From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence.
Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

Vivianne Irene Otto: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2017

Name PD Dr. Vivianne Irene Otto
FieldPharmazeutische Biochemie
Inst. f. Pharmazeutische Wiss.
ETH Zürich, HCI H 415
Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1-5/10
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 73 20
Fax+41 44 633 13 64
DepartmentChemistry and Applied Biosciences

535-0011-00LDrug Seminar Restricted registration - show details
The course is reserved for students registered in the Master's programme in Pharmacy or in Pharmaceutical Sciences
5 credits9SC. Halin Winter, K.‑H. Altmann, S. M. Ametamey, M. Detmar, B. A. Gander, J. Hall, S.‑D. Krämer, J.‑C. Leroux, C. Müller, D. Neri, V. I. Otto, U. Quitterer, R. Schibli, G. Schneider, C. Steuer, H. U. Zeilhofer
AbstractThe course provides a platform for the investigation, presentation and discussion of a topic with relevance to the field of pharmaceutical sciences. Students work in small groups on a chosen topic, they write a mini-review and present their work on a one day symposium.
ObjectiveThe main objectives of this course are:

- students develop their scientific reflection (Critical Thinking) and working skills by working independently on a relevant pharmaceutical topic
- students gain in-depth knowledge of the topic investigated
- students train their scientific writing and presentation skills
- students train their ability to plan a project and work in a team
ContentThe Course Drug Seminar takes place during the first 7 weeks of the 1. Master semester. It is a compulsory course of the MSc Pharmacy curriculum and an elective course in the MSc PharmSciences.

The course provides a platform for the investigation, presentation and discussion of a topic with relevance to the field of pharmaceutical sciences.

During the course, students work in small teams on a topic of their choice and elaborate a written mini-review and an oral presentation. Each team is tutored by a lecturer of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The work is mainly based on literature search / review, but may also involve conducting interviews or site visits, if appropriate. The final presentations of all groups will take place in the framework of a dedicated Symposium held in the middle of the semester.
Prerequisites / NoticeOnly for students of MSc Pharmacy and MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences.
535-0300-00LMolecular Mechanisms of Drug Actions and Targets Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 24.
2 credits1VV. I. Otto, J. Scheuermann
AbstractOn average one drug per year is withdrawn from the market. Using selected examples of such drug failures, the course aims at analyzing and discussing the present explanations of drug actions as well as the design and predictive power of animal models and clinical trials. In addition, the ethical, societal, and economical expectations in new drugs shall be reflected and discussed.
ObjectiveTo develop a critical understanding of the relevance and limitations of the current approaches to explaining and anticipating drug effects. To critically appraise the ethical, societal, economical and political expectations in the development of new drugs.
ContentIn December 2006, Pfizer stopped a large phase III study on the use of Torcetrapib for the prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. 800 million $ in development costs and 21 billion $ in stocks were annihilated overnight. The failure of Torcetrapib has pinpointed the limitations of an extremely reductionist view of atherosclerosis and it's prevention by drug therapy. It has also highlighted what high expectations we have in a safe and wide applicability of drugs and of their economical success.
Torcetrapib is not a single case. In the last 10 years, on average one drug per year was withdrawn from the market due to lack of efficacy, unexpected side effects or toxicity. This clearly shows that the common investigations and the modern understanding of drug actions are often not sufficient to predict the effects a drug will have in large patient populations.
These are the topics of the present course. Using three particularly informative examples of drug failures, the problems encountered and the concepts and informative value of preclinical and clinical studies will be analyzed and discussed. Furthermore, the ethical, societal, economical and political expectations in new drugs shall be reflected.
Lecture notesPrintouts of the slides used for the lectures and literature for reading and discussions will be available online.
LiteratureRecommended reading: John Abramson, Overdo$ed America, Harper Perennial, New York 2008
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements: basic knowledge in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology. Ability to read and understand scientific publications written in English.
535-0310-00LGlycobiology in Drug Development1 credit1VV. I. Otto
AbstractProtein-based drugs constitute around 25% of new approvals and most of them are glycoproteins. Using selected examples of prominent glycoprotein drugs, the course aims at providing insight into glycosylation-activity relationships and into biotechnological production and analytics.
ObjectiveStudents gain insight into the glycobiology of therapeutically used glycoproteins. This implies knowing and understanding
- the major types of protein-linked glycans and their biosynthesis
- the most important expression systems for production of recombinant glycoproteins
- methods used to alter or manipulate glycosylation
- the most prominent clinically used glycoproteins and how glycosylation influences their therapeutic profile.
- Current methods for the qualitative and quantitative characterization of glycoproteins
Students are able to apply this knowledge and propose solutions to biotechnological problems that involve protein glycosylation.
Contentlecture plan:
1. Introduction: Carbohydrates - one of life's principal molecular languages
2. Glucocerebrosidase and the biosynthesis of N-glycans
3. PSGL-1 and the biosynthesis of O-glycans
4. The glycoprotein hormones and the analysis of their glycosylation
5. Monoclonal antibodies and the modification of their therapeutic profile through glycoengineering
6. EPO "the same but different"
Lecture notesThe slides used for the lectures will be provided online
Literature- Essentials of Glycobiology 2nd edition, A. Varki, R.D. Cummings et al., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York 2009.
- Posttranslational Modification of Protein Biopharmaceuticals, G. Walsh (ed.), Wiley VCH, Weinheim 2009.
- Gentechnik, Biotechnik. Grundlagen und Wirkstoffe, 2. Auflage, Dingermann, Winckler, Zündorf, Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft Stuttgart, 2011.
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements: Basic knowledge in immunology, molecular biology, protein chemistry and analytics. Basic knowledge in pharmacology.