Implementing state of the art technology to characterise polysaccharide vaccines

Webinar Overview

Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases in the human population and polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines, developed for increased immunogenicity, are considered the safest and most successful vaccine product developed in the last 30 years. These novel, complex moieties require robust analytical techniques to fully monitor their structural identity, quantity and conformity.

Detailed characterisation of such novel products continuously evolves, creating demand for new, powerful technologies to provide accurate measurements at the molecular level for all aspects of conjugate vaccines that require identification, as well as quantification of polysaccharide content. Furthermore it is critical to quantify such qualities throughout the manufacturing chain in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the production of safe and effective vaccines.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has emerged as one of the best, new broad spectrum technological solutions to compliment the biological assays used to test the efficacy of material being processed. The information from various techniques, currently used for chemical characterisation of bulk material through the manufacturing process to its final product state, can be substituted or complimented by 1D 1H NMR spectroscopy, thereby significantly increasing the level of quality control (QC) on processing and reducing time through the process. The advantages provided by process monitoring with 1D 1H NMR spectroscopy will increase throughput and confidence in the production of conjugate vaccines helping to speed their release to market.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

11:00 AM EDT / 5:00 PM CEST

Learning Objectives

  • Discover how to determination the identity of isolated polysaccharides and their combination vaccines
  • Explore the identification of end groups as markers of depolymerisation of the carbohydrate chains
  • Learn about polysaccharide identification and monitoring of the conjugation process to assess the production process consistency
  • Find out how to determine the polysaccharide-protein ratio
  • Delve into the quantification of NMR-sensitive residual process contaminants


Dr. Francesco Berti

Scientific Director, Technical R&D GSK Vaccines

Dr. Berti earned his bachelor and PhD's degrees in Physical Chemistry at the University of Siena (Italy). During his PhD course he worked on the physicochemical characterization of metal-peptide complexes by spectroscopic techniques on the preparation and structural characterization of meningococcal ACW135Y polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines. In 2002 Dr. Berti joined GSK Vaccines as a young scientist and in the following 10 years was appointed Project Leader, Lab Head, Unit Head, Head of Vaccine Chemistry and Formulation Department and Head of Antigen Design Department. In April 2018 Dr. Berti has been appointed Scientific Director - Technical R&D, which is his current position. Dr. Berti has also served as a visiting scientist at the Institute of Biological Sciences in Ottawa, Canada, in 2008 and at the Genomic Institute of Novartis Foundation in 2010. In the last 15 years, Dr. Berti has been working on research and development of several carbohydrate-based vaccines, particularly focusing on carbohydrate- and protein-based antigens against bacterial and viral infections. Dr. Berti has authored and co-authored of approximately 80 published scientific papers and reviews and more than 20 patents.

Francesca Benevelli

Application Scientist, Bruker

Francesca Benevelli graduated in chemistry at the University of Pavia with a thesis on the characterisation of secondary metabolites of botanical species. After graduation, she took a position as NMR manager at the University of Pavia.

In 1998 she started a PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Cambridge, working in the field of solid-state NMR under the supervision of Professor Klinowski. She then started a postdoc at the Freie University in Berlin in the group of Professor Limbach. In 2002 she was hired in Bruker Italy as NMR application scientist, supporting experienced customers as well as newcomers to NMR in improving their experience with NMR spectroscopy in different areas.