Science Exchange rated Sanquin Unit Pharma & Biotech Top-Performing provider 2019

A year ago, Sanquin  Diagnostics established the Pharma & Biotech Services unit. This week, the Sanquin branch was rated top of the laboratory-service companies for the pharma and biotech sector in 2019. A very good achievement!

Sanquin helps pharmaceutical and biotech companies to develop new drugs by, for example, conducting blood cell tests or developing new tests for innovative drugs. The new Pharma & Biotech unit is growing rapidly and there is a lot of interest from the market. Our tests are so specialized that companies outsource there tests to service companies such as our Sanquin unit.

These companies can find the expertise and services we provide on an international digital platform called " Science Exchange ". This platform conducts an independent survey among its Pharma and Biotech members every year.

In the category “Functional and cell type-specific tests”, Sanquin emerged as top performer in an impressive 2nd place, out of 3000 candidates! This is among other things the result of a hard-working Immunomonitoring group at Diagnostics in collaboration with the Blood Bank, Research and Reagents.

Functional and cell type-specific tests: two examples

  • Several pharmaceutical companies have developed potential new drugs which can influence ability of the immune cells to kill tumor cells (so called immunotherapy). Cytotoxicity assay offered by Sanquin can help to determine to what extent the immune cells with or without tested drug present destroy tumor cells. This assay can be performed with white blood cells, more specifically with so called natural killer cells (NK cells) or with neutrophils. Tumor cells can additionally be “marked” with an antibody that binds to a specific protein on the surface of tumor cells, e.g. Her2/neu which is present one type of breast cancer, and that helps the immune cells even further to better recognize and kill tumor. New compounds are then tested alone or in combination with already clinically used anti-tumor antibodies.
  • Pharmaceutical companies have been utilized our experience with specific type of white blood cells called neutrophils. Neutrophils are the first cells at a site of infection or inflammation and can either be very helpful (fight infection) or they can also be harmful, if they fuel inflammation. We have tested several potential new drugs that can affect neutrophil functions and help our immune system to either better cope with infection or control unnecessary inflammation.