weekly biotechnology news wrap up

October 7, 2016

October 7, 2016

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, Roche gets breakthrough status for lung cancer drug, Zika Virus strongly linked to Guillain-Barre Syndrome in new study, NIH raises Scripps Institute Funding for Precision Medicine Initiative, Teva and Celltrion team up on biosimilars, Venezuela doctors warn of diptheria outbreak, what’s the longest humans can live according to new study, US lawmakers to investigate funding of WHO Cancer Agency.


“Roche say cancer drug Alecensa gets breakthrough therapy designation,” Reuters

“Roche said on Tuesday its lung cancer drug Alecensa (alectinib), developed by its Genentech unit, received a second breakthrough therapy designation (BTD) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “The Impact of Aeration on Cell Culture Optimization

“Zika Virus Strongly Linked To Deadly Guillain-Barré Syndrome In New Study,” Forbes

“Just a few months ago, I warned that travelers to the Rio Olympics should be concerned about Zika virus not only because of its link to microcephaly in newborns, but because it might also cause a deadly paralysis known as Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or GBS. Now we have much stronger evidence of a direct causal link between Zika and GBS.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Real Time IgG Titer Measurement Enables PAT (Process Analytical Technology) Implementation

“NIH Raises TSRI Funding to $200M toward PMI Enrollment Effort,” Genetic Engineering News

“The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) said today it will receive $87 million more from the NIH in an expansion of a 5-year funding award reflecting expanded responsibility for enrollment of participants in the agency’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Cool Tool – Cadence Single Pass TFF Provides in-line Concentration, Enables Continuous process

“Teva teams up on biosims with Celltrion three years after its Lonza JV divorce ,” Fierce Biotech

“Teva ($TEVA) and Korea’s Celltrion have come together to form a biosims commercial pact as the Israeli generics giant aims for deeper ties in the growing biologic copies space–and a new partner after Lonza backed away in 2013.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Particulates in Cell Therapy Products – An important issue for commercialization

“Venezuela doctors sound alarm on reported return of diphtheria,” Reuters

“Venezuelan doctors on Thursday warned of a diphtheria outbreak in the crisis-stricken country, calling on the government to boost availability of scarce vaccines and antibiotics to stem the disease which local media and the opposition report has killed some two dozen people.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Predicting Differentiation and Characterizing Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Non-invasive Multi-analyte Luminex® Assays

“What’s the Longest Humans Can Live? 115 Years, New Study Says,” The New York Times

“On Aug. 4, 1997, Jeanne Calment passed away in a nursing home in France. The Reaper comes for us all, of course, but he was in no hurry for Mrs. Calment. She died at age 122, setting a record for human longevity.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Reduce Cell Line Development Time by 30% and Simplify Proof of Clonality – A Case Study

“Exclusive: U.S. lawmakers to investigate funding of WHO cancer agency,” Reuters

“Oct 6 Officials from the U.S. government’s health research agency are to be questioned by a congressional committee about why taxpayers are funding a World Health Organization cancer agency facing criticism over how it classifies carcinogens.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Gene Therapy Strengthened by Recent Successes”

Cell Culture Events


GE Healthcare Single-use Symposium – Boston, MA – November 1-2, 2016


Tuesday, November 1, 2016-Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST

Marriott Long Wharf, 96 State St., Boston Massachusetts 02109

Register Here

Bioprocess Insights Webinars

The biopharmaceutical industry has developed into a multi-billion dollar market in just 30 years. Making decisions and setting up strategies in a rapidly changing environment can be challenging. The difference between a good and a great decision can have extensive implications for the future of a company. In this environment, knowledge and experience are what make the difference. Good insights about, for example, technical advancements, process economy implications, and sustainability aspects can help improve the individual decisions and strengthen the overall business strategy.

In this webinar series, four renowned subject matter experts will share their insights into four areas of bioprocessing: upstream, vaccines, downstream, and single-use technology. We will present tangible, recently developed data that can help you in developing modern, cost-efficient, and sustainable bioprocesses.

Don’t miss these on demand webinars – http://www.bioprocessintl.com/sponsored-content/bioprocess-insights-webinars/



  • Boston Biotech Week – Bioprocessing International Co-Located with Cell Therapy Bioprocessing – October 4-7, 2016 – Boston Convention Center and Exhibition Center – Boston, MA http://www.ibclifesciences.com/BPI/overview.xml
  • Biotech Week Boston is the destination where passionate scientists and innovators converge to partner and share ground breaking data, research and ideas.  With more than 3000+ global biotech and pharma professionals and 200+ exhibitors in attendance, BWB is your one-stop shop to gain the science, technologies and partners you need to grow your business.

Get Your $99 Biotech Week Boston Pass for Next Week!

Biotech Week Boston (Oct 4-7) is the destination where passionate scientists and innovators converge to partner and share ground breaking data, research and ideas.  Join 3000+ life science professionals working across bioprocessing, regenerative medicine, clinical trials and biorepositories.  Keynote speakers include Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak.  Get your $99 pass today when you register with VIP code DISH99 at www.biotechweekboston.com (new registrations only)


  • 2nd Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Congress – November 3-4, 2016 – London, UK – http://www.celltherapy-congress.com/Over 250 delegates representing leading biotech companies, global pharma organisations and internationally renowned academic institutions.Over 20 presentations and case studies focused on the key issues in cell & gene therapy development, updates in regulatory pathways, commercialisation, bioprocessing and manufacturing2 interactive streams:Cell & Gene Therapy: Development, Clinical Trials & CommercialisationCell Therapy Bioprocessing and ManufacturingCo-located with the established 5th Annual Cell Culture & Bioprocessing Congress and 3rd Annual Stem Cell CongressFree Pre-Congress WebinarAdvances In Gene Editing Technologies
    Presented by Richard Morgan, Vice President, Immunotherapy at Bluebird Bio. – Register for free today >>
  • 5th Annual Cell Culture & Bioprocessing Congress – November 3-4, 2016 – London, UK – http://www.cellculture-congress.com/Over 170 delegates representing leading biotech companies, global pharma organisations and internationally renowned academic institutions50 presentations, case studies and panel discussions focused on the key issues in cell line optimisation, process development and biological production4 interactive streams:Early Cell Line DevelopmentProcess DevelopmentLate Stage Cell Line DevelopmentBiological Production14 pre-scheduled one to one meetings, exhibition and informal networking opportunitiesCo-located with the 3rd Annual Stem Cell Congress and the 2nd Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Congress

If you are attending, don’t miss the  Reception on Thursday evening.

  • TIDES Europe – November 14-17, 2016 – Berlin, Germany – http://get.knect365.com/tides-europe/TIDES Europe is the place where oligo and peptide experts go to meet and build successful partnerships to accelerate products from early discovery through late stage development and commercialisation. In 2015 Tides Europe attracted a 40% increase in attendance across the oligo and peptide audience.
  • World Immunotherapy Congress 2016 – November 14-16, 2016 – Basel Switzerland http://bit.ly/1rbnrYy
  • World Precision Medicine – November 14-15, 2016 – Washington DC

The World Precision Medicine Congress USA is bringing together big pharma, big data, and healthcare providers to discuss the scientific, economic, and policy goals towards producing precise and genomic-based medicines. Partnered with forward-looking industry leaders such as precisionFDA and NantWorks, this event will fast-track our momentum into the future paradigm of healthcare by spurring the important discussions to get us there.

Can you afford to miss this gathering of precision medicine leaders? Pharma, big data, and healthcare providers will be there attending sessions on gene therapy, cell therapy, personalized medicine, and genomics.

Download the brochure: http://bit.ly/1N3Y0vI

Register to attend: http://bit.ly/1ObpkNV