The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – March 24, 2017

This week’s headlines include: Bad luck mutations increase cancer risk more than behavior, Drug ‘reverses’ ageing in animal tests, New Vaccine Could Slow Disease That Kills 600 Children a Day, FDA fees for product review would more than double under Trump budget, Cell Medica Raises £60M for Phase II T-Cell Product and Cell Immunotherapy Pipeline, and New blood biomarker could enhance early detection of heart attack risk.

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


Laminin cell culture matrices – The key to efficient derivation and reliable culture of stem cells and specialized cells lies within these extracellular matrix proteins

Ever since the derivation of the first line of human embryonic stem cells, researchers in areas of regenerative medicine, basic biomedical research, and drug discovery have all been striving towards more reliable and reproducible procedures to culture human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and/or differentiated cells. Years of development have resulted in more defined culture methods, and although major media improvements have been made, undefined culture substrates are still being used and few are natural and cell type specific…

Cool Tool – The Human Protein Atlas

The Human Protein Atlas (HPA) project was initiated in 2003 with the goal to systematically map the expression of these proteins using antibody-based proteomics. The program is based primarily in Sweden with funding from the non-profit organization Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). Antibodies, produced in-house and commercially purchased, are first validated by the researchers and then used to characterize each protein. The data is available through an open-access interactive database: (the first version was launched in 2005). It contains millions of high-resolution images showing the spatial localization of protein expression in 76 different cell types within 44 different normal human tissues (Tissue Atlas) and 20 different cancer types (Cancer Atlas)…

Optimization of Roche Liberase MNP-S GMP Grade in the Enzymatic Digestion of Human Umbilical Cord for the Isolation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Mesenchymal stem cells were originally developed for medical purposes to improve wound healing. They were then found to have significant immune effects, primarily immune suppressant and tolerance inducing effects. There are successful reports of using MSCs to treat animal models of a number of autoimmune diseases. Mesenchymal stem cells can be derived from many different sites, including bone marrow, dental pulp, adipose tissue and umbilical cords. In our studies of murine models of lupus, umbilical cord-derived MSCs had the best therapeutic profile compared to bone marrow derived MSCs from controls…

Ask the Expert – Maximizing Transient Protein Production

Recently, Cell Culture Dish has published several poster and webinar articles discussing the use of MaxCyte’s electroporation-based delivery platform for cell engineering, specifically in the areas of transient and stable protein production.  There was a high level of interest from readers regarding CHO-based, gram-level protein production, and so during this week’s Ask the Expert session, we will be joined by Dr. Weili Wang, the Director of Cell Culture at MaxCyte, to answer questions regarding cell engineering and culturing that can maximize transient protein production. Dr. Wang has over 20 years of biopharma industry experience focusing on process development, stable cell line generation, tech transfer and scale up/scale down modeling to support cGMP manufacturing. Prior to joining MaxCyte, Dr. Wang was the upstream manager at Human Genome Sciences, MacroGenics and Amplimmune. Dr. Wang received his Ph. D degree from Texas A&M University, a Master degree from Florida International University and Bachelor degree from East China University of Science & Technology…

The Down Stream Column

Fortem: A platform film built for bioprocess

The increase in adoption of single-use bags for manufacturing biopharmaceuticals has been driven by the many advantages it offers. However, the materials of construction can be more complex than conventional stainless steel vessels. Single-use containers are constructed from plastic films, which are often composed of several layers of polymers with additives for processing and performance…

Cool Tool – New KANEKA KanCapA™ 3G for Improved Binding and Milder Elution of Therapeutic Antibodies

Protein A is by far the most common purification method in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Due to its high affinity and selectivity for therapeutic antibodies, high purity can often be reached in a single step. With the expanding market for therapeutic antibodies, pressure to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals, and increases in upstream production titers; Protein A improvements have been required to meet industry demands for improved downstream purification efficiency…

Continuous Processing Optimization with Smarter Tools

Due to a paradigm shift in the pharmaceutical industry, there is rising pressure to come up with faster, more cost- effective ways to produce drugs for the patients who need them. As orphan drugs and personalized medicine begin to replace traditional blockbuster products, pharmaceutical companies are looking at new and innovative ways to quickly and efficiently deliver drugs to target populations in the thousands rather than the millions. In addition, the need for lower drug prices has been pushed into the spotlight not just by regulators, but also by the advent of biosimilars. As a result of these changes, industry experts must find  a way to produce drugs that address the issues around both drug pricing and time to market while also maintaining quality and profits…

Increasing Downstream Bioprocess Efficiency and Overcoming Bottlenecks

In a recent white paper, the issue of improving downstream efficiency was explored. The paper, “Unlocking the Potential for Efficiency in Downstream Bioprocess,” published by GE Healthcare Life Sciences, described techniques like continuous processing, in-line conditioning buffer preparation, and system automation as tools to improve the overall efficiency of downstream processes while at the same time eliminating bottlenecks and facility fit issues. I have summarized the highlights of the paper in this article. Biomanufacturing is constantly evolving due to changing industry demands and new technologies that enable advancement. Industry goals are now primarily focused on reducing cost and improving throughput, productivity, time to market and flexibility. These goals must be met whilst maintaining the highest levels of product quality and safety requirements. With increased titer, downstream processes have had to manage higher titers and greater impurities than they were originally designed for. Thus downstream processes must also be improved to create an entire manufacturing process that is more streamlined and meets industry goals…

Cell Culture Events:

World Vaccine Congress – April 10-12, 2017, Washington D.C.

The 17th Annual World Vaccine Congress is the place where the global vaccine industry meets to discuss commercial and scientific issues around regulation, strategy, manufacturing, trials, partnering, influenza, cancer, emerging diseases and veterinary vaccines.

Across 150 sessions, you will learn from leading experts across the issues most impacting on the wider vaccine sector, as well as delve into your specialist area of research and job focus in co-located conferences.

Meet over 700 of your peers in one room and take advantage of the multiple extended networking breaks, co-located World Vaccine Congress (including 7 streams on Immune Profiling, Cancer & Immunotherapy, Influenza & Respiratory, Clinical Trials, Emerging Diseases, Partnerships, Veterinary Vaccines and Bioprocessing & Manufacturing) as well as the evening drinks reception.

For more information, please visit the website

Cell Culture World Congress USA 2017 – May 24, 2017, Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa, San Diego, CA

The vision of Cell Culture World USA is to provide new, relevant content on process development for cell culture specific scientists working in bio manufacturing companies developing antibodies and immunotherapies. Over 4 years, the Congress has become a technical and networking forum for bioprocessing professionals to provide cutting-edge commentary, present novel and never-before-seen case studies, and highlight technological advancements to the industry.

Our 2017 event will feature a more focused structure, zeroing in on the topics that interest cell-culture specific scientists the most. Immunotherapies are the talk of the industry, and they’ll be a huge topic for this year’s event as well.

Download Brochure:

Register now:

Cell Culture & Cell Therapy: Bioprocessing Conference – June 26-27, 2017, Philadelphia

MarketsandMarkets put together a unique platform to establish the reproducible and robust manufacturing processes for the production of stable cell culture and therapeutic cells. At the Cell Culture & Cell Therapy: Bioprocessing Conference scheduled to be held in Philadelphia, USA on 26 – 27 June 2017, leading experts in the industry will be gathered to discuss strategies, technologies and innovations in the area of bioprocessing of cell culture and cell-gene therapies.


Accelerating the development of regenerative therapies: Large scale expansion of human mesenchymal stem cells – March 28, 2017

Pall has partnered with RoosterBio to commercialize Allegro™ Unison human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and bioprocess media to accelerate Cell Therapy and regenerative medicine development. Use of Allegro Unison products along with SoloHill microcarriers, Allegro biocontainers, and the PadReactor® bioreactor system moves the industry towards execution of the technology roadmap to achieve lot sizes of 100s of billions to >1 trillion hMSCs, without the need for extensive and costly process development. Large scale hMSC expansion is now rapidly achievable in a robust, scalable, reproducible, and economic manner.

This webinar details the total solution for large scale expansion of human mesenchymal stem cells. We will present a case study highlighting large scale cell culture and expansion of hMSCs to billions of cells, within ten days of culture, in a fed-batch 50L bioreactor system.

Register to Learn:

  • How Allegro Unison hMSCs and bioprocess media, SoloHill microcarriers and Pall PadReactor systems enable large-scale hMSC expansion.
  • Culture protocol for 200-fold hMSC expansion, within 10 days, in a single-use, fed-batch scalable manufacturing platform.
  • How regenerative medicine and Cell Therapy developers can rapidly and economically move towards producing tens of billions to >1 trillion high quality hMSCs for product development programs in single-use bioreactors.

Cell Therapy – Achieving Success on the Road to Commercialization – April 5, 2017

The success of developing a cellular therapy rests on the ability to deliver a viable, potent product. This positive end-result is directly attributable to the strategy in place and the supporting processes. A reliable Cell Therapy development strategy is imperative to ensuring your therapeutic materials remain viable from the point of collection, through manufacture, to the final clinical site delivery.

This webinar will review some of the key components to consider when developing your strategy to minimize risk, manage cost, and ultimately deliver a product to market.

Key Learning Objectives:

    • Minimizing variability through the use of collection and administration kits and SOPs
    • Understanding the importance of validating process and qualifying equipment as well as data collection early and throughout Study/Phase 1 to commercial
    • Leveraging data to maintain cell integrity, improve process, reduce risk, analyze and strengthen weak points
    • Maintaining chain of custody and real time communications
    • Understanding the importance of tracking and monitoring to ensure the right patient receives the right material at the right time
    • Considering scalability from Day 1


“‘Bad luck’ mutations increase cancer risk more than behavior, study says,” CNN

“For the first time, researchers have estimated what percentage of cancer mutations are due to environmental and lifestyle factors, hereditary factors and random chance. Overall, 66% of the genetic mutations that develop into cancer are caused by simple random errors occurring when cells replace themselves, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Environmental factors contribute 29% of mutations, while the remaining 5% are inherited, say Cristian Tomasetti and Dr. Bert Vogelstein, both of Johns Hopkins University…”

“Drug ‘reverses’ ageing in animal tests,” BBC News

“A drug that can reverse aspects of ageing has been successfully trialled in animals, say scientists. They have rejuvenated old mice to restore their stamina, coat of fur and even some organ function. The team at Erasmus University Medical Center, in the Netherlands, are planning human trials for what they hope is a treatment for old age…”

“New Vaccine Could Slow Disease That Kills 600 Children a Day,” The New York Times

“A new vaccine against a diarrheal disease that kills about 600 children a day worked well in a large trial in Africa and appears to be a practical way to protect millions of children, scientists said on Wednesday. The new vaccine against rotavirus, the most common cause of death from diarrhea in children under age 5, is made by an Indian company and was tested in Niger by Doctors Without Borders…”

“FDA fees for product review would more than double under Trump budget,” Reuters

“The cost to healthcare companies for U.S. regulatory review of their products, including drugs and medical devices, would more than double under the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget. For 2018, the Trump administration has budgeted over $2 billion in fees to be collected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from industry, twice as much as in 2017, according to budget documents released on Thursday…”

“Cell Medica Raises £60M for Phase II T-Cell Product and Cell Immunotherapy Pipeline,” Genetic Engineering News

“Cell Medica raised £60 million ($74 million) in a Series C round of financing to support development of its cell-based immunotherapy platforms and pipeline, including lead mid-stage oncology candidate  baltaleucel-T (CMD-003). The autologous T-Cell Therapy is being evaluated in the Phase II CITADEL study and the CIVIC trial as a treatment for advanced lymphomas associated with Epstein Barr virus (EBV)…”

“New blood biomarker could enhance early detection of heart attack risk,” Fierce Biotech

“When it comes to predicting who’s at risk of suffering a heart attack or other major cardiac event, physicians have long relied on detecting high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory biomarker. But new research suggests CRP may not be the only game in town…”


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