The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – November 28, 2014

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, Merck acquires rights to NewLink ebola vaccine, Transposagen and Janssen enter Cell Therapy deal, AstraZeneca expanding in Frederick, white paper says FDA practices discourage biologic competition, Novartis wins backing for psoriasis drug, and Isis starts Phase III study for spinal muscular atrophy.

Cell Culture Events


World Stem Cell Summit – December 3-5, 2014 – San Antonio, Texas

Visit Roche Custom Biotech in booth #1 to learn more about our range of solutions for Cell Therapy applications, including Liberase enzyme blends for dissociating cells from primary tissues, bio-analytical instrumentation, downstream proteases, and products for in-process quality control testing.

Cell Therapy Manufacturing – December 3-4, 2014 – Brussels, Belgium

ASCB – December 6-10, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA


“Merck buys rights to NewLink’s experimental Ebola vaccine,” Reuters

“Merck & Co Inc on Monday said it would buy worldwide commercial rights to NewLink Genetics Corp’s experimental vaccine against the Ebola virus.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Three vaccines in development are poised to make significant impact on global public health

“Transposagen Inks CAR T-Cell Therapy Deal with Janssen,” Genetic Engineering News

“Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals entered into a research collaboration and worldwide license agreement with Janssen Biotech to develop allogeneic Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells (CAR-T). CAR-Ts have shown promise in early human clinical trials for the treatment of blood cancers, and allogeneic CAR-Ts have the potential for use as off-the-shelf cancer treatments without the need of matching donor with recipient.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled The Benefits of Implementing Bioprocess Monitoring and Quality by Design in Process Development

“AstraZeneca adding 300 jobs in Frederick in $200M expansion,” The Baltimore Sun

“British drugmaker AstraZeneca is doubling down on Maryland, spending $200 million to expand its Frederick manufacturing facility a year after shifting hundreds of out-of-state jobs to Montgomery County.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Where’s the Beef!?”

“FDA Practices Discourage Biologic Market Competition, Says PCMA White Paper,”

“The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), an organization that represents the nation’s leading pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for over 210 million Americans, released a new white paper investigating FDA’s influence on drug prices and competition in the pharmaceutical marketplace. The PCMA argues that competition within branded drugs is undervalued in FDA priorities and that FDA’s structures and regulations fundamentally hinder competition.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Last Week’s BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition

“Novartis Wins European Backing for Psoriasis Drug Cosentyx,” Bloomberg Businessweek

“Novartis AG (NOVN) won European backing for a treatment against psoriasis that will compete with Amgen Inc.’s Enbrel and may garner more than $1 billion in annual sales.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Raw Material Sourcing for Cell Culture Media – Important Considerations

“Isis starts Phase 3 trial in spinal muscular atrophy,” San Diego Union-Tribune

“Isis Pharmaceuticals has started a second Phase 3 study of its drug for spinal muscular atrophy, a severe genetic disease that can be fatal.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Genome Editing and Associated Technologies


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