The Dish’s Weekly News Wrap Up – May 24, 2013

This week’s headlines include, stem cell news, US biotech IPO sector picks up, vaccine news, AstraZeneca advances three cancer drugs, and an interesting article on the trillions of microbial species that share our bodies with us.

New Cell Culture Dish Feature – Ask the Expert:

Next week’s topic – How to get the most out of your conference attendance

We’ve all attended conferences and some of us have arrived wondering – where do I start? Conferences are an investment and whether you are attending, speaking, or exhibiting, we all want to get the most out of our investment. So if you have ever wondered about how to choose the right conference, how to prepare for a conference, or how to get a speaking slot, then this is the perfect session for you. Please join us for our Ask the Expert session and ask any and all questions you may have about conference attendance.

This Ask the Expert Session is hosted by Caroline Hornby, Marketing Director, Terrapinn Inc, USA. Caroline has been in the conferencing industry since 2006, and has worked in both Europe and the US, and across a variety of regions and industries, from life sciences to transport to finance and trading. Now based in New York, Caroline oversees the marketing department for Terrapinn’s Americas business, and is currently working on the marketing campaign for Cell Culture World Congress USA, which is taking place alongside Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Congress and World Cord Blood Congress in Cambridge, MA this September. A firm believer in networking – both online and in person – Caroline has experience in all things conference-related, from choosing the right event for your business needs, to preparing for the event prior to arrival, to making the most out of the on-site experience. This makes her the right person to help you get the most value out of attending a conference. Please take advantage of the opportunity to ask our expert a question and participate in a lively discussion of conference attendance. Discussion starts Tuesday!

Cell Culture Events:

Live Presentation – Understanding the Practicalities of Using Innovative Therapies on Patients

Mr Richard Garr, President and Chief Executive Officer, Neuralstem is a speaker at this year’s World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2013. At 1405 on Thursday 23rd May, he will be leading discussions into Understanding the practicalities of using innovative therapies on patients. For the first time Total BioPharma will be screening Richard’s presentation as a one-off feature performance! His presentation will be available to watch on the 24 May at 1300 London time.


"Stem Cell Treatment Restores Sight to Blind Man," New Scientist

"An experimental stem-cell treatment has restored the sight of a man blinded by the degeneration of his retinal cells. The man, who is taking part in a trial examining the safety of using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to reverse two common causes of blindness, can now see well enough to be allowed to drive. People undergoing treatment had reported modest improvements in vision earlier in the trial, which began in 2011, but this individual has made especially dramatic progress. The vision in his affected eye went from 20/400 – essentially blind – to 20/40, which is considered sighted.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled "Best Practices in Cell Therapy Manufacturing"

"Quiet U.S. Biotech Sector Picks up Steam in 2013," Reuters

"The tide may have started to turn for initial public offerings from U.S. biotechnology companies, as a rising stock market, low interest rates and a lack of market volatility entice investors to take on the high risk inherent in the sector. After years of being shunned, small biotechs are getting a closer look as equity investments even though many of them come to market before turning profit or delivering product to market.

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

"Universal Flu Jab ‘Edges Closer’," BBC News

"A way of creating more effective vaccines which could protect against a broad range of flu viruses has been reported by US researchers. A different seasonal flu jab is produced every year as the virus is a constantly shifting target. This animal study, published in the journal Nature, showed a single jab could protect against multiple strains. Flu scientists said it was an important advance, but a vaccine which could defeat all flu was a long way off.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled "Interesting Late Stage Viral Vaccine Candidates"

"Making Vaccines from Parts," Genetic Engineering News

"Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics’ Philip Dormitzer, Ph.D., and his colleagues today report in Science Translational Medicine that they have successfully started and completed a synthetic flu vaccine virus in just one week. This achievement emanated from what Dormitzer et al., called "lessons learned" from previous inadequate and less-than timely vaccine manufacture and delivery responses during past influenza pandemics—most notably, they said, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, during which substantial vaccine quantities were available only after the second pandemic wave had peaked."

If you like this story, please see our blog titled "Innovators who Paved the Way for Modern Vaccines"

"AstraZeneca Advances Three Cancer Drugs into Late-Stage Trials," Bloomberg Businessweek

"AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) will move three experimental cancer treatments into late-stage development as generic competition for its best-selling drugs intensifies. The U.K.’s second-biggest drugmaker is advancing development of moxetumomab pasudotox for hairy cell leukemia, olaparib for platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer and selumetinib for non-small cell lung cancer patients with the KRAS genetic mutation, the London-based company said today in a statement."

If you like this story, please see our blog titled "Cool Tool – ATMI’s Helium Integrity Testing HIT System"

"Some of My Best Friends are Germs," The New York Times

"I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7. That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a laboratory located at the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. As part of a new citizen-science initiative called the American Gut project, the lab sequenced my microbiome — that is, the genes not of "me," exactly, but of the several hundred microbial species with whom I share this body. These bacteria, which number around 100 trillion, are living (and dying) right now on the surface of my skin, on my tongue and deep in the coils of my intestines, where the largest contingent of them will be found, a pound or two of microbes together forming a vast, largely uncharted interior wilderness that scientists are just beginning to map."

If you like this story, please see our blog titled "Interesting Products Featured at Interphex 2013"

"Stem Cell Advance: Human Thymus Tissue Growth in Mice," Medical Daily

"Researchers for the first time have grown functioning human thymus tissue from stem cells in the laboratory. The tissue, grown in mice, may someday offer new treatment options for human patients with type-1 diabetes, as well as other autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases."

If you like this story, please see our blog titled "Identifying Options for Stem Cell Based Therapy Scale Up"

"Pfizer Points to Pandemic Potential of Prevnar 13," Fierce Vaccines

"In pandemic flu preparation, a lot of focus is placed on protecting against the specific viral strain. Yet analysis of the 1918 pandemic shows secondary bacterial pneumonia directly caused many of the deaths. This brings Pfizer’s ($PFE) Prevnar 13 into play, and the Big Pharma is talking up its role. Pfizer made the case for its previous generation pneumococcal vaccine–Prevnar 7–as a saver of lives in a pandemic flu back in 2010. Now, a Pfizer-backed study published in BMC Infectious Diseases has calculated the extra benefits provided by Prevnar 13, which immunizes against 6 more strains. In an outbreak like the 2009 H1N1 pandemic–when 28% to 55% of autopsies found bacterial co-infections–the study predicts Prevnar 13 would have saved 3,700 more lives than its predecessor. The reduction in deaths, hospitalizations and long-term complications is predicted to generate savings of $1 billion."

If you like this story, please see our blog titled "New Vaccines Coming Soon to a Doctor’s Office Near You"

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