The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – February 19th, 2016

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, developing a blood test to detect cancer, zika updates, strategy for addressing biological threats, Roche’s primary progressive MS drug candidate gets breakthrough designation, BMS and Dana-Farber launch immune-oncology collaboration, AstraZeneca wins FDA breakthrough for bladder cancer candidate, and developing Alzheimer’s diagnostic.

Cell Culture Events

Ask the Expert:

Differentiating Human ES and iPS Cells to Pancreatic Progenitor Cells

Differentiating human embryonic stem (ES) or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to pancreatic progenitors and downstream differentiated cells is a challenging and labor-intensive process. With the availability of a new differentiation kit that provides a standardized and straight-forward protocol, generating functional PDX-1+/NKX6.1+ pancreatic progenitor cells with high efficiency has become much easier.

In last week’s post, Cool Tool – New Robust Kit for Efficient Generation of Functional Pancreatic Progenitor Cells, the challenges in the field of pancreatic cell research were discussed along with how the new STEMdiff™ Pancreatic Progenitor Kit can address them. This kit efficiently differentiates multiple human ES and iPS cell lines to pancreatic progenitors that are capable of maturing into endocrine and exocrine cells. The new tool allows researchers to study pancreatic development and disease without having to worry about optimizing the cell culture conditions.

Next week, Dr. Michael Riedel will be answering your questions about pancreatic cell differentiation including how to use the STEMdiff™ Pancreatic Progenitor Kit to ensure high efficiency differentiation and generate pancreatic progenitors for pancreatic research. If you have any questions regarding differentiating to the endoderm lineage, Dr. Riedel is happy to discuss that as well as he also oversees the STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit that can be used to generate multipotent definitive endoderm (DE) cells.
Ask your questions about endoderm and pancreatic cell differentiation starting Monday!



Cell Culture World Congress – February 23-24, 2016 –Munich Germany

The Cell Culture World Congress is where pharma, biotechs, researchers & innovative start-ups gather to develop new strategies and partnerships to advance biotherapeutic production, manufacture, and commercialisation. Join the largest cell culture event focused on producing new therapeutics and immunotherapies at a commercial scale and see where biologic manufacture is headed next.

Key speakers include:

Dr Stefan Wildt, VP, Global Head Technical Research and Development, Cell- and Gene Therapies, Novartis.

Bo Kara, Head Process Development, Advanced Therapy Delivery, GSK

Sam Wadsworth, CSO, Dimension Therapeutics

Dr Lorenz Mayr Vice President of Reagents & Assay Development at AstraZeneca

For more information download the brochure:

Downstream Processing World Congress – February 23-24, 2016 – Munich Germany

The Downstream Processing World Congress 2016 will introduce new and exciting content focusing on innovation and development with an emphasis on new methods. Showcasing exciting new technologies such as purifying complex molecules, PAT, continuous purification, chromatography alternatives and new methods of purification. Content will include cutting edge research and even more case studies , over 40 presentations from those working in bioprocess in big pharma, interactive sessions with biotechs and will be collocated with the 6th annual Cell Culture World Congress.

Key speakers include:

Dr Mark Federspiel, Director, Viral Vector Production Laboratory, Department of Molecular Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Dr Yogesh Waghmare, Staff Scientist, Late Stage Process Development, Genzyme Sanofi

Nicholas Clarkson, Group Lead, Analytical Development, Oxford Biomedica

Prof Manuel Carrondo, Director, IBET

For more information download the brochure:


ISBioTech 6th Spring Meeting – March 7-9, 2016 -Washington, DC

Three concurrent programs on:

–        Cellular Therapies

–        Viral Vectors & Vaccines

–        Baculovirus Expression Technology

BPI West – March 14-March 17, 2016 – Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland, CA

World Vaccine Congress – March 29-30, 2016 –Grand Hyatt– Washington D.C.


Progress in Continuous Biomanufacturing – June 27-28, 2016 – Robinson College, Cambridge, UK

The conference is enhanced by the participation of several leading industrial technologists, scientific, vendors and also leading academics from Europe and USA. They have come forward to share their experience and knowledge to provide a better understanding of the current technologies and their application in continuous biomanufacturing. There is also a plenary lecture by a distinguished professor in the field of bioprocessing, and you will also benefit from access to unpublished data. This meeting will address several advancements and their successful application with data in the Technology both Upstream and downstream and also on Initiatives to process developments and project to the future direction of the industry. By joining with us you can benefit from the current state of-the-art advancements in continuous manufacturing and also learn about the successful organisations that are developing and applying these methods in-house.

Check out the Top Blogs, Top Ask the Expert Sessions and Top Cool Tool Features of 2015 –

The Top 25 Cell Culture Dish Blogs in 2015

The Top 10 Ask the Expert Sessions in 2015

The Top 10 Cell Culture Dish Cool Tools Features in 2015


“Cancer Took His Wife. Now He’s CEO Of One Of The Most Audacious Cancer Startups In Years,” Forbes

“Jeff Huber, who helped lead the development of Google’s ad software and its iconic maps application will be the chief executive of Grail, a startup that raised $100 million last month to create a blood test to detect cancer early, when it is treatable.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “New Advances Pose New Challenges to Bioproduction”

“World’s top scientists pledge to share all findings to fight Zika,” Reuters

“Thirty of the world’s leading scientific research institutions, journals and funders have pledged to share for free all data and expertise on Zika to speed up the fight against an outbreak of the viral disease spreading across the Americas.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “The Use of Animal Serum in the Clinical Translation of hMSCs”

“Biotech industry: Stable funding, coordinated strategy needed to fight biological threats,” Washington Bureau Business Journal

“If Zika doesn’t scare you, how about the bubonic plague? The Black Death claimed 75 million lives in the 14th century, but it could make a comeback if the terrorist group ISIS is successful in its efforts to develop biological weapons. This unhappy thought was just one of the scary scenarios discussed at a House hearing Friday on whether America is ready to respond to a major biological threat, whether it’s a terrorist attack or a natural outbreak of a life-threatening disease.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Evaluating Plastic Film for Single-Use Technologies in Biomanufacturing

“FDA gives ocrelizumab breakthrough designation for PPMS: Roche,” Reuters

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation for ocrelizumab (OCREVUS) for treating people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), Swiss drugmaker Roche said on Wednesday.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “2015 FDA New Drug Approvals – 13 Biologics Receive Approval

“BMS, Dana-Farber Launch Immuno-Oncology Collaboration,” Genetic Engineering News

“The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is the latest institution to join Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS) Immuno-Oncology Rare Population Malignancy (I-O RPM) program, through a new collaboration whose value was not disclosed.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool – New Robust Kit for Efficient Generation of Functional Pancreatic Progenitor Cells

“AstraZeneca wins FDA breakthrough status for key cancer drug,” Reuters

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to AstraZeneca’s biggest new drug hope ‍durvalumab as a treatment in bladder cancer, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Hollow Fiber Provides a Sweet Spot for Several Biomanufacturing Applications

“Dx Digest: Sysmex and Eisai take on dementia with latest testing pact; Apogenix scores €3M for cancer companion Dx,” Fierce Medical Devices

“Scientists are developing Alzheimer’s and dementia tests that can point to early signs of the disease. Now Sysmex and Eisai are getting in on the action, teaming up to create diagnostics that can screen for and monitor dementia in patients.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Enabling High Density Cell Banking using a Single-Use, Closed-System

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