 

Paras Biopharmaceuticals is at the forefront of providing solutions in the space of complex biologics. Being a lean company, Paras has the flexibility to adapt to the rapidly changing technologies and clients’ needs. The company decision-making is decentralized, and its core team has high flexibility.

This enables Paras to maintain very high customer satisfaction and speed in developing the medicines for unmet medical needs.

The Paras Biopharmaceuticals team has consolidated experience in developing complex proteins in a highly efficient manner. Rational design of processes combining academic and industrial expertise means increased efficiency without compromising quality. At Paras, our ultimate objective is to use innovative scientific ideas to make healthcare more affordable through the efficient production of biologics. There are several advantages of using E. Coli as the host organism. It is one of the most efficient production hosts available in addition to being low cost, rapid growth, high biomass, easy cultivation and manipulation, and EMA/FDA friendly.

The company has achieved a remarkable ‘Frugal Innovation’ by developing cutting-edge technologies for scale-up production of microbial biologics and long therapeutic peptides. This has resulted in a very economical way to produce biologics APIs (unmatched in the industry).

Paras Biopharmaceuticals proprietary and novel technologies include Diabrid® Technology, NobleCleav® Technology, BioMultifold® Technology & Cytofold StructQuant® Technology.

Diabrid® Technology is a unique propriety technology for the expression of recombinant therapeutic proteins and therapeutic peptides. The technology facilitates a higher expression of therapeutic proteins in a manner that enhances the quality and bio-effectiveness of the molecules and facilitates post-production protocols.

NobleCleav®—the technology facilitates high-level production of authentic biologics by combining high specificity and activity of processing. It significantly reduces wastage of the biologics during processing and thereby increases yields and significantly brings down the cost of production of biologics.

Biomultifold®—provides an innovative and highly efficient process for the production of recombinant proteins using an E. Coli expression system. Biomultifold® allows expression levels of multigrams of therapeutic proteins per liter of fermentation to be achieved. This facilitates a very economical and cost-effective system for manufacturing recombinant proteins and their scale-up production. Biomultifold® is, therefore, the most suitable technology for the large-scale production of Biosimilars and therapeutic products at the commercial scale.

Cytofold StructQuant® protein folding is a proprietary technology of Paras Biopharmaceuticals for the high-level expression of homogeneously folded disulfide bond containing proteins in the cytoplasm of E. Coli. The technology offers all the cost benefits of expression in E. Coli rather than in eukaryotic systems while at the same time retains the high yields obtained in cytoplasmic expression. The biologics produced are of the highest quality and have maximal biological activity, unlike the activity levels obtained for many secreted eukaryotic proteins when expressed in the cytoplasm without Cytofold StructQuant® technology.

In short, the innovative technology platforms developed by Paras Biopharmaceuticals (within E. coli, Pichia pastoris, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae host organisms) successfully enable new and innovative ways of employing combined unique expertise to perform cleavage of proteins with a fusion partner. This eliminates the need to use expensive cleavage enzymes in the production resulting in an authentic product. In-depth protein purification knowledge by Paras Biopharmaceuticals provides the perfect solutions to realize higher product yields.

In addition, other advantages include innovative process optimization that multiplies the production of biopharmaceuticals in E. Coli, no need to change your clone, easy regulatory process, improved economics/lower production costs, technology is ideal for a robust scale-up production process, applicable for a wide range of biopharmaceuticals including its suitability for the production of fragments of monoclonal antibodies in E. Coli.

How do you bridge the gap between academic research and actual technology development?

Paras-offered technologies enable scopes for scaled-up production of biologics for therapeutic applications. Our focus is not just on the development of complex proteins but on developing scalable proteins. Further, we have expertise in process optimization and the production of consistent batches.

Innovative and reliable biopharmaceutical technology is expensive for obvious reasons. How do you manage to make your services more accessible and affordable?  

As mentioned previously , Paras Biopharmaceuticals has achieved a remarkable ‘Frugal Innovation’ by developing cutting-edge technologies for scale-up production of microbial biologics and long therapeutic peptides. This has resulted in a very economical way to produce biologics APIs (unmatched in the industry). The company can also apply these technologies and their knowledge to its CDMO services. This benefits potential clients as it offers economical solutions, but Paras Biopharmaceuticals can also solve challenging inherent problems that interested parties find difficult to resolve.

What does the future hold for Paras Biopharmaceuticals?

While the overall biologics market is growing rapidly, microbially-derived biologics receive enhanced attention due to the cost and timeline benefits. Of the total US$ 250 billion or so biologics market, about 25 percent is microbial-derived biologics. However, microbial biologics’ growth rate is high, and competition is less, giving us a unique advantage.

We have our presence in three key areas—development and licensing of biosimilar production technologies; enabling the development of complex proteins from early-stage to large scale; development and supply of bioprocess enzymes used routinely in biologics development and production.

The Leader at the Helm of Paras Biopharmaceuticals Finland Oy

Dr. Ashesh Kumar is the CEO and Director of Biologics and Licensing at Paras Biopharmaceuticals Finland Oy. As one of the founder members of the company, Dr. Kumar leads the team and is responsible for the organization’s biologics development program, including the development of scale-up production technologies for unmet medical applications (such as interleukin receptor – antagonist) and biosimilars (for osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and metabolic diseases).

Within his professional career, Dr. Kumar has successfully developed and out-licensed biosimilar technologies for scale-up production of biologics and biosimilars in Europe and Asia. Before forming Paras Biopharmaceuticals, Dr. Kumar was Head of Medipolis GMP Oy in Finland for six years. As Head of the GMP Biopharma team in Europe, Dr. Kumar guided a team that successfully developed and licensed a key biosimilar technology for scale-up production in Europe. The group was responsible for carrying out more than eight process development and GMP biopharmaceuticals development projects. Dr. Kumar has a Ph.D. in Biosciences and Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, India, has done management studies at the premier institute, JBIMS, and Harvard Business School (Executive Management Program).

“Our company has achieved a remarkable ‘Frugal Innovation’ by developing cutting-edge technologies for scale-up production of microbial biologics and long therapeutic peptides. This has resulted in a very economical way to produce biologics APIs (unmatched in the industry).”


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