A curated collection of resources about the people, places and technologies that have enabled biotechnology to transform the world we live in today

News

Lara Marks discusses the importance of monoclonal antibodies in the development of new drugs in a Nature podcast titled From Basic to Blockbuster. To listen to the podcast go to the homepage for the Nature Podcast.

Special Exhibitions

The life story of a biotechnology drug: Alemtuzumab

A third of all new medicines introduced into the world today are monoclonal antibodies, many of which go on to become blockbuster drugs. This exhibition is the story of how one one specific monoclonal antibody drug, alemtuzumab (marketed as Campath, MabCampath, Campath 1H and Lemtrada), moved from the laboratory bench through to the clinic and the impact it has had on patients' lives. Just one of many hundreds of monoclonal antibodies, alemtuzumab started life in 1979 not as a drug but as a laboratory tool for understanding the immune system. Within a short time, however, it was being used to improve the success of bone marrow transplants and as a treatment for leukaemia, lymphoma, vasculitis, organ transplants and multiple sclerosis. Highlighting the many twists and turns that alemtuzumab took over time, this exhibition explores the multitude of actors and events involved in the making of a biotechnology drug. Click here to view the exhibition.

A Healthcare Revolution in the Making: The Story of César Milstein and Monoclonal Antibodies

Today monoclonal antibodies are indispensable to medicine. They are not only used as therapeutics, comprising six out of ten of the best selling drugs in the world, but are also critical to unravelling the pathways of disease and integral components of diagnostic tests. Yet, the story of how these unsung microscopic heroes came into the world and helped change healthcare remains largely untold. The journey of monoclonal antibodies all started when an Argentinian émigré called César Milstein arrived at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, the same laboratory where Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA. This exhibition tells the story of how Milstein came to develop monoclonal antibodies and demonstrated their clinical application for the first time. Click here to view the exhibition.

The people

Exploring the lives and works of the leading people from across the world like Francis Crick (pictured) whose efforts have helped build biotechnology into a world changing science.

Francis Crick (Born:1916 - Died: 2004) Together with James Watson, Crick co-discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. This was accomplished with the help of earlier research by Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins. Click here to learn more about Francis Crick or click here to browse all the people.

The places

Exploring the places and institutions, and people working in them, across the world like Basel Institute of Immunology (pictured) where the science of biotechnology has been developed.

A leading centre for immunological research from 1971 to 2000, the Basel Institute of Immunology helped lay the groundwork for the development of monoclonal antibodies. Click here to learn more about Basel Institute of Immunology or click here to browse all the places.

Timeline

An ever-growing list of events, currently 363 events, that have contributed to the growth of biotechnology. Click here to browse the timeline.

The sciences

Coming soon: exploring the key sciences like monoclonal antibodies and gene cloning that have been central to the growth of biotechnology.

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