Bayer to Close its Robinson Site in Pittsburgh, Impacting 600 Employees

Bayer this week made pubic plans to shutter its operations at its Robinson site in Pittsburgh, a site that employs about 600 workers and which for more than 50 years served as the German drug giant's North American headquarters. Bayer said the closure - which will occur over the next two years - is part of company-wide consolidations and job reductions following its $63 billion acquisition last year of Monsanto, based in St. Louis. Bayer's health care businesses are based in Whippany, N.J. Learn More

Boehringer Ingelheim Expanding Biologics Manufacturing Capabilities in Shanghai

Boehringer Ingelheim announced this week that it has started to expand capabilities at its biologics facility in Shanghai. The expansion includes an additional bioreactor and the infrastructure to support two 2,000-liter single-use bioreactor production lines. Boehringer said the new operations should meet GMP standards. While the facility has yet to manufacture commercial supply for any products, that should change later this year as Boehringer expects to begin production on an undisclosed monoclonal antibody. Learn more

Meissner Understood to be Establishing Strong Presence in Ireland

Meissner is set to be announced as the main tenant of the IDA's advanced technology building in Castlebar, this according to published reports in Ireland. Meissner will occupy the building that was opened last February. The state-of-the-art 30,000+ sq. ft. facility was built as part of the IDA's five-year investment program in regional properties. While no figure has been used on the number of jobs that Meissner will bring to the region, it is understood that the facility could house as many as 150 workers. Learn More

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FDA Panel Backs Amgen Bone Drug, Says Benefits Outweigh Heart Risks

An experimental Amgen osteoporosis drug that had sparked concern about cardiovascular side effects has won the backing of an FDA advisory panel. A total of 15 panelists this week voted that the benefits of the drug, romosozumab (Evenity), outweigh its risks, and are enough to support its approval. But many of those panelists also said the drug should carry a warning on its label, and that the FDA should require Amgen to conduct more studies to better understand the heart risks. Learn More

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Pilot-Scale Process for Magnetic Bead Purification of Antibodies Directly from Non-Clarified CHO Cell Culture

High capacity magnetic protein A agarose beads, LOABeads PrtA, were used in the development of a new process for affinity purification of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from non-clarified CHO cell broth using a pilot-scale magnetic separator. The LOABeads had a maximum binding capacity of 65 mg/ml and an adsorption capacity of 25-42 mg IgG/ml bead in suspension for an IgG concentration of 1 to 8 g/L. Pilot-scale separation was initially tested in a mAb capture step from 26 L clarified harvest. Small-scale experiments showed that similar mAb adsorptions were obtained in cell broth. Learn More

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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.

Flexmag 4050

Continuous Culture

This video, which has 40,000+ views, provides an informative explanation of the principles and practices associated with continuous culture.

Would you be willing to pay more for single-use solutions certified to have been manufactured in compliance with a green program such as from recycled materials or with carbon credits, etc.? Much like that found in foods certified ‘organic’. %

Participant Comment

"Industry should address the renewable/reusable aspects for single-use components/materials. Industrywide programs would be the best approach. I would not compare it to the organic industry but focus more on the recycling and reuse possibilities while being mindful of green credits. The reuse/recycle programs will significantly improve our industry."

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Extractables from Single-Use Bioreactors/Bags and Impact on Cell Culture Performance

Webinar - Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Presented by Yasser Nashed-Samuel, Principal Scientist at Amgen

In this webinar, a case study on extractables from single-use bioreactors/bags and their impact on mammalian cell culture performance will be presented. Plastic single-use bioreactors are of interest to biopharmaceutical drug manufacturers due to their significant environmental and cost benefits and flexibility over stainless-steel bioreactors. Effect of plastics on the biomanufacturing process is not yet completely understood.

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A New Way to Transfer Energy Between Cells

Researchers from the Catalonian Institute of Bioengineering and the Seville Chemical Research Institute have described a new method for the transmission of electrons between proteins that refutes the evidence from experiments until now. This process, involved in the generation of energy in both animal and plant cells, will permit better understanding of the behaviour of proteins in the cells, as well as giving a deeper understanding of the energy dysfunctions that cause diseases. The findings were published in the review Nature Communications. Learn More

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Suspension Culture of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

A U.S. Patent Application for "Suspension Culture of Human Embryonic Stem Cells" was published by Asterias Biotherapeutics on January 17th, 2019. The present invention is a method for culturing undifferentiated human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells in suspension, the method comprising: a) suspending undifferentiated hPS cells in a cell culture medium comprising basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF); b) maintaining the hPS cells substantially undifferentiated while culturing in suspension; c) changing the cell culture medium periodically; and d) optionally splitting the culture from time to time, so as to reduce the density of the hPS cells in culture; wherein the hPS cells are not grown attached to a solid substrate. Learn More

He was a British author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various poems.

1882 A.A. Milne, Creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, is Born

When his son, Christopher Robin, was about a year old, he received a stuffed bear as a present and quickly
accumulated a collection of toy animals which inspired Milne to write a series of whimsical stories about the toys. Learn More

Previous Poll Results (%) Is it important to be able to leave an inheritance for your children?

Aspen Participant Comment

"Don't give them a fish, teach them to fish. Just because this idea is somewhat cleché doesn't make it any less true."

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Thriving in an Overconnected World

While email and mobile technology have greatly accelerated the way we do business, Leslie Pernow argues that the always "on" mentality can have a long-term detrimental effect on many organizations. In her sociological experiments at BCG and other organizations, Pernow found that if the team -- rather than just individuals -- collectively rallies around a goal or personal value, it unleashes a process that creates better work and better lives. Learn More

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SQZ Biotech Moving to Watertown’s Arsenal Yards Complex

The developer behind the $400 million redevelopment of the old Arsenal Mall in Watertown has signed its first big lab tenant. Cell therapy firm SQZ Biotech will take more than 63,000 square feet in the former mall, which is being converted into a mixed-use development by Boylston Properties. The biotech, currently based in an older office building nearby in Watertown, is rapidly growing following a $72 million funding round it closed last year and plans to "dramatically increase its footprint," its chief executive said. Learn More

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During the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Two Japanese Pole Vaulters Tied for Second and Refused to Participate in a Tie-Breaker

Upon returning to Japan, they cut their medals in half and fused them to one another so each athlete ended up with a half-silver, half-bronze medal. Learn More