The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – October 11, 2019

This week’s headlines include: A Patient Hopes Gene-Editing Can Help With Pain Of Sickle Cell Disease, EIB and Univercells sign EUR 20 million loan agreement to advance delivery of vaccines, HIV-prevention drugs will soon be available without a prescription at California pharmacies, GSK, Lyell join forces for cancer cell therapies, and Merck taps 4D pharma for bacterial vaccine R&D project.


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


Ultrafiltration for Protein Concentration – Centrifuge and Crossflow Solutions

We recently finished our Ask the Expert discussion on “Laboratory based therapeutic and diagnostic marker protein concentration through centrifugal and crossflow ultrafiltration”. Ultrafiltration is an important tool in concentrating therapeutic and diagnostic marker proteins. Efficacy of ultrafiltration processes can be very application dependent and thus may raise technical questions in process planning. Two of the primary methods are using centrifugation or crossflow ultrafiltration. When considering the ultrafiltration method that is best for your application, it is critical that you select the appropriate method for target recovery and sample volume, while still considering speed and efficiency. During this Ask the Expert session, we covered topics related to ultrafiltration of large sample volume concentration, sensitive proteins and protein degradation, when to use cassettes vs. centrifuge, viral vector concentration, membrane selection and non-protein concentrations…

Raw Material Quality – Identifying and Mitigating Variation

In this podcast, we interviewed Cory Card, Principal Scientist Life Sciences, GE Healthcare about raw material quality, its impact on cell culture and technologies to identify and mitigate raw material variation…

Ask the Expert – Laboratory based therapeutic and diagnostic marker protein concentration through centrifugal and crossflow ultrafiltration

Efficacy of ultrafiltration processes can be very application dependent and thus may raise technical questions in process planning. To answer these questions, this week we are excited to have Rik McRae, Technical Manager for Operations, Sartorius Stedim Lab, Ltd. as our expert. Rick has over 20 years of experience in product and application research and development, production engineering and technical guidance and is currently a member of the Sartorius lab ultrafiltration team. Rik is a subject matter expert for technical support and application knowledge, with strong expertise in therapeutic protein, drug delivery nanoparticle, and diagnostic marker concentration applications, with centrifugal, pressure driven and lab scale tangential flow filtration systems…

Cool Tool – Vivaflow Crossflow Cassettes provide plug and play target molecule concentration systems that are scalable for a wide range of sample volumes

Ultrafiltration is an important function in many labs. While there are many ways to conduct concentration and filtration, it is critical that you select the appropriate method for target recovery and sample volume, while still considering speed and efficiency. Sartorius has launched its Vivaflow Crossflow Cassettes with these requirements in mind. With three products specifically designed to meet different customer requirements, they provide a simple to use, plug and play system for concentrating a wide range of sample types, over volumes from 0.1 liter to 5 liters, with high reliability and consistency of results…

Improved Protein yields in CHO and HEK293 cells using a dedicated transfection reagent: FectoPRO®

Transient gene expression (TGE) is commonly used for medium scale production of recombinant proteins and antibodies. This approach allows generation of sufficient protein amounts without an investment in production of stable cell lines prior to “proof of concept” studies or tools validation. The speed and flexibility of the process has enabled TGE to be widely adopted in bioproduction for early discovery, research applications and process development…

The Down Stream Column

Novel affinity resins enabling the purification of next generation antibody fragments: KANEKA KanCap™ G and KanCap™ L

Ever since the licensing of first monoclonal antibody (mAb) drug, biologics have seen unprecedented growth as drugs to treat a variety of malignancies1. The modular structure of mAbs have allowed protein engineers to create smaller, nimbler, and multispecific next-generation antibody therapeutics. Some of these modalities can be easily produced using microbial expression systems, offering higher yields and excellent process economy2

Supplier Qualification and Material Selection – A Case Study of Biopharmaceutical Resin Manufacture

To ensure a safe and continuous supply of life-saving biopharmaceuticals, raw materials for biomanufacturing must be selected carefully and suppliers evaluated with much scrutiny. Several instances of drug shortages as the result of either a raw material shortage or contamination reinforce the need for thorough evaluation. Ensuring a reliable supply and the quality of the materials selected is of paramount importance…

Bioburden Control Strategies for Continuous Downstream Processing

Implementing continuous bioprocessing for biomanufacturing has been increasing in interest. As a result, questions have arisen about the implementation of this strategy for downstream processes. Of particular interest is maintaining a high degree of bioburden control in continuous downstream process. While bioburden control strategies for continuous processing focus on prevention, not unlike batch processing, many want to know if there are specific strategies that should be implemented with continuous bioprocessing that are different than those used in batch processing…

Cool Tool – Innovative sorbents enable a robust and streamlined protein purification process

Monoclonal antibodies have long been purified using a platform approach. This platform mainly consists of three chromatography steps. These include a Protein A based affinity chromatography step followed by polishing steps. The purpose of the affinity chromatography is to capture the mAb, while the polishing steps remove any remaining impurities, such as residual DNA, host cell proteins, viruses and aggregates. There are options in the selected polishing steps, but often they involve cation exchange or hydrophobic interaction. Increasingly membrane chromatography is being used as a polishing step to remove any remaining contaminants…

Optimizing mAb Purification with Highly Selective Mixed-mode Cation Exchange Sorbent

In today’s market, mAbs are produced for several therapeutic applications, yet they are not a homogeneous family of products. Each mAb is unique, based on its isoelectric point, hydrophobicity and ability to aggregate; the contaminant HCP content is also process-dependent. As drug manufacturers seek to produce mAbs for various application, they are also looking to streamline processes for efficiency and quality…


Eppendorf Bioprocess Workshop

Implementation of an Affordable and Scalable Manufacturing Strategy for Gene Therapy
Upstream bioprocess development is an integral part of gene therapy product development. Cell culture bioprocess development is usually carried out at small working volumes. This helps save time and resources, because several experiments can be conducted in parallel, costs for media are kept low, and relatively little laboratory space is required. When more material is needed for characterization, trial runs, and finally for commercialization, biopharmaceutical companies transition the process to bench scale and then up to pilot or production scale. In this presentation, we will present bioprocess solutions for parallel process development at small scale. Furthermore, we will discuss bioreactor scalability and address several scaling approaches.

A Beginner’s Guide to Bioprocess Modes – Batch, Fed-Batch, and Continuous Processing
We will discuss the differences between batch, fed-batch, and continuous fermentation and how these influence culture growth. As an example, we look at E. coli fermentation processes at bench scale. We track the biomass and nutrient concentrations during batch, fed-batch, and continuous fermentation runs. We explain different methods to analyze the process, including determination of biomass, growth rate, productivity, yield, and analysis of process costs. The  comparisons can help bioprocess engineers to select the most appropriate method to meet their needs.  In our examples we studied E. coli fermentation at bench scale. The principles may also apply to bioprocesses using other microbes or mammalian cells, at both smaller and larger scales.

La Jolla, CA – Wednesday, October 16, 2019 – Click here for information on the La Jolla workshop

BTEC, NC – Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – Click here for information on North Carolina workshop


Stem Cell Community Day

November 21, 2019
Lisbon, Portugal

The Stem Cell Community Day connects researchers from all over the world to discuss recent advances in the stem cells field, with a special focus on controlled cultivation in stirred-tank bioreactors. Stem cell-based technologies lay the basis for pioneering approaches in regenerative medicine, drug screening, and toxicology testing. Their commercial use requires reliable methods for the large-scale production of stem cells in consistent quality. The 3rd Stem Cell Community Day, will again bring together experts from industry and academia to discuss recent achievements, challenges, and chances in stem cell bioprocessing for research and commercial manufacturing.



“A Patient Hopes Gene-Editing Can Help With Pain Of Sickle Cell Disease,” NPR

“Victoria Gray slides open a closet door, pulls out a suitcase and starts packing piles of clothes. “My goodness,” says Gray. “Did I really bring all this?” Gray, who has sickle cell disease, is the first patient with a genetic disorder whom doctors in the United States have tried to treat using the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR…”

“EIB and Univercells sign EUR 20 million loan agreement to advance delivery of vaccines,” News Medical Life Sciences

“The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Univercells S.A have signed a EUR 20 million loan agreement to support the development of a portfolio of four essential and undersupplied vaccines to be delivered at an affordable price. The portfolio – including polio, measles and rubella, and rabies vaccines – requires significant investment in process development through to clinical and regulatory validation. In funding Univercells, the EIB is aiming to promote the delivery of such vaccines, increasing their availability for diseases with high unmet medical needs…”

“HIV-prevention drugs will soon be available without a prescription at California pharmacies,” CNN

“HIV prevention drugs will be available without a prescription starting next year in California under a bill signed Monday by the state’s Democratic governor. The medications covered by the new legislation are pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which both help prevent HIV infections. The state will be the first in the country to allow pharmacists to provide the drugs without a physician’s prescription, nonprofit organization Equality California said. The law takes effect January 1…”

“GSK, Lyell join forces for cancer cell therapies,” PharmaTimes Online

“GlaxoSmithKline and Lyell Immunopharma have announced a five-year collaboration to develop new technologies to improve cell therapies for cancer patients. The companies explained that the collaboration will apply Lyell’s technologies to further strengthen GSK’s cell therapy pipeline, including GSK3377794, which targets the NY-ESO-1 antigen that is expressed across multiple cancer types…”

“Merck taps 4D pharma for bacterial vaccine R&D project,” FierceBiotech

“Merck has teamed up with 4D pharma to develop bacterial strains as vaccines. The deal gives Merck the chance to pick up three candidates against undisclosed indications in return for an upfront fee and up to $347.5 million (€316.2 million) per project in milestones…”

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