AbSci Raises $65 Million from Investors for Expansion

AbSci has raised $65 million in equity, proceeds from which will be used to increase production capacity, expand AbSci's facility and support research and development, the company said in its announcement. AbSci's protein printing technology expedites the biopharmaceutical discovery and development process. The news comes about 10 months after AbSci raised a $10.4 million round and $5 million in debt. The company had doubled its space in downtown Vancouver and installed new equipment. AbSci's current raise is the largest by a Portland-area biotech company this year. Learn More

ABEC Delivering Stainless Steel and CSR Single-Use Process Systems to Ology Bioservices

ABEC has announced that it is delivering process systems to Ology Bioservices, a full-service biologics CDMO, to support their production of critical vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. These systems, consisting of stainless steel and CSR single-use solutions, will be part of Ology's Medical Countermeasures Advanced Development and Manufacturing (MCM ADM) facility in Alachua, Florida. The site is a flexible, multi-product facility, utilizing stainless steel and single-use technologies to accelerate the production of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. ABEC was selected for their ability to deliver customized bioprocess systems for solutions preparation and filtration applications on a fast-track schedule. Learn More

COVID-19: A Guide to Home Healthcare

One of our own, Matt Croughan, has published a book titled "COVID-19: A Guide to Home Healthcare". It is based on his personal experience of having had a severe case of COVID-19 for 6 months. Topics addressed in the book include how best to prepare for, manage and recover from COVID-19, including advice on how to have a mild case as opposed to a severe case. A key element of the book is it approach to the reader, choosing to focus on everyday terms when explaining the science instead of scientific jargon and torrents of numbers. The book can be found on Amazon. Learn More

U.S. FDA Meeting on COVID-19 Vaccines to Discuss Criteria for Emergency Nod

The U.S. health regulator's criteria for allowing emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine and plans to monitor its safety after a regulatory go-ahead, are among the topics to be discussed at a closely watched meeting scheduled for Thursday. Details posted on the FDA website showed the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has formulated plans to monitor safety and effectiveness of a vaccine even after the FDA allows for its emergency use. The FDA panel would make recommendations at the end of the meeting, according to the agenda, but did not specify details. Learn More

Raman Spectroscopy as a Method to Replace Off-Line pH During Mammalian Cell Culture Processes

Raman spectroscopy is a robust, well-established tool utilized for measuring important cell culture process variables for example, feed, metabolites, and biomass in real-time. This study further expands the functionality of in-line Raman spectroscopy coupled with partial least squares (PLS) regression modelling to develop a pH measurement tool. Cell line specific models were developed to enhance the robustness for processes with different pH setpoints, deadbands, and cellular metabolism. The modelling strategy further improved robustness by reducing the temporal complexity of pH shifts by splitting data sets into two time zones reflective of major changes in pH. Learn More

Do you know of a magmeter well suited for a single-use bioprocess application?

While I have not had first-hand experience with the product yet, there is an electromagnetic flowmeter that features a disposable flow tube designed specifically for single use bioprocessing applications. The flowmeter is manufactured by the German firm Krohne, whose other products for flow and level measurement I have had success with over the years. Here is a link to more information;

Flexmag 4050

Developing a Computational Framework to Advance Bioprocess Scale-Up

Bioprocess scale-up is a critical step in process development. However, loss of production performance upon scaling-up, including reduced titer, yield, or productivity, has often been observed, hindering the commercialization of biotech innovations. Recent developments in scale-down studies assisted by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and powerful stimulus-response metabolic models afford better process prediction and evaluation, enabling faster scale-up with minimal losses. In the future, an ideal bioprocess design would be guided by an in silico model that integrates cellular physiology (spatiotemporal multiscale cellular models) and fluid dynamics (CFD models). Learn More

Webinar: Mapping of PAT Tools for Enabling Integrated DSP in Continuous Biomanufacturing

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Presented by Dejan Arzensek, Principal Scientist at Novartis, Followed by an industry perspective presented by Maryann Cuellar, Life Science Product Manager at Kaiser Optical Systems, Inc.

The discussion will be focused around the exploration of multiple techniques and their possibilities to secure tight control of the major critical quality attributes (CQA) and different PAT tools for measuring different attributes in (near) real-time. A feasibility study of PAT tools covered in this talk demonstrates the technology for in-line measurements in fed-batch process steps and potential of their use in a continuous process.

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New Anti-AB Vaccine Could Help Halt Alzheimer’s Progression, Preclinical Study Finds

A preclinical study by neuroscientists indicates that an antigen-presenting dendritic vaccine with a specific antibody response to oligomeric A-beta may be safer and offer clinical benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease. The vaccine uses immune cells known as dendritic cells loaded with a modified A beta peptide as the antigen. The Alzheimer's mouse model study of this new investigational vaccine was published early online October 13th in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Learn More

Purification of Proteins

A U.S. Patent for "Purification of Proteins" was awarded to MilliporeSigma on October 6th, 2020. The present invention is a selectively soluble polymer capable of binding to one or more constituents in a mixture containing various biological materials and the methods of using such a polymer to purify a biomolecule from such a mixture. The polymer is soluble in the mixture under a certain set of process conditions such as pH or temperature and is rendered insoluble and precipitates out of solution upon a change in the process conditions. While in its solubilized state, the polymer is capable of binding to a selected entity within the stream such as impurities... Learn More

1959 Guggenheim Museum Opens in New York City

On this day in 1959, on New York City's Fifth Avenue, thousands of people line up outside a bizarrely shaped white concrete building that resembled a giant upside-down cupcake. It was opening day at the new Guggenheim Museum, home to one of the world's top collections of contemporary art. Learn More

What It’s Really Like to Have Autism

"Autism is not a disease; it's just another way of thinking," says Ethan Lisi. Offering a glimpse into the way he experiences the world, Lisi breaks down misleading stereotypes about autism, shares insights into common behaviors like stimming and masking and promotes a more inclusive understanding of the spectrum. Learn More

Thermo Fisher Plans $130 Million Sterile Filling Plant in Singapore

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced plans to build a $130 million sterile filling plant in Singapore, extending its capacity to develop and manufacture therapies and vaccines to the Asia-Pacific region. The plant, when operational in 2022, will have the capacity to make up to 30 million sterile doses a month and employ more than 300 people. Thermo Fisher said the new plant will initially include a high-speed sterile line approved for live virus filling, followed by an additional line for standard fill/finish. The facility will also have cleanroom capacity, labs, warehousing and offices to support production, the company said. Learn More

Portland’s Famous Voodoo Doughnut Served a Pepto Bismol Coated Doughnut Sprinkled with Tums and a NyQuil Doughnut Laced with the Cough Medicine

That is until they got in trouble with the FDA. Learn More