The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – July 13, 2018

This week’s headlines include: Biogen, Eisai’s Alzheimer’s drug succeeds in mid-stage trial, shares soar, Swift Gene-Editing Method May Revolutionize Treatments for Cancer and Infectious Diseases, Virus-free CRISPR could mean faster, more precise gene editing for T-cell therapies, Immunotherapy Boosts Survival Rates of Melanoma Brain Metastases’ Patients, Drug shortages prompt FDA to form task force, and Ketogenic Diet Improves Response To Cancer Drug In Mice, But Alone May Accelerate Cancer.

In Case You Missed It, Recent Articles on Cell Culture Dish and Downstream Column:

cell-culture-dish-logo

Cool Tool – Intelligently Designed Cell Culture Dishes Address Common Cell Culture Scientists’ Complaints

Who hasn’t been in the lab and accidently bumped one of their cell culture dishes, spilling the precious contents? Or has struggled to grip a dish with gloved hands? Well most people don’t think of cultureware, especially cell culture dishes, as being particularly innovative, but there is a new cell culture dish…

Expansion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Blood-free, Chemically Defined Media

Last month’s ISCT conference held in Montreal, Canada featured many novel approaches for cell therapy research and manufacturing. One of the posters presented at the conference, “Inclusion of Recombinant Albumin and Transferrin Enables the Blood-Free Expansion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Chemically Defined Media,” highlighted the importance of blood-component free media for cell therapies and provided data on the use of a blood-free media in mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) culture…

Cell Based Influenza Vaccines – Are eggs finally on the way out?

With initial data from the 2017-2018 flu season indicating around 20% better protection from the cell culture manufactured Flucelvax flu vaccine, will the industry begin to move away from eggs and toward cell based influenza vaccines? Seven years ago I wrote an article called, “Is Egg-based vaccine manufacturing on its way out”. Since then there have been two cell based influenza vaccines approved for use in the United States, Flucelvax manufactured in MDCK cells by Seqirus and FluBlok manufactured in insect cells from Sanofi. However, the vast majority of the vaccines administered in the United States still use egg-based manufacturing. This trend may change in coming years, as there has been increasing interest in moving from egg-based vaccine manufacturing to cell culture-based methods. Cell based vaccine manufacturing is quicker, efficiently scalable and offers more control over the manufacturing environment. There is also the potential for fewer virus mutations and thus a more effective vaccine…

Knowledge Sharing is Key to Future Breakthroughs in Cancer Research

PhD and post-doc cancer researchers are being recognized as cell culture heroes in a new program that provides a platform to promote education and share knowledge among the researchers who are driving breakthroughs in the fight against cancer.

Cancer is defined as a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells that can affect any part of the body, with well over 200 different types of cancer identified to date. It is one of the world’s biggest killers, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths a year…


The Down Stream Column

Cool Tool – Inline Diafiltration Closes the Gap for End-to-End Continuous Bioprocessing

Diafiltration, while fulfilling several functions in protein purification, has also presented a major obstacle in achieving continuous biomanufacturing. Technologies launched over the last decade have moved the industry closer to completing an integrated end-to-end continuous bioprocessing platform; however adequately addressing continuous final ultrafiltration/diafiltration of drug substance has been challenging. Now, inline diafiltration offers a solution to both traditional bottleneck hurdles and continuous biomanufacturing platform gaps…

Start With the End in Mind – How to facilitate transfer from non-GMP to GMP Manufacturing

In this podcast and accompanying article, we interviewed Avril Vermunt, bioprocess hardware specialist at GE healthcare about transferring a process from non-GMP to GMP manufacturing, particularly how resource-intensive it is for process development and manufacturing groups. Avril has several years of experience working in the technology transfer group at a large pharmaceutical company. We discussed with her best practices and how being proactive and one step ahead can make the process more seamless…

Modeling Downstream Disruptive Technologies to Improve Downstream Bioprocessing

In this podcast and accompanying article we interviewed Dr. Yuyi Shen, Principal Scientist, Grifols about the benefits of modeling downstream disruptive technologies to improve downstream bioprocessing and evaluating the financial impact of implementing these technologies…

Impurity Precipitation Strategies for Intensification of mAb Downstream Processes

Impurity precipitation is focused on process- and product-related impurities which have to be removed during the downstream process in the manufacturing of therapeutic proteins. Common impurities are host cell proteins, DNA as well as aggregates of the therapeutic protein. Moreover, the purification process must include steps which are able to inactivate or remove viruses to ensure the viral safety of the biopharmaceutical…


Webinars

Cell Culture Heroes – Webinars on Cancer Research

Gibco Cell Culture Heroes spotlights PhD and post-doc cancer researchers across the globe with the primary focus of telling the story of their research. This program promotes education and creates a community amongst researchers who are driving tomorrow’s breakthroughs in the fight against cancer.

As a Gibco Cell Culture Hero you can present your research to a global audience via webinar and you will have the opportunity to share your story of success and perseverance to the world on thermofisher.com.

Do you want your research to be highlighted as a Cell Culture Hero? Click here to learn more – https://www.thermofisher.com/us/en/home/products-and-services/promotions/life-science/cell-culture-heroes.html

View the on-demand webinars of current Cell Culture Heroes


Conferences:

BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition – September 4-September 7, 2018

The Largest Exhibition Devoted to Biomanufacturing

Capitalize on 225+ case studies and new data presentations from global thought leaders to improve integration, productivity and cost savings across the entire bioprocessing spectrum.

Grab your 3-day exhibit hall pass to BPI Boston, held September 5-7 at the Hynes Convention Center.  Exhibit hall passes start at $449, but register with VIP code DISH by July 27 and save an extra $100.

Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing & Commercialization – September 4 – September 7, 2018

Bringing together 300+ leaders and key influencers from pharma and biotech companies this September in Boston, Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing & Commercialization 2018 will provide you with the latest advice for driving manufacturing and commercialization through direct access to innovative discovery, product development and regulatory know-how. Discover everything you need in one place as you move between 4 tracks jam packed with topical talks and industry case studies, and meet with colleagues for an unrivalled on-site experience.

Podcasts:

Check out our podcast channel. We have over 20 great podcasts covering drug discovery, stem cell culture, upstream and downstream biomanufacturing and more! Click below to download from iTunes or Google play:
Available on Google PlayAvailable on itunes


Headlines:

“Japanese drugmaker Eisai Co and Biogen Inc said that the final analysis of a mid-stage trial of their Alzheimer’s drug showed positive results for patients who received the highest dose. The news sent Eisai’s shares up as much as 14.6 percent in Friday morning trading in Tokyo while Biogen’s shares were up 7 percent at $320 in after-hours trading…”

“For the first time, scientists have found a way to efficiently and precisely remove genes from white blood cells of the immune system and to insert beneficial replacements, all in far less time than it normally takes to edit genes. If the technique can be replicated in other labs, experts said, it may open up profound new possibilities for treating an array of diseases, including cancer, infections like H.I.V. and autoimmune conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis…”

“Virus-free CRISPR could mean faster, more precise gene editing for T-cell therapies,” FierceBiotech

“A team from the University of California, San Francisco, devised a new electroporation-based CRISPR-Cas9 method, eliminating viruses from the gene editing process and laying the groundwork for safer, more precise and more efficient editing for CAR-T cancer treatments and other cell therapies….”

“A team led by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital reports that checkpoint blockade immunotherapies provided significant improvements in overall survival for patients with melanoma brain metastases. Their results (“Improved Risk-Adjusted Survival for Melanoma Brain Metastases in the Era of Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapies: Results from a National Cohort”) are published in Cancer Immunology Research…”

“Drug shortages prompt FDA to form task force,” CNN

“The US Food and Drug Administration is forming a Drug Shortages Task Force to look into the country’s persistent drug shortages and find long-term solutions, according to a statement Thursday⁠ from the agency’s commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb…”

“Ketogenic Diet Improves Response To Cancer Drug In Mice, But Alone May Accelerate Cancer,” Forbes

“Mice on a ketogenic diet have shown remarkable responses to a class of cancer drug, which has previously experienced largely underwhelming results in human clinical trials. The study published today in Nature shows how the combination of a ketogenic diet with a type of cancer drug called a PI3K inhibitor strongly improves the effect of the drug in mouse models of cancer…”