The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – March 4, 2016

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, benefit of viral DNA, Stanford spins out immunotherapy work Forty Seven, rare disease treatment effort, FDA approves Obinutuzumab, Boehringer and Abbvie reportedly in cancer partnership talks, Sanofi engages on Zika, and Baxalta and Precision BioSciences partner on immuno-oncology.

Cell Culture Events

Ask the Expert:

How to Improve Protein Productivity Through Scale Up, Including Single-Use Bioreactors

Enhancing protein production is a common goal in the biomanufacturing industry. However, scalability is a problem faced across many platforms in manufacturing. A desired outcome observed in shake flasks, such as increased protein productivity, is not always observed in large scale bioreactors. Further, the move toward single-use bioreactors has posed an additional challenge, as productivity improvements observed in glass shake flasks or stainless steel bioreactors may not be observed in plastic bioreactor bags. Availability of lipids in media is one factor to consider during bioproduction scale-up and when moving toward single-use system.

During this Ask the Expert session, we will be discussing considerations to be made regarding bioproduction scale-up and single-use bioreactors. Essential Pharmaceuticals is addressing these challenges with their Cell-Ess lipid supplement. Cell-Ess was used as a feed at 5% (v/v) in a small Wave bioreactor resulting in greater than 25% monoclonal antibody titer increase, which was similar to the gains seen in earlier experiments using shake flasks. Small bioreactors have been used as models to show scalability to up to 10,000-liter manufacturing runs. These new data suggest supplementing with Cell-Ess as a feed will result in increased monoclonal antibody titers for 10,000-liter bioreactor runs, including in single-use bioreactors.
Please take advantage of the opportunity to ask our expert a question and participate in a lively discussion on animal origin free media optimization.


Field Potential Recordings for Stem Cell Characterization: an Alternative to Patch Clamping for Synaptic Network Activity and Cardiac Beat Function

Wednesday, March 16

Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF

Across the world over, Maestro multiwell Microelectrode Array technology is replacing patch clamping for iPS neuron and cardiomyocyte characterization.   Researchers are now empowered to do their own electrophysiology with a plate reader.

You will learn:

-how iPS stem cell characterization benefits from non-invasive e-phys

-how different disease electrical phenotypes manifest in vitro (aka “disease-in-a-dish”)

-how different compounds may be assessed quickly for seizurogenic or arrhythmogenic liabilities

-why network electrophysiology is more cell-friendly than standard patch clamping

Hosted by Axion BioSystems

To Register –



ISBioTech 6th Spring Meeting – March 7-9, 2016 -Washington, DC

Three concurrent programs on:

–        Cellular Therapies

–        Viral Vectors & Vaccines

–        Baculovirus Expression Technology

BPI West – March 14-March 17, 2016 – Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland, CA

If you are going to BPI West, don’t miss our blog, “Going to BPI West? Don’t miss these great talks and activities!

World Vaccine Congress – March 29-30, 2016 –Grand Hyatt– Washington D.C.


Cell Line Development and Engineering –April 11-13 2016, Vienna, Austria

Bioprocess International European Summit – April 11-14, 2016 – Vienna, Austria

PEGS Boston – April 25-29, 2016 – Seaport World Trade Center – Boston, MA

Interphex – April 26-28, 2016 Javits Center, New York City


TIDES – May 9-12, 2016 – Long Beach, CA

World Stem Cells Regenerative Medicine Conference – May 18-20, 2016 – London, UK

World Cord Blood Conference – May 18-19, 2016 – London, UK

World Precision Medicine – May 18-19, 2016 – London, UK

ISCT – May 25-28, 2016 – Singapore

Cell Culture World Congress USA – May 19-20, 2016 – Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa – San Diego, CA


BIO International Convention – June 6-9, 2016 – San Francisco, CA

Cell Line Development & Engineering – June 13-15, 2016 – Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco, CA

Co-located with

Bioconjugates: From Targets to Therapeutics

Next Generation Protein Therapeutics Summit

Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research – June 22-25, 2016, San Francisco, CA

Progress in Continuous Biomanufacturing – June 27-28, 2016 – Robinson College, Cambridge, UK

The conference is enhanced by the participation of several leading industrial technologists, scientific, vendors and also leading academics from Europe and USA. They have come forward to share their experience and knowledge to provide a better understanding of the current technologies and their application in continuous biomanufacturing. There is also a plenary lecture by a distinguished professor in the field of bioprocessing, and you will also benefit from access to unpublished data. This meeting will address several advancements and their successful application with data in the Technology both Upstream and downstream and also on Initiatives to process developments and project to the future direction of the industry. By joining with us you can benefit from the current state of-the-art advancements in continuous manufacturing and also learn about the successful organisations that are developing and applying these methods in-house.

Viral Safety and Raw Materials – June 2016, Vienna, Austria



“Study Finds Surprising Benefit of Viral DNA: Fighting Other Viruses,” The New York Times

“What could be more alien than a virus? It’s a nanobiological weapon — a microscopic protein shell holding a few genes that hijack a cell’s internal machinery, forcing it to make new viruses. The battles we fight with these alien enemies brings malaise, scars and even death.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool – Mitigating Risk beyond Xeno-Free: Virus Stabilization during Culture and Final Formulation

“Stanford Spins Out Immunotherapy Work Funded By CIRM’s Millions,” Xconomy

“A new cancer immunotherapy company has spun out of Stanford University with backing from a quartet of venture investors and a big hand from the taxpayers of California. The Palo Alto, CA-based firm, dubbed Forty Seven, emerged Wednesday with a program already in clinical trials, a rarity for an academic spinout. Stanford researchers led by Irving Weissman, the director of the school’s Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine were able to begin testing the drug in humans thanks to $30 million in funding from California’s stem cell agency, known as CIRM.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Pancreatic Progenitor Cells – High Efficiency Differentiation and Generation

“Much work still to do,” The Hill

“Each year, on the last day of February, we recognize Rare Disease Day. It is an opportunity to shine a light on a class of diseases that do not often make in onto the front page of the newspaper, but whose collective impact on more than 30 million Americans, their caregivers and loved ones is significant.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “3D Bioprinting and 4D Bioprinting – Applications and Technologies

“FDA Approves Obinutuzumab for Follicular Lymphoma,” OncLive

“The FDA approved obinutuzumab (Gazyva) plus bendamustine followed by obinutuzumab alone for the treatment of patients with follicular lymphoma who relapsed after, or are refractory to, a rituximab-containing regimen, according to Genentech, the manufacturer of the anti-CD20 agent.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “2015 FDA New Drug Approvals – 13 Biologics Receive Approval

“Boehringer, AbbVie Said to Be in Cancer-Partnership Talks,” Bloomberg Business

“Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, the closely held German drugmaker, is in talks with AbbVie Inc. about a significant partnership that could help the companies expand their cancer treatment businesses, people familiar with the discussions said.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool – New Robust Kit for Efficient Generation of Functional Pancreatic Progenitor Cells

“Sanofi digs into details on hastened Zika effort,” Fierce Vaccines

“Just last month, Sanofi ($SNY) became the first Big Pharma player to enter the Zika vaccine R&D space as its peers calculated their responses and weighed their options. Now, the French pharma is taking it a step further, outlining its plans to devote dozens of scientists to the field in a move aimed at expediting its vaccine development.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Hollow Fiber Provides a Sweet Spot for Several Biomanufacturing Applications

“Baxalta, Precision BioSciences Partner in Up-to-$1.7B Immuno-Oncology Collaboration,” Genetic Engineering News

“Baxalta and Precision BioSciences said today they will partner to develop allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapies, in a collaboration that could generate up to $1.7 billion for Precision. The companies said their collaboration will combine Baxalta’s immuno-oncology candidates and global-scale operations with Precision’s ARCUS genome editing platform technology. The CAR-T cell therapies will address what Baxalta and Precision called areas of major unmet need in multiple unspecified cancers.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Enabling High Density Cell Banking using a Single-Use, Closed-System

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