The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – February 27, 2015

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, faster way to test many drugs on cancer, FDA approves Sanofi’s diabetes drug, NewLink wins $20M for Ebola vaccine, Gene Therapy news, and MedImmune and NIST partner on biologic drug research.

Upcoming Ask the Expert Session

PSC Stress Management: Minimizing the Impact of Stress on Pluripotent Stem Cell Health in a Range of Workflows – Starts Monday!

Have you ever wished you had a safety net for your pluripotent stem cells, suffering loss of a cell line during processes such as cryopreservation, electroporation, or single cell passaging? While stem cells have a tremendous proliferative capacity, long term culture of these cells has been shown to cause an accumulation of mutations that result in genetic instability, increasing tumorigenicity and thus limiting their usefulness in research and clinical applications. Solutions to reduce the stress on pluripotent stem cells provides multiple benefits including enhanced post-thaw recovery, as well as providing support during manipulation of cells in diverse workflows including high throughput screening and gene editing. Furthermore, these solutions provide greater consistency between experiments and operators.   Discover solutions to help your cells stress less – visit next week’s Ask the Expert session and submit your questions.

Cell Culture Events



“Designing the Most Cost-Effective Manufacturing Strategy for Allogeneic Cell-Based Therapies”

March 25, 2015

Learn the key bioprocess economic parameters to be considered when designing the manufacturing strategy for an adherent cell-based allogeneic product.

Developing the right industrialization strategy is critical to support a sustainable Cell Therapy development and commercialization program. Cell sources, stock management, and technology performance are some of the key parameters that determine the manufacturing scale required for specific product characteristics, supply chain, and business risk management.

Participants will learn:

  • Map the factors influencing your bioprocess scale.
  • Design optimized manufacturing strategies for allogeneic cell-based therapies.
  • Evaluate and select the most cost-effective technology according to the lot size.
  • Align process development to the product roadmap.


Introduction to Cell Culture Workshop – 4 days by BioSciConcepts

March 10-13, 2015

One of our most popular workshops, this Cell Culture Workshop covers essential fundamentals, providing a solid basis for the understanding of the growth of animal cells.  We combine lecture and laboratory exercises aimed at  giving participants a deeper understanding of serum-free media applications and related topics.

Topics include: Introduction to cell and tissue culture, serum containing media and the use of serum. cell counting and viability determination, development of growth curves, growth of adherent and suspension cells, transfection technologies for recombinant protein expression in animal cells, cryopreservation and cryothawing of animal cells, cell cloning , primary cell culture and so much more.


Genome Editing Applications – March 18-19, 2015 – Hilton Boston Back Bay, Boston MA

Biopharmaceutical Development and Production Week – March 30-April 2, 2015 – Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, Huntington Beach, CA

Co-located with Single-use Applications and Flexible Facilities


“A Faster Way to Try Many Drugs on Many Cancers,” The New York Times

“Chemotherapy and radiation failed to thwart Erika Hurwitz’s rare cancer of white blood cells. So her doctors offered her another option, a drug for melanoma. The result was astonishing.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled The Benefits of Implementing Bioprocess Monitoring and Quality by Design in Process Development

“FDA approves Sanofi’s diabetes drug Toujeo,” Reuters

“U.S. health regulators on Wednesday approved Sanofi’s diabetes drug Toujeo, a more potent follow-up to the French drugmaker’s top-selling insulin product Lantus.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “2014 FDA New Drug Approvals – 11 Biologics Receive Approval

“NewLink Wins $20M from Merck & Co. for Ebola Vaccine Trial Launch,” Genetic Engineering News

“NewLink Genetics said today it will receive $20 million from Merck & Co. for achieving a key clinical development milestone in their collaboration to co-develop the experimental Ebola vaccine candidate rVSV-EBOV—namely the launch of a large-scale clinical trial.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Developing Ebola Vaccine and Securing Your Cold Chain Logistics Plan

“Paying for Gene Therapy: are annuities the next big thing?” Reuters

“As U.S. drugmakers face growing resistance to the high price of cutting-edge treatments, a handful of companies are working on a new payment model that rewards them for the long-term performance of their medicines.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Application of the Roche Cedex Bio Analyzer in the Culture of Human Pancreatic Islets and Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

“Project Sheds Light on What Drives Genes,” The New York Times

“More than 200 scientists working on an ambitious federal project have begun to understand the complicated system of switches that regulates genes, turning some on and others off, making some glow brightly while others dim. They hope these discoveries, described in two dozen papers released on Wednesday, will eventually lead to a deeper understanding of diseases and new ways to treat or cure them.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Reprogramming Blood Cells: How to Decrease Variability in Your Workflow

“Medicago wins contract to develop Ebola treatments,” Reuters

“Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc will scoop up bankrupt cancer vaccine maker Dendreon Corp, after no additional qualified bids came forward by Tuesday’s deadline, Valeant said.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “The Evolution of Vaccine Manufacturing – Past, Current, and Future Trends

“MedImmune, NIST announce five-year partnership for biological drug research,” Washington Business Journal

“Gaithersburg-based biotech MedImmune and the National Institute of Standards and Technology unveiled Friday a five-year joint agreement to research tools to develop new drugs or therapies, or make existing therapies more effective. The project is focused on biopharmaceuticals — drugs and treatments derived from biological, rather than chemical, sources.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Intestinal Organoid Culture: a Convenient and Physiologically Relevant Model for Intestinal and Stem Cell Research

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