This book has been written as a sister publication to Biopharmaceuticals: Biochemistry and Biotechnology, a second edition of which was published by John Wiley and Sons in 2003. The latter textbook caters mainly for advanced undergraduate/postgraduate students undertaking degree programmes in biochemistry, biotechnology and related disciplines. Such students have invariably pursued courses/modules in basic protein science and molecular biology in the earlier parts of their degree programmes; hence, the basic principles of protein structure and molecular biology were not considered as part of that publication. This current publication is specifically tailored to meet the needs of a broader audience, particularly to include students undertaking programmes in pharmacy/pharmaceutical science, medicine and other branches of biomedical/clini-cal sciences. Although evolving from Biopharmaceuticals: Biochemistry and Biotechnology, its focus is somewhat different, reflecting its broader intended readership. This text, therefore, includes chapters detailing the basic principles of protein structure and molecular biology. It also increases/extends the focus upon topics such as formulation and delivery of biopharmaceuticals, and it contains numerous case studies in which both biotech and clinical aspects of a particular approved product of pharmaceutical biotechnology are overviewed. The book, of course, should also meet the needs of students undertaking programmes in core biochemistry, biotechnology or related scientific areas and be of use as a broad reference source to those already working within the pharmaceutical biotechnology sector.

As always, I owe a debt of gratitude to the various people who assisted in the completion of this textbook. Thanks to Sandy for her help in preparing various figures, usually at ridiculously short notice. To Gerard Wall, for all the laughs and for several useful discussions relating to molecular biology. Thank you to Nancy, my beautiful wife, for accepting my urge to write (rather than to change baby's nappies) with good humour - most of the time anyway! I am also grateful to the staff of John Wiley and Sons for their continued professionalism and patience with me when I keep overrunning submission deadlines. Finally, I have a general word of appreciation to all my colleagues at the University of Limerick for making this such an enjoyable place to work.

Gary Walsh

November 2006

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