The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – September 26, 2014

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, Ebola treatment news, Merck purchases Sigma-Aldrich, Baxter buys rights to Merrimack Cancer drug, high drug co-pays limits treatment, tumor on chip to test new cancer drugs and Celgene’s psoriasis drug gets approval.

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


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 Talk at BPI:

10:15 am, Tuesday, October 21st:  What Factors to Consider when Selecting an Analytical Method for Cell Culture Fermentation:  Comparison of Cedex Bio HT, Nova Flex, YSI 2950 and CuBiAn Systems, Technologies and Performance; Caitlin Kurtz, Biogen Idec and NC State


“U.S., Canada allow emergency use of Tekmira’s Ebola treatment,” Reuters

“Canadian drugmaker Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp (TKM.TO)(TKMR.O) said on Monday that U.S. and Canadian regulators have authorized the use of its Ebola treatment in patients who have confirmed or suspected infections from the deadly virus.”

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

“Baxter Buys Ex-U.S. Rights to Merrimack Cancer Candidate for Up to $970M,” Genetic Engineering News

“Baxter International will co-develop and co-commercialize Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’ lead cancer drug candidate MM-398 (nanoliposomal irinotecan injection or “nal-IRI”), and gain commercialization rights for all potential indications of MM-398 outside the U.S. and Taiwan, in an up-to-$970 million exclusive licensing deal.”

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

“Inovio to start human trials of Ebola vaccine,” Reuters

“Vaccine developer Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said the company and its partner GeneOne Life Science Inc will start testing its experimental Ebola vaccine in humans in the first half of 2015.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “New Study Compiles Extensive Database that Supports the Importance of Vaccination

“High drug co-pays deny needed treatments,” San Francisco Chronicle

“Treatments for debilitating diseases are saving millions of patients from pain and possible death. Patients rightly expect their health insurance plan to cover the best medicines based on their unique needs, at an out-of-pocket cost that makes these therapies accessible.”

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

“Germany’s Merck to buy Sigma-Aldrich for $17 bln,” Reuters

“Drugs and chemicals maker Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE) agreed on Monday to acquire U.S. company Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL.O) for $17 billion in cash to boost its lab supplies business, the biggest takeover in the German group’s history.”

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

“Researchers develop tumor-on-a-chip to test new cancer drugs,” Fierce Biotech Research

“Conventional drug testing methods for cancer drugs are often unreliable. In vitro studies don’t replicate the complex microenvironment surrounding tumors accurately, and oftentimes, animal research doesn’t accurately show how therapies might work in people.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease – Considerations for the Future

“Celgene’s psoriasis drug gets approval for new indication,” Reuters

“Celgene Corp said the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration has approved the expanded use of its drug Otezla for treating patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.”

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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