Takeda Exercises Option to Acquire PvP Biologics for $330 Million

Takeda has exercised its option to buy U.S.-based PvP Biologics after seeing Phase 1 data from its only candidate, a celiac disease drug called KumaMax that was invented by a University of Washington undergraduate team. The deal will be worth up to $330 million for PvP's owners, based on development and regulatory milestones for KumaMax, which will now be called TAK-062. Takeda signed PvP to an option deal in 2017, which provided $35 million to cover research costs and allowed the company to bypass traditional venture capital funding. In Takeda's pipeline, TAK-062 will join TAK-101 in clinical trials for celiac disease. The latter was in-licensed from COUR Pharmaceutical last year. Learn More

Iovance Biotherapeutics Explores a Potential Sale

Cancer drugmaker Iovance Biotherapeutics is exploring a sale and has held preliminary talks with potential buyers, according to people familiar with the matter. The San Carlos, California-based company is working with a financial adviser after receiving takeover interest, said one of the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn't public. No final decision has been made and Iovance could opt to remain independent, they said. The company's share price, surging since the company released strong trial results for its cervical and skin cancer treatments in May, has risen 203% in the past year, including this week's gains. Learn More

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies Breaks Ground on Expansion of North Carolina Facility

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies broke ground this week on its North Carolina facility expansion project. The 31,778 square foot addition includes the expansion of its cell culture and microbial manufacturing trains through the addition of new recover and purification suites. The North Carolina site will increase its cell culture manufacturing capacity by approximately 25% and microbial capacity by approximately 50%. A new receiving warehouse is also included in the project. FDB expects that the increased production capacity will be ready for cGMP manufacture by mid-2021. Learn More

FDA Monitoring 20 Drugs at Risk of Shortage Due to Coronavirus

The US FDA has identified 20 drugs that are made in or produced solely from active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) sourced from China. In a statement, FDA spokesperson Stephanie Caccomo said the agency has been in contact with the companies that make the 20 products and that "none of these firms has reported any shortage to date." Caccomo also said that FDA has been in contact with more than 180 manufacturers to remind them of their responsibility to notify the agency of anticipated supply disruptions and ask that they review their supply chains for API and other components sourced from China. Learn More

Assessment of Recombinant Protein Production in E. Coli with Time-Gated Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TG-SERS)

Time-Gated Surface-Enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TG-SERS) was utilized to assess recombinant protein production in Escherichia coli. TG-SERS suppressed the fluorescence signal from the biomolecules in the bacteria and the culture media. Characteristic protein signatures at different time points of the cell cultivation were observed and compared to conventional continuous wave (CW)-Raman with SERS. TG-SERS can distinguish discrete features of proteins such as the secondary structures and is therefore indicative of folding or unfolding of the protein. A novel method utilizing nanofibrillar cellulose as a stabilizing agent for nanoparticles and bacterial cells was used for the first time... Learn More

I need to monitor cell density in a mini-bioreactor and do not have a headplate port available. Any suggestions?

I recently came across the miniBE from Buglab which I think addresses your application. It is a non-invasive solution which attaches to the wall of your mini-bioreactor and monitors cell density. A unique feature of this product is that the sensor can be reused and the system itself is capable of being multiplexed to several vessels. Here is a link to more information.

miniBE

Case Study: Rubius Therapeutics

This video, produced by G-Con, tells the story of how prefabricated PODs were delivered in 8 months to Rubius Therapeutics' cGMP facility in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Meeting their aggressive timeline and providing speed to market for clinical manufacturing.

Microbial Engineering II

April 19th - 24th, 2020 

Albufeira, Portugal

The first ECI Conference on Microbial Engineering in March 2018 in Santa Fe, New Mexico brought together leaders in Synthetic Biology, Metabolic Engineering and Fermentation Technology both from industry and the academic community. Examples of applications included natural products, therapeutic proteins, vaccines and biosynthesis of a great variety of organic chemicals.

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How Resident Microbes Restructure Body Chemistry

University of California San Diego researchers have created the first-ever map of all the molecules in every organ of a mouse and the ways in which they are modified by microbes. In one surprising example, they discovered that microbes control the structure of bile acids in both mice and people. The study, published February 26, 2020 in Nature, was led by Pieter Dorrestein, PhD, professor and director of the Collaborative Mass Spectrometry Innovation Center in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego, and Robert Quinn, PhD, assistant professor at Michigan State University. Learn More

System and Method for Regulating Cell Culture Based Production of Biologics

A U.S. Patent for a "System and Method for Regulating Cell Culture Based Production of Biologics" was awarded to Lonza on February 25th, 2020. The present invention is a system for performing real-time analysis on a chromatography column comprising: a chromatography column; a conductivity meter; and at least one processor for executing stored program instructions to: measure one or more conductivity values of the chromatography column using the conductivity meter, determine a baseline conductivity value by recording a predetermined number of conductivity values from a first column volume to a second column volume and calculating an average... Learn More

1980 “I Will Survive” Wins the First-and Last-Grammy Ever Awarded for Best Disco Recording

On this day in 1980, after watching it utterly dominate the musical landscape of the late 1970s, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave disco their stamp of approval, deciding to give a Grammy award for Best Disco Recording, just as the musical style was preparing to die. Learn More

Which of these would you have the most difficulty giving up for 40 days?

Caffeine
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The Beautiful Future of Solar Power

The Sun delivers more energy to Earth in one hour than all of humanity uses in an entire year. How can we make this power more accessible to everyone, everywhere? Solar designer Marjan van Aubel shows how she's turning everyday objects like tabletops and stained glass windows into elegant solar cells -- and shares her vision to make every surface a power station. Learn More

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies Breaks Ground on Expansion of North Carolina Facility

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies broke ground this week on its North Carolina facility expansion project. The 31,778 square foot addition includes the expansion of its cell culture and microbial manufacturing trains through the addition of new recover and purification suites. The North Carolina site will increase its cell culture manufacturing capacity by approximately 25% and microbial capacity by approximately 50%. A new receiving warehouse is also included in the project. FDB expects that the increased production capacity will be ready for cGMP manufacture by mid-2021. Learn More

The Food Court at Costco Makes So Much Money Selling Pizza to Hungry Shoppers that it Ranks as the 14th Largest Pizza Chain in the US

That makes it larger than California Pizza Kitchen and nearly as large as CiCi's. Learn More