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Animal Cell Technology Unit


Animal Cell Technology (ACT) is an area of research critical for the development of biopharmaceutical products and novel therapies. It combines knowledge and competences from scientists and engineers, covering the entire animal cell production process from the initial genetic studies and cell line development through the stages of process development and validation (production, purification, stability, and storage), regulatory issues, and of the development of in vitro models for screening and pre-clinical testing of efficacy and safety.


The Animal Cell Technology Unit of ITQB-UNL/iBET, coordinated by Paula Alves, is a top research group that combines the knowledge and competences required to develop biopharmaceuticals and their integrated processing as well as in vitro tools for pre-clinical research. Examples of our target products/research areas:

  1. Recombinant proteins (including mAbs)

  2. Vaccines (including VLP’s)

  3. Viral Vectors for Gene Therapy

  4. Cell Therapy


The ACT Unit is presently composed of five laboratories each one specialized in a different field of research:

  1. Cell Bioprocesses Laboratory, headed by Paula Alves,
  2. Engineering Cellular Applications Laboratory, headed by Manuel Carrondo,
  3. Cell Line Development and Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory, headed by Ana Sofia Coroadinha,
  4. Advanced Cell Models Laboratory, headed by Catarina Brito


The unit has been involved in several national and international projects under the 6th, 7th and H2020 Framework European Commission Programs and was a member of CLINIGENE, an international Network of Excellence in Gene and Cell therapy. The group has also research projects with several Pharmaceutical Multinational Companies and Biotech SMEs.


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