The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – August 12, 2016

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, do olympians get too much exercise, media pairing for improved production, Gilead and Polyphor partner for macrocycle drugs, FDA approves genetically modified Zika fighting mosquitoes for Florida, FDA approves Keytruda for head and neck cancer, AvroBio raises $25M for gene therapies, and FDA approves Heron’s therapy for chemotherapy induced nausea.

Cell Culture Events


VISION leadership course is uniquely tailored for the bioindustry to capture the synergies between bioscience, technology and business practice – Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont, CA – September 14-16, 2016

UCL Biochemical Engineering in collaboration with Keck Graduate Institute is announcing its 2016 VISION Leadership Programme. Designed for talented high impact individuals, VISION provides executive leadership insights tailored for present & future leaders in the bioindustries through rigorous intellectual analysis & intensive, practical, peer-to-peer action-based learning giving you the tools required to drive innovation, entrepreneurship & global leadership in your organisation.


  • Know how to make the transition from science & engineering based decision making towards company- wide strategic resolutions
  • Build an invaluable network with elite peers & experts from academia & industry who challenge, stimulate & inspire you
  • Gain perspectives on leadership challenges & critical business issues facing the bioindustry globally & formulate actions to address these
  • Learn from real life cases studies to succeed in making difficult decisions & implementing strategies to secure a more robust future for your business
  • Access & share best practices on how to be a good leader & avoid pitfalls in constantly evolving market
  • Achieve your personal development & career objectives
  • Evaluate the impact of key innovative research & technologies on the future of business & manufacturing


Barry Buckland, CEO, BiologicB
Charles Cooney, Professor, MIT
Nigel Darby, former VP, GE Healthcare
Parrish Galliher, CTO, GE Healthcare
Phil Gomez, Principal, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Ljiljana Minwalla, Senior Legal & Patent Counsel, Mesoblast, Inc.
Andrew Ramelmeier, Senior VP, Portola Pharmaceuticals
Rahul Singhvi, COO, Takeda Vaccines


  • Managers & practitioners fast tracked for executive roles or intending to move into leadership positions
  • Current executives intending to interact with fellow leaders & expert speakers to debate & exchange novel thoughts & opinions
  • Funding agencies wanting to interact with present & future thought leaders to gain insights into the sector trends & skills required to navigate the changing bioindustry landscape

 VISION combines innovative management thinking with cutting edge research to ensure high flyers perform optimally

For more information contact and visit


The Role of Exosomes in Inflammatory Disease: Pathogenesis and Treatment

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time: 02:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Exosomes encapsulate and transport a wide variety of molecules generated by their cell-of-origin, a process now thought to be a form of cellular signaling. Exosome signaling is common across cell types and species, but it is of particular interest in diseases with an inflammatory component. While exosome isolation and analysis is useful to understanding the mechanisms behind these multifaceted diseases, exosomes may also be exploited for their therapeutic potential. The Scientist is bringing together a panel of experts to review the current knowledge on exosomes in inflammation, and to explore the potential for exosome-based therapeutics. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the experts, ask questions, and seek advice on topics that are related to their research.

Topics to be covered:

  • The exosomal cargoes released during inflammation, and their potential as therapeutic targets
  • How inflammatory diseases are uniquely suited to exosome analysis

Register here

Bioprocess Insights Webinars

The biopharmaceutical industry has developed into a multi-billion dollar market in just 30 years. Making decisions and setting up strategies in a rapidly changing environment can be challenging. The difference between a good and a great decision can have extensive implications for the future of a company. In this environment, knowledge and experience are what make the difference. Good insights about, for example, technical advancements, process economy implications, and sustainability aspects can help improve the individual decisions and strengthen the overall business strategy.

In this webinar series, four renowned subject matter experts will share their insights into four areas of bioprocessing: upstream, vaccines, downstream, and single-use technology. We will present tangible, recently developed data that can help you in developing modern, cost-efficient, and sustainable bioprocesses.

Don’t miss these on demand webinars –



If you are attending, please don’t miss:

Dr. Adam Elhofy, CSO, Essential Pharmaceuticals (Booth #303) is giving a seminar on Thursday, August 18th at 9:00 am entitled:  “Bioproduction: Scale, Bioreactors & Disposables” and is presenting a poster titled “Novel Lipid supplement increases mAb production in single use bioreactors”.

Abstract: Optimizing protein production by CHO cells grown in serum free conditions is an ongoing process, requiring a balance between cell proliferation and protein production. Many tools are utilized to increase protein titers, like metabolomics, media optimization and continuous perfusion. We investigated the use of a novel lipid supplement to improve media conditions using various strategies to increase protein yield. One strategy of adding the lipid supplement at the initiation of culture resulted in an increase in monoclonal (mAb) titer of 30% from CHO cells without increasing viable cell density (VCD). Furthermore when the metabolic profile was examined there were no differences in any of the metabolites tested, including ammonia, glutamate, lactate, glucose and others. A second strategy of using the supplement in a fed batch process as a feed resulted in two notable effects. The first effect was increasing the titer yield by close to 25%. The second effect was extending the window for peak protein production from 1 day to 2 days. The supplement was also used in a single use bioreactor. The lipid supplement used as a feed in a Wave bioreactor resulting in an increase of 27% of mAb titer. This research using this lipid supplement is the first to show an increased titer in a single use bioreactor. These results show there are opportunities for further optimization of protein production using lipids. Furthermore some of the standard metrics like metabolic profiles may not be able to predict improved titer or productivity. It is possible the use of lipids alters energy utilization for de novo membrane formation and improves the energy efficiency for protein production as evidenced by the scalable small bioreactor results.

Dr. Elhofy was recently interviewed for the Cell Culture Dish Podcast, “Cell Culture Media Optimization – It’s about more than just high protein titer.”


  • BioAnalytical and Formulaiton Summit – September 14-15, 2016 – Berlin, Germany Bioanalytical & Formulation Summit provides the ultimate opportunity to discuss your current challenges in analytical methods for biologics, with 2 streams dedicated to:
    • Protein Characterisation and Post Translational Modifications
    • Formulation for Biologics

    Join your peers for expert insight, new data, and the latest technology updates for formulation and QC strategies, to inform your methods and improve your product quality and efficacy.


  • Adoptive T-Cell Therapy Summit Europe 2016 – October 10-11, 2016 – London, UK


  • World Precision Medicine – November 14-15, 2016 – Washington DC

The World Precision Medicine Congress USA is bringing together big pharma, big data, and healthcare providers to discuss the scientific, economic, and policy goals towards producing precise and genomic-based medicines. Partnered with forward-looking industry leaders such as precisionFDA and NantWorks, this event will fast-track our momentum into the future paradigm of healthcare by spurring the important discussions to get us there.

Can you afford to miss this gathering of precision medicine leaders? Pharma, big data, and healthcare providers will be there attending sessions on Gene Therapy, Cell Therapy, personalized medicine, and genomics.

Download the brochure:

Register to attend:



“Do Olympians Get Too Much Exercise?,” The New York Times

“Many of us watching the Olympics are feeling inspired now to exercise harder and more often. But exercise scientists have long been intrigued — and worried — by the question of whether, over months and years, someone can exercise too much. It has not been clear if there is a safe upper limit to exercise beyond which you can irreparably injure your body, and in particular your heart.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “BIO 2016 Annual Convention – Summary of Highlights

“Media Pairing for Improving Production,” Genetic Engineering News

“Significant improvements in bioprocessing in recent decades, including the optimization of cell-culture media to meet desired fed-batch strategies, have advanced industrial monoclonal antibody production to attain levels of productivity never before achieved.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool – A Complete Media System for Transient Transfection in CHO Cells

“Gilead, Polyphor Partner to Discover Macrocycle Drugs,” Genetic Engineering News

“Gilead Sciences will partner with Polyphor to discover and develop macrocycle drugs against unspecified “challenging biological” targets to be selected by Gilead, Polyphor said today.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool – Aramus Single Use Bag Assembly – Provides Advantages over Existing Storage and Transportation of Intermediate and Drug Substance

“The FDA Just Approved Genetically Modified, Zika-Fighting Mosquitoes for Release in Florida,” Fortune

“Once released, they could wipe out large chunks of the mosquito population. The FDA just approved field testing for another way to combat Zika, as the threat continues to spread: genetically modified versions of the blood-sucking critters that propagate the disease.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Increase Protein Yield by Striking the Right Balance between Cell Density and Protein Productivity

“US clears Merck’s Keytruda for head and neck cancer,” PharmaTimes

“Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is a humanised monoclonal antibody that boosts the ability of the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumour cells, already approved in the US for melanoma or lung cancer.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Reduce Cell Line Development Time by 30% and Simplify Proof of Clonality – A Case Study

“With $25M in funding, AvroBio’s Geoff MacKay aims to advance gene therapies,” Boston Business Journal

“Geoff MacKay, the co-founder and CEO of AvroBio, says the Cambridge biotech’s first major round of funding will help bring its Gene Therapy treatments for for Fabry disease and acute myeloid leukemia through early-stage clinical trials, and allow the company to bring in other potential drugs.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Gene Therapy Strengthened by Recent Successes”

“FDA approves Heron’s therapy for chemotherapy-induced nausea,” Reuters

“Heron Therapeutics Inc’s twice-rejected long-acting injection to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting was finally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, marking the biotech’s first regulatory approval.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Real Time IgG Titer Measurement Enables PAT (Process Analytical Technology) Implementation

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