The Dish’s Weekly News Wrap Up – September 6, 2013

This week’s headlines include, multiple flu vaccine options, should the government provide more scientific funding, costs of drug development, ReNeuron wins orphan status for stem Cell Therapy, herd immunity reduces hospitalizations, many medicines safe during breastfeeding and new biosimilar collaboration.

Cell Culture Dish Feature – Ask the Expert:

Our Next Session – Methods for Reducing Biological Contamination Risks in Your Lab

Probably the most common and annoying problem encountered in a cell culture laboratory is biological contamination. Contamination can be a minor nuisance or a major catastrophe depending on the type of contamination present and the culture method and volume utilized. Today reputable media and sera providers do a very good job of filtering their products using specialized filtration systems and therefore most if not all contamination is due to problems with technique, incomplete sterilization of equipment or some other failure. Prevention from biological contamination cannot be absolute, biological contamination does sometimes happen especially given that it is recommended that culturists do not use antibiotics. It is possible to reduce the severity and frequency of biological contamination by following procedures such aseptic technique. What are your questions and comments about biological contamination and how can we help you overcome contamination problems in your lab. Hosted by Tim Faucett, Ph.D. and sponsored by Life Technologies, don’t miss this chance to have your contamination questions answered and get the chance to win a free set of six spray bottles for your lab! Starts Monday!

Cell Culture Events:

BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition – September 16-19, 2013

Now celebrating its 10th Anniversary, BPI attracts experts from all bioprocessing and biomanufacturing disciplines and all levels, from research scientist to group leader to senior level executive who share and discuss their challenges in an interactive, learning environment.

Don’t miss the talk “Challenges to the Entry of New Biologics into the Market,” By Joanne T. Beck, Ph.D., Vice President, Process Development, Shire Human Genetic Therapies Get a sneak peek by listening to the podcast now!

Please Check out our Sponsor’s Activities at Bioprocess International by Visiting our BPI Sponsor Page

Visit with The Cell Culture Dish

Editor and Chief Brandy Sargent will be attending BPI this year and will be available to meet with interested parties. Are you are interested in specific blog topics, new blog features, or advertising and sponsorship opportunities? If so, please use BPI Connect to schedule a meeting with Brandy.

Three Great Conferences – All in Cambridge, September 30 – October 1

Cell Culture World Congress USA is North America’s premier cell culture optimization and development conference, with a focus on upstream processes. This is where biopharma and biotech biomanufacturing and process experts come to debate advances in cell culture optimization and development. Save 15% with promo code ECYB! For more information please go to


“Kids can get 3 or 4 Strain Flu Vaccine: Pediatricians,” Reuters

“With a new version of the flu vaccine that protects against four virus strains coming out this fall, in addition to the usual three-strain formula, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids should get either one. “We don’t have a preference,” Dr. Michael Brady, chairperson of the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases, said.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Vaccines – An Interesting Discussion on Past, Present, and Future”

“It’s No Accident that Drugs are Expensive,” Investopedia

“The cost of prescription drugs is a perennial subject of heated debate, as advocates on one side argue that drug companies make windfall profits and overcharge health care systems and advocates on the other side argue that higher drug prices simply reflect a higher cost of doing business and a need for companies to make a return commensurate with the risks they take on. Although I have no delusions that I’ll change the minds of those who believe drugs are too expensive and that drug companies are abusing patients and insurance companies, the impact of rising costs of drug development can’t be ignored.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “A New WAVE for the Future

“Dog Bites Man? Researchers Say U.S. Government Should Fund More Science,” Science Insider

“U.S. biomedical researchers have once again registered their unhappiness with the current federal budget crunch. In a survey released yesterday by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), respondents overwhelmingly say that funding troubles are threatening their work and America’s scientific preeminence. But the unscientific nature of the online survey makes it hard to know exactly what the results say about the state of U.S. academic research. Its value as a lobbying tool is also open to debate.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Navigating the Single-use space – How to find the right cell culture bioreactor

“ReNeuron’s Stem Cell Therapy Wins Orphan Status,” PharmaTimes

“There was good news for ReNeuron this week as regulators on both sides of the Atlantic awarded its eye disease stem Cell Therapy orphan drug designation. Both the European Commission and US Food and Drug Administration have classed ReN003 an orphan drug for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, a group of hereditary progressive eye diseases that damage retinal cells and cause sight loss, which affect about four in 10,000 people in the EU and US.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Moving Your Cell Therapy from Concept to Product – A discussion about navigating funding and grant writing, partnering with organizations and the regulatory process

“Herd Immunity from GSK, Merck Vaccines Cutting Hospitalizations,” Fierce Vaccines

“Researchers have previously linked GlaxoSmithKline and Merck’s rotavirus vaccines to a drop in virus-related infant hospitalizations, but the benefit to other age groups was unclear. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team has now dug into this topic. The study looked at the numbers of rotavirus-related hospitalizations before and after the routine use of GSK’s Rotarix and Merck’s RotaTeq. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), CDC staff reported that, as expected, the number of hospitalizations of kids under 5 fell significantly. The 80% drop between 2000 to 2006 and 2008 to 2010 likely reflects the immunization of this age group. Hospitalizations of older children and adults fell too, though.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Interesting Late Stage Viral Vaccine Candidates

“Many Medicines Safe During Breastfeeding: Committee,” Reuters

“Many medications can be used safely by women who are breastfeeding and the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh most harms related to babies’ exposure, a panel of pediatricians said today. In a clinical report, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Drugs said mothers may be “inappropriately advised” to stop breastfeeding or to stop taking their medications, for fear the drugs will be passed through breast milk and harm infants.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Perfusion Bioreactors – With so much to offer they deserve a closer look

“Baxter, Coherus Ink Biosimilar Collaboration North up to $246M,” Genetic Engineering News

“Baxter International and Coherus Biosciences said today they will develop and commercialize a biosimilar to etanercept for Europe, Canada, Brazil, and other (unspecified) markets. Baxter expects the exclusive collaboration—projected by the companies to generate up to $246 million—will speed up its expansion into the biosimilars market. Under the agreement, Baxter will pay Coherus $30 million up front, and up to $216 million in payments tied to development and regulatory milestones, in return for Coherus carrying out development of the biosimilar. The agreement also allows the companies to develop and commercialize an alternative biosimilar to etanercept, pending the outcome of clinical data.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Advances in Adherent Cell Culture Approaches Abound – Promoting Progress in Production Performance for Attachment Dependant Processes

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