The Dish’s Weekly News Wrap Up – August 16, 2013

This week’s headlines include, genomics causing breakthroughs in cancer treatments, Osiris’ wound product study, high cost of creating drugs, genomic testing in clinical trials, Stem Cell Therapeutics enters deal for oncology, Merrimack receives to FDA designations and NIH to open genomic data for HeLa cells.

Don’t miss next week’s Ask the Expert session:

Moving your Cell Therapy from Concept to Product: Ask our Expert about navigating funding and grant writing, partnering with organizations, and the regulatory process,” hosted by Neil Littman, the Business Development Officer at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Starts Monday, August 19th!

Cell Culture Events:

BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition – September 16-19, 2013

Now celebrating its 10th Anniversary, BPI attracts experts from all bioprocessing and biomanufacturing disciplines and all levels, from research scientist to group leader to senior level executive who share and discuss their challenges in an interactive, learning environment.

Don’t miss the talk “Investigation and Reduction of Performance Variability in Single-Use Cell Culture Bioreactors,” by Rajesh Krishnan, PhD, Associate Director, Cell Line & Upstream Process Development, Gilead Science

Get a sneak peek by listening to the podcast now!

Three Great Conferences – All in Cambridge, September 30 – October 1

Cell Culture World Congress USA

Stem Cells Regenerative Medicine Conference

World Cord Blood Congress

Cell Culture World Congress USA is North America’s premier cell culture optimization and development conference, with a focus on upstream processes. This is where biopharma and biotech biomanufacturing and process experts come to debate advances in cell culture optimization and development. Save 15% with promo code ECYB! For more information please go to

Introduction to Cell Culture – August 20-23, 2013

This 4-day cell culture workshop is designed for those with no or extensive cell culture experience. Topics include an introduction to cell and tissue culture, serum containing and serum-free media, adaptation to serum-free media, cell counting and viability staining, growth curve development, growth of suspension and adherent cells, transfection technologies, cryopreservation methods, cell cloning and primary culture.

Scheduled workshops take place in Baltimore, Maryland. All of our workshops can be conducted at your location if needed.  If you have questions or want more specific course content please contact our website, or call us at 410-752-4224 


“NIH Director Explains HeLa Agreement,” Nature

This week a policy allowing controlled access to the HeLa cell genome goes into effect. The policy is the result of three meetings between Francis Collins, the director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and relatives of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cervical tumour gave rise to the HeLa cell line, between April and July.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cell Culture, More Science than Art – A Call for Care in Cell Culture Practices

“The Cost of Creating a New Drug Now $5 Billion, Pushing Big Pharma to Change,” Forbes

There’s one factor that, as much as anything else, determines how many medicines are invented, what diseases they treat, and, to an extent, what price patients must pay for them: the cost of inventing and developing a new drug, a cost driven by the uncomfortable fact than 95% of the experimental medicines that are studied in humans fail to be both effective and safe.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “A New WAVE for the Future

“Osiris Study Boosts Prospects of Wound Product, Stock Doubles,” Reuters

“Osiris Therapeutics Inc said data from a study showed that its Grafix wound-care product proved “overwhelmingly” effective in treating diabetic foot ulcers, paving the way for increased reimbursement from insurers that will boost sales of the therapy. Shares jumped to their highest in more than six years, doubling the value of the company to about $800 million. Grafix, which was commercially launched in the United States in 2010, is a therapy that delivers stem cells directly to the site of a wound, helping regenerate tissue, while protecting the area from inflammation, scarring and infection.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Advances in Adherent Cell Culture Approaches Abound – Promoting Progress in Production Performance for Attachment Dependant Processes

“Gene Breakthroughs Spark a Revolution in Cancer Treatment,” The Wall Street Journal

“Kellie Carey’s doctor finally stopped dodging questions about how long she had to live six weeks after he diagnosed her lung cancer. “Maybe three months,” he told her in his office one sunny May morning in 2010, she recalls. Yet she is still alive, a testament to the most extraordinary decade of progress ever in the long scientific struggle against lung cancer. Tests found Ms. Carey’s lung cancer to be of a rare type that researchers had found just three years earlier by deciphering its genetic code.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Companion Diagnostics – The Future of Personalized Medicine

“Spit Happens! Genentech and 23andMe Team Up to Advance Genomic Testing in Clinical Trials,” Forbes

Has genomic testing come of age? I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the 23andMe commercials.  It’s the consumer-focused genomic testing service that, for $99, will analyze your DNA to provide an informational profile of hundreds of health conditions and trails.  The key word here is “informational”.  These data are interesting, yet the exact clinical significance, in many instances is uncertain.  It’s the combination of this information with the combined wisdom of the medical community that can empower 23andMe.  However, 23andMe is now teaming up with Genentech to profile a broad group of patients exposed to the Genentech drug Avastin (bevacizumab).  The new consumer campaign is all about spit–and leverages the “playful ease’ of getting a saliva sample that is rich with data–and dollars.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “From Product Candidate to Product: The Road to Commercialization in Regenerative Medicine

“Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Bispecific Antibody Wins Two FDA Designations,” Pharmaceutical Business Review

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Orphan Products Development has issued two separate orphan drug designations for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’ bispecific antibody, MM-111, to treat esophageal cancer, gastric as well as gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancers.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Perfusion Bioreactors – With so much to offer they deserve a closer look

“Stem Cell Therapeutics Enters Deal for Oncology Stem Cell Assets,” Genetic Engineering News

“Stem Cell Therapeutics (SCT) said today it entered into an option agreement to exclusively license worldwide rights to a series of prostate cancer stem cell assets from the UK’s University of York. The value of the agreement was not disclosed. “This agreement provides Stem Cell Therapeutics with an opportunity to evaluate several highly promising therapeutic targets, all of which are expressed on prostate cancer stem cells, as well as on other types of cancers,” SCT CSO Bob Uger, Ph.D., said in a statement. “We will extend this research into the generation of monoclonal antibodies to these targets, with an ultimate goal of identifying new therapeutic development candidates.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Biologics Take Top Spots in Best Selling Drugs of 2012


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