From Rabbit to Crab to the Lab


Today. I'm joined by foster. Jordan, the CSV of Charles Rivers Endotoxin, Europe foster has spent most of his career, working with and around South Carolina's horseshoe crabs, strange creatures, whose blood keeps US safe. He joined to discuss how his career parallels. The changing attitudes towards horseshoe crabs as well as the future of endotoxin, testing and recombinant technology. Welcome foster. Thank you join the conversation. So, let's begin with you. Can you tell me about your early experiences fishing for her? She grabs sure it was funny, you said. My. Most of my career actually I kid people because it's only job. I've ever had Your career then. I don't even I don't even have a resume so. The way I got involved with this was my. My father was an investor in a small company called in safe back in the mid eighties when I was an undergraduate student at Wofford College. And I heard him talking about it. I was studying organic chemistry, and he had partnered with the person who had originally used the test for pharmaceutical application. His name was Dr Cooper Dr James Cooper. He used it at John, Hopkins. University, he was a a radio nuclear pharmacist who is making nuclear medicines and the test at the time for bacteria. Linda toxins was called a rabbit powergen test. You took a New Zealand. Zealand White Rabbit and you deluded your product that you were testing for contamination and sailing, and he's ten meals into the ear of the rabbit. You Monitor the ravitch temperature for three hours, if the favor spike more than three degrees that was considered a failed test, and that rejected the product, but you know these new nuclear medicines. Had you know half lives of their nucleotides pads of of only twenty minutes so the? The test was was ineffective for this. These rabbit tests just sounds so inefficient. How did we get from there to using what we use today? Yeah, so be. It was really I. Forget the time it was wasn't really about replacing. The rabbit test is about five minutes Dr Cooper needed for these nuclear medicines, and and and when he did it, and he made these first crew preps, and they were, and he published that. That in nineteen, seventy two. He was actually he was actually on a grant from NIH so it wasn't something that was patentable. it was public knowledge at the time public information because it was a h grant that funded the research when he published that in nineteen seventy two I. Don't think he really thought anything of it and as the FDA solve the the value of this test replacing the the rather. Test. They also realize it would be the first time that a an animal model, but whatever be replaced with a regulated in vitro tests, so they decided to reunite the test itself, and what's interesting is even today where the only quality control tests that's actually regulated by FDA and we have the same license. Our licenses eleven ninety seven. We have the same licenses of. Of biologics manufacturer vaccine manufactured right, and we're inspected by the twice a year. All our products has to be submitted and approved by FDA. So we're extremely regulated in the space, which is also important when you think about new technologies, and how will a new technology be developed when we're so highly regulated and controlled and the amount of testing? That was necessary to just. Show equivalency to the rabbit, but long story short as the evolution into safe. When I ended up in graduate school, I ended up going to a into safe working for Dr Cooper. We were very small. I was just four of us in the lab. And you know obviously one of the main things we needed. Was Horseshoe crabs. Charleston was known for having horseshoe crabs, but two things about Charleston one is the population or or South, Carolina population is very strong in addition to the the the largest physical more shoe crab. There is the. Female one time that from tail, the whole link. The female was basically a meter. Long thing so very long right? YEP, so so they're big, so you don't have to handle nearly as many to get the quantity of blood we needed, but back in those days the crabs were were a nuisance. They were considered pass. they tore the fishermen's nets ups, especially the fishermen, and when they were bottom, dragging which was warhorse, pass laced for ill and cough. That was a byproduct that they just didn't want to deal with many times. They would just throw them up on the bank. Let and die compost them. Grind them as fertilizer the only other commercial applications for them at the time was to be used as bait, but again thinking about just the pure amount of work, and it just wasn't worth the fisherman's time to do it so again, not very well like creature

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