The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – January 8, 2016

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, US becoming more vulnerable to tropical diseases, Gilead’s hep B drug, Axol Bioscience moving toward crowdfund target, Fibrocell and Intrexon expand their collaboration for arthritis, Shire in talks to aquire Baxalta, start up Scholar Rock has raised cash to advance muscle-protecting drug, and Pluristem Therapeutics gets FDA orphan drug designation.

Cell Culture Events


Innovative Solutions for cGMP-grade Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Culture

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


USA 12:00 Noon EST / 9:00 AM PST

Europe 11:00 AM CET / 10:00 AM London (GMT)

Asia 2:00 PM Seoul/ 1:00 PM Singapore (SGT)/ 10:30 AM India

Australia 4:00 PM Sydney (AEDT)

About this webinar:
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are currently the subject of many clinical trials world-wide, as researchers develop new treatments for a variety of regenerative and inflammatory diseases. The use of a completely defined, serum-free, xeno-free culture system for hMSCs is necessary to provide control over research variables and reduce the inconsistency inherent in serum-containing culture systems.

David Fiorentini will provide an overview of the novel NutriStem® MSC xeno-free, serum-free culture system, which efficiently supports initial isolation and optimal expansion of hMSCs from a variety of sources, while maintaining appropriate hMSC features, such as proper fibroblast-like cell morphology, phenotypic surface marker expression profiles, differentiation capacity, self-renewal potential, and genetic stability over time. In addition, he will also describe the MSCgo™ family of xeno-free, serum-free differentiation media for use in generating mature adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes using hMSCs isolated from a variety of sources.

Who Should Attend?

  • Any researcher culturing hMSCs isolated from bone marrow, adipose tissue, cord blood, Wharton’s Jelly, placental tissue, or other source
  • Researchers interested in improving cell culture results and minimizing lot-to-lot variation between experiments
  • Researchers interested in learning new techniques for isolation, culture, cryopreservation, and/or differentiation of hMSCs
  • Researchers interested in working with xeno-free and/or clinical grade hMSC culture conditions

Register here –



PepTalk – January 18-22, 2016 – San Diego, CA

PepTalk: The Protein Science Week is one of the largest gatherings of protein science researchers in the world. It offers an array of education, innovation and networking programs, and provides many opportunities to scientists.

Don’t miss:

Tuesday, January 19th at 9:35

Hollow Fiber Perfusion Bioreactors; The Original Upstream Single Use Continuous Manufacturing Technology

Scott Waniger, Vice President, Bioservices, Cell Culture Company

Hollow fiber perfusion bioreactor technology has been used in the bioprocessing industry for 30+ years and continues to be used to manufacture regulated biologics worldwide. While the technology has many similarities to stirred tank bioreactors, it also offers significant advantages over traditional technologies for many applications. The presentation will describe these advantages while explaining the setup, daily operation, and turn-around of this accepted technology within the bioprocessing industry. A case study showing steady state production of a monoclonal antibody (IgG) using hollow fiber bioreactors will be included.

Check out the Top Blogs of 2015 –

The Top 25 Cell Culture Dish Blogs in 2015


“U.S. Becomes More Vulnerable to Tropical Diseases Like Zika,” The New York Times

“Tropical diseases — some of them never before seen in the United States — are marching northward as climate change lets mosquitoes and ticks expand their ranges.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Biomanufacturing CHO Media – A look at different approaches and optimization opportunities

“Gilead’s hep B drug as effective as Viread but safer,” Reuters

“Gilead Sciences Inc said its experimental hepatitis B drug was found safer than but as effective as its approved treatment, Viread, in two late-stage studies.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool – Gibco Essential 8 Flex Stem Cell Media Eliminates Need for Daily Feeding

“Axol Bioscience surging towards £600k crowdfund target,” Business Weekly UK

“The hot money is on the stem cell technology pioneer sailing past its target in a 10-week campaign that at the time of writing still had eight weeks to run. Axol is raising cash to rapidly accelerate revenue growth and global expansion as well as to support further product development.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Biomanufacturing Innovations are Plentiful at This Year’s BPI Conference

“Exton Cell Therapy company teams up with Maryland firm to take on arthritis,” Philadelphia Business Journal

“Fibrocell Science Inc. and Intrexon have expanded their collaboration and will work together to develop genetically-modified fibroblasts to treat arthritis and other chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the joint.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool- Hybridoma cell growth and performance in reduced serum + Zap-SR

“Shire Said in Advanced Talks to Acquire Drugmaker Baxalta,” Bloomberg Business

“Shire Plc is in advanced talks to acquire Baxalta Inc. for about $32 billion in cash and stock, excluding debt, according to people familiar with the matter.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Exosomes: A Major Phenomenon Flying Under the Radar

“Scholar Rock Rolls Up $36M To Move Muscle Drug To Clinical Trials,” Xconomy

In recent years, a number of drug companies have zeroed in on a protein called myostatin, which can limit muscle growth and even cause them to waste away in certain diseases. A startup called Scholar Rock is now part of that group, and the Cambridge, MA-based company said today it has raised the cash needed to advance its own muscle-protecting drug into clinical trials.

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

“Pluristem Therapeutics (PSTI) Stock Surges on FDA Orphan Drug Designation,” The Street

“Pluristem Therapeutics (PSTI – Get Report) stock is climbing by 18.08% to $1.17 on heavy trading volume on Thursday, after the FDA granted an orphan drug designation to one of the company’s treatments.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “You can teach an old dog new tricks: Vero cells for virus-based cancer vaccine therapies

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