The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – February 15, 2019

This week’s headlines include: Can Big Science Be Too Big?, Reprogramming pancreatic cells into insulin makers to treat diabetes, Novartis Creates “Inflection Point” for AbCellera with 10-Target Antibody Collaboration, Merck, Pfizer combo treatment boosts kidney cancer survival, and UniQure gene therapy shows promising result in mid-stage trial.


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In Case You Missed It, Recent Articles on Cell Culture Dish and Downstream Column:


Cool Tool – Advanced Bioprocess Controller Puts Cell Culture on Autopilot

Bioprocess controllers are an important part of a bioprocess lab. In many bioprocess labs several experiments are running simultaneously sometimes using multiple cell types with different modes and at varying scale. A bioprocess controller can help to simplify these demands, provided that the controller isn’t overly complex or challenging to operate. The goal is finding a bioprocess controller that permits maximum flexibility while still being straightforward and simple to use…

Cool Tool: PEIpro® enables seamless scale-up of transient transfection for therapeutic viral vector manufacturing

During process development (PD) for virus vector production, choosing raw materials from reliable suppliers that can provide the highest quality to meet Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) GMP guidelines is key and will facilitate transition to large-scale clinical-grade virus manufacturing. With the launch of commercially available PEIpro®-GMP, Polyplus-transfection® SA now provides a complete PEIpro® product range to address concerns often raised with transient transfection for large scale manufacturing of viral vectors: efficiency, reproducibility and scalability…

Expediting Cell and Gene Therapy Workflows

In this podcast and accompanying article, we interviewed Mr. Dave Eansor President of the Protein Sciences Segment at Bio-Techne and Dr. Sean Kevlahan, Senior Director of Cell and Gene Therapy at Bio-Techne about new technologies that can be implemented to expedite cell therapy and gene therapy workflows and facilitate the path from bench to clinic…

A New Dimension of Cell Culture: The Rise of Spheroid Culture Systems

In this article, we discuss the evolution of spheroid culture systems, methodologies of spheroid formation, spheroid culture challenges and relevant solutions…

A Road Map for Efficient Fed-Batch Cell Culture Optimization

In this podcast and accompanying article, we interviewed Dr. Andreas Castan, Principal Scientist at GE Healthcare Life Sciences about the most efficient ways to optimize fed-batch cell culture production for CHO-based antibodies. This included a discussion of media vs. feed strategies, incorporating critical quality attributes, evaluating the impact of optimizing on downstream processing and more…

The Down Stream Column

Scalable Protein A Chromatography for High-Throughput Process Development

Process development is a critical part of biomanufacturing, but it can be very time and resource intensive. With recent industry initiatives around speed to market, process development is an area that could really benefit from high throughput solutions. One high-throughput process development tool for chromatography is the use of 96-well plates. These plate platforms permit automated screening of large numbers of conditions very efficiently and use only a small amount of material for testing. This platform is great for screening but requires bridging experiments to translate results to process scale. In addition, automating the 96-well process requires investment in liquid handling equipment in order to reach the full potential of the platform…


Utilizing High-Throughput Process Development Tools to Create a Purification Process for a Biosimilar Molecule

Biosimilar molecules have some unique manufacturing requirements that must be taken into account when planning process development. The requirements for process development typically require a good deal of selectivity, cost-efficiency and the need to meet aggressive timelines. These lend themselves to a process development approach that incorporates high throughput…

Designing a Viral Clearance Study – A Step by Step Tutorial

Viral clearance testing is a regulatory requirement and critical part of the overall approval process for all biologics. Viral clearance testing is performed at two points in biologics development. Before Phase I clinical trials, viral clearance studies are conducted to demonstrate the capability of a downstream purification process to eliminate potential viral contaminants…

High Throughput Process Development in Biomanufacturing – Current Challenges and Benefits

Process development is and has always been a key component in successful scale-up of bioprocesses to commercial manufacture scale. At the Fourth High Throughput Process Development Conference in Toledo, Spain, several methods for high throughput process development were discussed for both upstream and downstream applications. Challenges and benefits were described along with ideas on where the industry can go from here. The proceedings were collected in a recently published report, “HTPD – High Throughput Process Development,” and include extended abstracts of talks presented at the conference. The report is very informative and I have summarized some key areas of focus in this article. We were also fortunate to be able to interview one of the conference chairs, Mats Gruvegard, GE Healthcare Life Sciences about what he saw as key takeaways from the conference and where he sees the future of high throughput process development heading…

Monolithic Chromatography Enables Process Intensification of Virus Purification

Monoliths are unique from other forms of chromatography media for several reasons. Monolith architecture consists of highly interconnected convective channels that are distributed throughout the entire bed. The large channels are easily available for purification even for large biomolecules. This unique architecture also creates a void-less space, thus significantly reducing shear and product loss. In monoliths, the mass transport is also exclusively convective and laminar which means that all solutes flow with the current regardless of size and require only a few seconds of residence time…


Americas Antibody Congress 2019

March 3March 5
Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1 Market Place
San Diego,CA 92101United States
+ Google Map
Americas Antibody Congress 2019

In the 14 years that the European Antibody Congress has run in Basel, Switzerland, there have been countless breakthroughs, advancements and achievements that not only were showcased for the first time at the European Antibody Congress but were also born out of collaborations and partnerships that were catalysed by, or initiated, at the European Antibody Congress. This is why we are launching the Americas Antibody Congress in San Diego this March to bring the amazing antibody work we’ve been showcasing…

Find out more »

BioProcess International West

March 11-14, 2019
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California, USA

BioProcess International US West

Overcome Your Upstream and Downstream Challenges at BPI US West 2019

Meet the global CMOs, CROs, suppliers and technology leaders who can accelerate your biological products to market by getting your 2-day exhibit hall pass to BioProcess International US West, held March 11-12, 2019 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.  Passes start at $399, but readers of Cell Culture Dish can save 50% on an exhibit hall pass when you register with VIP Code DISH50 by March 1, 2019 (new registrations only).  For full details and to register, visit


“Modern science is largely a team sport, and over the past few decades the makeup of those teams has shifted, from small groups of collaborators to ever larger consortiums, with rosters far longer than that of the New England Patriots. Answering big questions often requires scientists and institutions to pool resources and data, whether the research involves detecting gravitational waves in deep space, or sorting out the genetics of brain development…”

“Reprogramming pancreatic cells into insulin makers to treat diabetes,” FierceBiotech

“Diabetes occurs when the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed or become dysfunctional. Scientists are keen to find methods for regenerating these cells to treat diabetes. Now, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have converted other pancreatic cells into cells that can secret insulin, and they have shown promising results in treating mouse models of diabetes…”

“Novartis Creates “Inflection Point” for AbCellera with 10-Target Antibody Collaboration,” Genetic Engineering News

“Novartis will use AbCellera’s antibody discovery platform and single-cell screening technology to identify and develop up to 10 targets, through a collaboration whose value was not disclosed—but which the Canadian developer of therapeutic antibodies said today could potentially grow into its largest partnership to date…”

“Merck, Pfizer combo treatment boosts kidney cancer survival,” Reuters

“Drugmaker Merck & Co Inc said on Monday that the combination of its cancer immunotherapy Keytruda with Pfizer Inc’s Inlyta cut the risk of death nearly in half for patients with the most common form of kidney cancer when compared with treatment with chemotherapy drug Sutent…”

“UniQure gene therapy shows promising result in mid-stage trial,” Reuters

“Gene therapy company UniQure NV said on Friday its treatment for hemophilia B increased the levels of a protein that helps in blood clotting after 12 weeks in a relatively small study. Common treatments for hemophilia B, in which a lack of the protein factor IX (FIX) prevents clotting that could lead to severe bleeding, include factor replacement therapy where the patient gets an injection of clotting protein…”

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