The Dish’s Weekly News Wrap Up – February 21, 2014

By on February 21, 2014

This week’s headlines include, stem cell news, Lilly lung cancer drug improves survival, Actavis to buy Forest Laboratories, FDA loosens regs, Alexion options protein replacement therapy, and measles exposure in California.

Cell Culture Dish – Ask the Expert:

Our Next Session – Cell Imaging and Flow Cytometry – Starts Monday!

Cell Culture Events

IBC’s 2nd Annual Flexible Facilities Conference

Innovative Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Solutions for Multi-Product Pipelines,
Global Markets, On-Demand Scale-up/Scale-down and Capacity Optimization
Event Website:

IBC’s 2nd Annual Flexible Facilities conference brings together senior level executives and scientists from biopharmas, CMO’s, technology providers, engineering firms and regulatory groups to explore the changing landscape of biologics manufacturing and to share case studies of the latest flexible facility implementations, lessons learned and practical experiences.

New registrations, Save 20% off the standard rate with priority code FLEX14CCD.

Download the event brochure (PDF):

Cell Culture World Congress

February 25-27, 2014 – Hotel Sofitel Munich Bayerpost – Munich Germany

The 4th annual Cell Culture World Congress 2014 is the region’s largest event dedicated to process enhancement, technological innovation and business development.

It is an exhibition, a strategic keynote conference, technical roundtables and practical workshops.

It is an interactive 3 day, dual-tracked event with multiple, disruptive learning formats that facilitates high level discussion on what matters in the industry right now:

·         Optimisation of cell culture biologic production

·         Exploring the potential of cell line engineering

·         New technologies to enhance cell line expression

·         Assessing media selection options

·         Delivering a robust upstream process

·         Evaluating novel upstream technologies

·         Process scale-up and scale-down challenges

If you are attending the Cell Line Development and Engineering Conference, please visit:

GE Healthcare Booth #25

Please join us for the 2014 Cell culture world conference in Munich. Come and meet us at booth # 25 and listen to an interesting presentation entitled “Management of films and polymeric materials used in cell culture and single-use bioprocess equipment – A case study on Irgafos™ 168” by Dr Sara Ullsten.


February 26-27, 2014 – Hotel Sofitel Munich Bayerpost – Munich Germany

HPAPI World Congress is the region’s leading event dedicated to process enhancement, technological innovation and business development.

HPAPI World Congress is an interactive 2 day event with multiple, disruptive learning formats and offers real practical outcomes around High Potency API Development and High Potency Finished Product Manufacture.

IBC’s Biopharmaceutical Development & Production Week

March 24-27, 2014 – San Diego, CA
Event Website:

BDP Week provides you the most in-depth coverage of bioprocessing methods in the field, to give you the tools you need to develop and manufacture the increasingly diverse and complex molecules emerging in the biopharmaceutical pipeline.

New registrations, Save 20% off the standard rate with priority code BDP14CCD.

Download the event brochure (PDF):


“Lilly Lung Cancer Drug Improves Survival in Late-Stage Trial,” Reuters

An experimental cancer drug developed by Eli Lilly and Co, touted by some to be the company’s next blockbuster, significantly improved survival rates in lung cancer patients, sending the company’s shares up 3 percent in early trading. Lilly needs new drugs to offset declining sales of its older drugs as they lose patent protection. Ramucirumab, designed to treat multiple cancers, has the potential to generate annual sales of $1.5 billion by 2020, according to some analysts.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “A Discussion on Expansion of Therapeutic Stem Cells using Plant-based biologics

“Actavis to Buy Forest Laboratories for $25 Billion,” Bloomberg

“Actavis Plc (ACT), the world’s second-largest generic-drug maker by market value, agreed to buy Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX) for about $25 billion in a deal that will transform it into a developer of brand-name drugs.  The deal is a win for billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Forest’s second-largest holder who gained seats on the company’s board in 2012 and 2013, and pushed for a sale. Forest investors will get cash and stock valued at $89.48 a share, based on the Feb. 14 closing price, the companies said today in a statement.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled GE Healthcare’s Acquisition of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Cell Culture, Gene Modulation, and Magnetic Beads Businesses a Win for Both

“FDA Loosens Pharmaceutical Regs,” The Hill

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is loosening the regulatory controls for 13 pharmaceutical companies that will receive expedited entry for drugs they are importing into the United States. As part of an FDA pilot program, these “highly vetted” companies will receive more responsibility for keeping their own supply chains in line so the agency can focus more attention on preventing other, unapproved drugs that are misbranded and adulterated from crossing the border.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled 2013 FDA New Drug Approvals

“Human Lungs Successfully Grown in a Lab for the First Time,” Medical News Today

“Stem cell specialists have been working on growing lung tissue for some years, but the lung is a complex organ, which presents more problems than regenerating other organ tissue, such as human skin. The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) first announced their solution for growing lungs in 2010. “In terms of different cell types, the lung is probably the most complex of all organs – the cells near the entrance are very different from those deep in the lung,” UTMB researcher Dr. Joaquin Cortiella said at that time.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Choosing a Cell Culture Media Development Strategy for Biopharmaceutical Production

“California Commuters, Students Warned: You Might Have Gotten the Measles,” CNN

“Could simply sitting on a train or in a classroom land you in the hospital? That’s a possibility in Northern California, where health officials are trying to get the word out that a University of California, Berkeley, student may have exposed classmates and strangers to measles. The school’s university health services said a student who contracted measles — likely during a trip overseas — had spent time in and around campus and commuting to and from his home in Contra Costa County on Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, trains during the February 4 to 7 morning commutes and in the late evening.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled New Study Compiles Extensive Database that Supports the Importance of Vaccination

“Alexion Takes Option on Protein Replacement Therapy,” Genetic Engineering News

“Alexion Pharmaceuticals agreed to partner with Prothelia and the University of Nevada, Reno, to develop a protein replacement therapy for a life-threatening, ultra-rare disease caused by a genetic deficiency of the laminin-211 protein. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed. The agreement gives Alexion an exclusive option to acquire privately held Prothelia and license the preclinical therapy, laminin-111 (PRT-01), directly from the University of Nevada, Reno upon the achievement of undisclosed research and development milestones.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Paper or Plastic: A Study on Single-Use and Sustainability

“Genea Biocells to Provide Stem Cells to US,” Australian Life Scientist

“In a boon for Australian stem cell company Genea Biocells, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry has approved 52 of its human embryonic stem cell lines (hESC) for use in the US. Genea’s hESC lines will support medical research into new treatments for serious genetic or acquired diseases, including orphan diseases. Amongst the 52 stem cell lines listed with the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry are 43 disease-specific hESC lines representing 24 different genetic diseases.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “A Review of Best Practices For Cell Culture Media Design And Processes

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