The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – March 20, 2015

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, $100 million venture capital fund for dementia research, fighting an epidemic, Rockefeller University has early data on potential cure for Psoriasis, CVS says biosimilars could cut prices by 40-50%, Actavis acquires Allergan, and GSK to test Ebola vaccine.

Cell Culture Events



“Development Strategies for High-performing Perfusion Media”

March 24, 2015

Biomanufacturers are increasingly driven to develop innovative solutions for highly efficient and cost-effective processes. Integrated continuous processing, comprising production in a high-cell density perfusion culture coupled to a continuous capture step, is a potential solution to serve as a universal biomanufacturing platform.

In this webcast, an expert describes a structured approach for developing a perfusion medium from a combination of commercially available medium and feeds. The medium optimization resulted in a final process with a cell-specific perfusion rate of about 20 pL/cell/d, a decrease of more than 75% compared with the starting process conditions.

Learn how this methodology can be applied to other cell culture media to serve as a fast route to an efficient upstream perfusion process. When combined with a continuous downstream operation, the resulting overall process can meet many demands of tomorrow’s biomanufacturing.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Understand technologies that enable modern perfusion cell culture.
  • Review a fast and convenient strategy for developing a high-cell density perfusion process for Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells based on commercially available cell culture medium and feeds.
  • Learn how design of experiments (DoE) can be used in a structured approach to decrease the cell-specific perfusion rate in an existing process.


“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 Protein Expression Workshop – 3 days by BioSciConcepts

April 8-10, 2015

This 3-day workshop will provide an overview of recombinant protein technology, recombinant protein system and vector choices, and prokaryotic expression. Additionally we will discuss the advantages of the eukaryotic expression, the baculovirus system, transformation and reading-frame considerations when expressing proteins in any system. Also included will be talks on strategies for cell harvesting, and protein purification.



  • 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




“Dementia drug research aided by $100 million venture capital fund,” Reuters

“The world’s first venture capital fund dedicated to finding new ways to prevent and treat dementia has raised more than $100 million with the backing of the British government and several of the world’s leading drugmakers.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “10 Biologics on Best Selling Drugs List for 2014

“How to Fight the Next Epidemic,” The New York Times

“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed more than 10,000 people. If anything good can come from this continuing tragedy, it is that Ebola can awaken the world to a sobering fact: We are simply not prepared to deal with a global epidemic.”

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

“Rockefeller U team touts a potential psoriasis ‘cure’ from Boehringer,” Fierce Biotech Research

“Psoriasis has attracted a big pack of rival drug giants anxious to be in the lead with a new wave of better, targeted therapies for legions of patients. But a team of investigators at Rockefeller University say they just scored early-stage data on a new drug from Boehringer Ingelheim that promises to offer a potential cure with a more durable therapy.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Materials and Assay Systems Used for 3D Cell Culture

“Exclusive: CVS says biotech drug copies may bring price cuts of 40-50 percent,” Reuters

“The entry of copycat biotech drugs into the U.S. market could cut prices of expensive medications by 40 percent to 50 percent, depending on the level of competition among drugmakers, a top executive at CVS Health Corp told Reuters.”

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

“Actavis Completes Acquisition of Allergan,” The Wall Street Journal

“Actavis PLC on Tuesday completed its acquisition of Allergan Inc., now valued at $70.5 billion, closing the biggest deal from 2014 and ending one of the year’s more dramatic takeover battles.”

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

“Pharmacyclics cancer drug successful as combination therapy – independent panel,” Reuters

“An independent panel recommended unblinding a late-stage study testing Pharmacyclics Inc and Johnson & Johnson’s Imbruvica, after the treatment was successful against two similar forms of cancer in combination with other drugs.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cell Therapy: Are we there yet?”

“GSK to test Ebola jab with booster from Emergent BioSolutions,” Fierce Vaccines

“GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) is testing its Ebola jab in Africa to see if it provokes an immune response strong enough to successfully beat an Ebola infection. But if it turns out to be too weak, never fear–the Big Pharma has a backup plan. It’s teaming up with Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions ($EBS) to test the latter’s Ebola shot as a booster for its own vaccine.”

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

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