The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – October 10, 2014

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, justifying drug costs, BRAIN Initiative grants, faster approval of chemotherapy drugs considered, Amgen’s Humira copy successful, and Ebola treatment developments.

Cell Culture Dish – Ask the Expert Session

Our Next Session – Got mRNA?  Solve DNA transfection issues with mRNA transfection.

Typically, DNA enters the nucleus when cells divide because cell division creates small nuclear pores.  In non-dividing primary cells DNA doesn’t enter the nucleus making these cells very hard-to-transfect. If DNA entry is a bottleneck, why not deliver mRNA directly?

Please reach out and ask our expert your transfection questions!  Our expert is here to help answer any questions. What’s the best way to transfect mRNA? Which reagent should I use? Can I transfect primary cells with a reagent? How do I prepare an mRNA template from DNA? What’s the protocol? These are just some examples of the type of questions to be covered in this Ask the Expert Session.

Please reach out and ask our expert your transfection questions on Monday!

Cell Culture Events

2-Day Workshops on Modeling and Simulation in Biomanufacturing Operations

Bio-G is hosting 2-Day workshops around the country on Modeling and Simulation in Biomanufacturing Operations. Attendees work in hands-on sessions with the Bio-G Real-Time Modeling System (RTMS) to solve challenging manufacturing problems, including:

  • Modeling and Optimization
  • Production Planning and Scheduling
  • Cycle Time Reduction and Debottlenecking
  • Capacity Analysis
  • Analysis of Utilities and Waste Streams

For more information on the 2-Day Workshops, including cities and dates, go to

The Future of Bioprocess Monitoring: How Greater Precision can Improve Quality and Yield Webinar – Wednesday October 15th

Roche Custom BiotechAGU Industrial IT and Bayer Technologies will be sharing and discussing their experience of applying modern cell culture monitoring and how this enables succinct quality by design(QbD) with focus on:

  • Solutions for reliable and precise measurements of a broad range of parameters taken from a small sample volume
  • Modern data management approach towards a paperless lab solution with a “Closed Loop”
  • Solutions for automated sampling, monitoring and storage in bio-pharmaceutical process development


Bioproduction – October 8-9, 2014 – Barcelo Sants Hotel – Barcelona, Spain

BioProduction 2014 is Europe’s leading and largest event for a comprehensive update on operational strategies, technologies, regulatory challenges, manufacturing production and process development in biological manufacturing.

BioProcess International Conference & Exhibition

Conference: October 20-23, 2014, Exhibition: October 21-23, 2014

Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

Complete programming coverage of the full bioprocessing continuum – featuring 65 innovative case studies and 70 new data presentations intended for companies of all sizes and at every stage of development.

The world’s largest bioprocess exhibition – featuring over 150 exhibitors, lounges, and the BPI Theater with live product launches to help you plan future purchasing decisions.

Face-to-Face Networking opportunities that no other bioprocessing event can offer, plus access BPI’s event specific partnering tool to schedule meetings.

Featured Luncheon Presentation at BPI:

Integrated Single-Use Purification Technologies Enabling Continuous MAb Processing, by Michael W. Phillips, Director, Technology Development, EMD Millipore. Tuesday October 21st 12:20 pm


Well Characterized Biologicals – November 3-4, 2014 – Washington Marriott at Metro Center Washington, DC

World Orphan Drug Congress, Europe 2014 – November 12-14, 2014 – The Egg, Brussels, Belgium


“Why extremely expensive drugs are often worth the cost,” The Washington Post

“If you’ve been wondering why the high cost of a new hepatitis C cure has ignited such a fierce public debate over the past few months, it’s because more specialty drugs like Sovaldi are going to flood the market in coming years. This class of drugs accounted for less than 1 percent of all prescriptions in 2013, but about 25 percent of all prescription drug spending — and spending on specialty drugs is projected to increase 63 percent by 2016, according to Express Scripts.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled A High Throughput, Scalable Solution to Upstream Process Development

“NIH doles out first $46M round of BRAIN Initiative grants,” Fierce Biotech Research

“President Obama’s ambitious BRAIN Initiative–short for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies–has awarded its first round of grants, totaling $46 million.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Stem Cell Culture Advances – The Final Blog in the ISSCR Series

“FDA eyes faster approval of chemotherapy treatments,” The Hill

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking to speed up the approval process for chemotherapies and other cancer drugs to treat early-stage breast cancer, the agency announced Monday.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Highlights from IBC’s 4th Annual Cell Therapy Bioprocessing Conference

“Amgen’s Humira copy succeeds in skin disease trial,” Reuters

“Amgen Inc said its copycat version of AbbVie Inc’s blockbuster biotech drug Humira showed comparable safety and ability to generate immune response in patients with a type of skin disease.”

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

“North Carolina drugmaker gets FDA approval to provide experimental treatment to Ebola patients,” Fox Business News

“A North Carolina drugmaker says it is providing an experimental antiviral drug for patients with Ebola, an emergency step authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Flexible Facilities for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing”

“Q&A: Why BIO’s Jim Greenwood says this is not a biotech bubble,” San Francisco Business Times

“The Biotechnology Industry Organization’s 13th annual investor forum returns Tuesday and Wednesday to San Francisco, bringing hundreds of biotech executives, funders and industry watchers to the Palace Hotel.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Interactive Scheduling is Key to Successful Biomanufacturing Operations

“Ebola genome browser launched to aid drug discovery,” Fierce Biotech Research

“The race to develop an effective vaccine or therapy against the ebola virus is on, with companies large and small answering the World Health Organization’s call to ramp up drug discovery efforts.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Improving Clone Isolation and Screening In Hybridoma Cells – Moving away from Limiting Dilution

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