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August 2 2021
The Health Quarters: Onward Vaccine Manufacturing Technology And Solutions | Esco Healthcare Quarterly Newsletter (Issue 2, August 2021)

Public health measures are interventions used to mitigate the spread of diseases during outbreaks and pandemics. Hence, vaccine development is among the top priorities to help reduce the burden of infectious diseases. In the second issue of The Health Quarters (HQ), Esco Healthcare’s technologies and solutions are discussed to boost the capacity and robustness of vaccine manufacturing.

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August 20 2021
Gene Therapy: Shape Your Future

Genes are the basic hereditary units that define a person’s traits – the features or qualities that are inherited from the parents. They carry the information that makes a person unique such as hair type, eye color, height, and even the smile. These physical attributes come from one generation and pass on to the next through genes.

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June 17 2021
Get in the Zone with AsterFlow™

AsterFlow™ is a single-use, compact, configurable filtration platform tool ideal for downstream processes such as clarification, concentration, diafiltration, purification and recovery for a variety of products. The system is designed to be compliant to 21 CFR Part 11 that is suitable for process development, manufacturing of clinical trial and cGMP material. Especially in the case of vaccine manufacturing, where impurities must be removed, and formulation must be highly safe for human or animal

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June 10 2021
From Race for the First, To Race against the Variants

In early 2020, several companies have worked round-the-clock to commercialize the first COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinovac, Moderna, Astrazeneca/Oxford, and Gamaleya emerged as the leading companies to develop the most widely used and distributed COVID-19 vaccines to date. These vaccines have shown promising results in controlled clinical trials, paving the way for their approval and emergency use authorizations. Their performance in the real world, or vaccine effectiveness, rema

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May 1 2021
The Health Quarters: Esco Healthcare Quarterly Newsletter (Issue 1, May 2021)

Esco Healthcare unveils the first issue of its quarterly newsletter, The Health Quarters (The HQ), featuring its esteemed project highlight, informative behind-the-product technological principles and know-hows, as well as its latest innovative product advancements.

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February 1 2021
Adherent & Suspension Cell Culture in Bioprocessing

Growing adherent cells in culture involves a treated surface for attachment (in monolayers or in vivo) while suspension cells are free-floating in the medium.

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September 29 2020
Where We are Now in the Race for the COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 pandemic is an uncharted territory where almost all countries of the world have established the use of mouth-and-nose protection (i.e. face masks, face shield) to prevent virus transmission.

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July 13 2020
The Race for the SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine

Health authorities around the world are on high alert due to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that was first detected at the Chinese city of Wuhan. The World Health Organization has declared a coronavirus outbreak Dece

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March 4 2020
Coronaviruses: Lessons from Past Outbreaks to Aid in the Development of Tools against COVID-19

Officially named by the World Health Organization as COVID-19, the recent coronavirus disease outbreak that started in Wuhan, China remains a global health concern. The causative pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, is recognized as a sister to severe acute respira

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January 17 2020
Viral in 2020: Tide Motion Platform for Viral Vector Manufacturing

Viral vectors are derived from parental wild-type viruses, whose pathogenic genes are removed and replaced with gene of interest. These viruses deliver the gene of interest which alters gene expression in target cells. Their discovery led to clinical applications in treating chronic diseases such as neurodegenerative, ocular, and cancer.

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January 17 2020
Why the TideXcell Cell Harvesting System Is a 20/20

Cell attachment in 3-dimensional carriers is proven advantageous for adherent cell growth to mimic the in vivo environment. However, harvesting of adherent cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and Vero cells, hinders a faster development for cell-based biopharmaceutical and biotechnology. It is considered as one of the most challenging and time-consuming part in the whole cell-culture process.

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December 3 2019
Matching the Rise: The Tide Motion Bioreactors for Advancements in Animal Health

Throughout the year, challenges affecting the animal health sector have been all over the news and have prompted actions worldwide. Among the list of animal health diseases this year, the African swine fever (ASF) caused recent economic losses from backyard/smallholder to large-scale commercial farms in Asia, Africa, and some parts of Europe. Socioeconomic losses even included culling of pigs in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

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December 3 2019
Wait There's More!
CelCradle X Joins the Tide Motion Technology

SINGAPORE – A single use, closed, and automated bioreactor has recently been launched as the latest addition to the Tide Motion technology platform. CelCradle X (CCX) was recently completed and manufactured in an ISO 13485 Esco factory and complies with cGMP requirements and 21 CFR part 11. The system was developed to support small-scale process development that can also satisfy GMP standards for clinical applications.

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October 31 2019
Is Your Flu Shot an Egg Beater or a Cell Seeker?

Global influenza epidemics emerge seasonally, and health authorities recommend that yearly vaccination is the most effective method for protection. Several vaccines such as inactivated, live-attenuated, quadrivalent, and pandemic influenza vaccines are available to target specific influenza strains. While this may be true, production of such vaccines has a limited timeframe depicting a crucial step for its release in the market. Vaccines can be produced faster through tec

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October 31 2019
BIOACTIVE PEPTIDES: Applications and Our Solutions!

Biopeptides are organic, isolated small fragments formed by amino acids joined by amides or peptide bonds and derived mainly from food proteins like hydrolysates, shellfish, fungi, and fermented dairy products. They are considered the new generation of biologically active regulators, not only because of their high tissue affinity, specificity, stability and low toxicity, but also, their positive effects on the human body. They can function as intrinsic signalling molecule

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October 8 2019
The Show Continues: From BPI Boston to WVC Spain

Esco Aster successfully launched TideXcell™, an agile adherent scale-up bioreactor and the latest addition to the Tide Motion bioreactor platform at BioProcess International (BPI) in Boston. The team will now advance from Boston to Barcelona and continue its aim to provide enabling technologies for the advancement of the vaccine manufacturing industry. About 600 visitors are expected to attend the World Vaccine Congress exhibition in Barcelona, Spain from Oct. 28-31

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October 8 2019
Efficient Growth of Cultivated Meat through Tide

Cellular agriculture is now on the rise due to the impact of livestock and poultry industries on the environment, animal ethics, and even human health. The rising global population equates to higher demand for protein products - requiring technologies that are more sustainable, ethically sound, and environment-friendly

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September 9 2019
BioNOC™ II: Advancing Biotechnological Cell Culture

With the aim to comprehend complex cellular behaviours and mechanisms of various diseases such as cancer, in vitro researches paved new way for contemporary assays and techniques: breakthroughs in medical biotechnology including vaccine production, recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, tissue engineering, gene therapy, and cells for transplantation have become more robust while the approach for cell culture researches became very upfront and audacious. Among these

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September 5 2019
Improving Efficiency: Human Diploid Cell Strains for Vaccine Production

Hayflick and Jacobs have established and developed human diploid cell strains (HDCSs) for Wistar Institute (WI)-38 and Medical Research Council (MRC)-5, respectively, over 50 years ago for vaccine production. Since then, these two cell strains have been accepted as standards for HDCSs and licensed worldwide for the production of vaccines including: inactivated and oral polio vaccine, rabies, rubella, measles, chicken pox, mumps, and hepatitis A. Applications for HDCSs ext

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August 6 2019
Multi-product Cell Factory: Development of Universal Viral Vaccine Cell Lines

Vaccines have been one of the tools used to combat infectious diseases since the 18th century. Their ability to induce the production of protective antibodies against specific epitopes of disease-causing pathogen, has saved the lives of countless humans and animals for centuries.

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August 6 2019
Bubble Boy Disease No More as Gene Therapy
Provides Promising Results

Bubble boy disease was termed when David Vetter was born with a disease that robbed him of an immune system rendering the boy to spend his entire life in a sterilized plastic bubble. Bubble boy disease, also called as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), is a rare inherited congenital disorder that is sometimes fatal; characterized by little or no immune response.

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June 28 2019
One Health Vaccine Strategies:
Crossing Boundaries, Preventing Outbreaks

Human and animal contact has never been more prevalent than today, especially with the continued human expansion, reliance on animal products for nourishment, as well as rising population.

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June 3 2019
Single-Use Bioreactors Fly High
Amidst Available Bioprocessing Technologies

The single-use bioreactor (SUB) global market, especially in Asia Pacific, is very driven that it is expected to grow in demand in the coming years. It is with adoption of SUBs during research scale that enables biopharmaceutical organizations to have shorter development timelines, high production efficiency, and low cost of goods.

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June 3 2019
The Amazing Works of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are derived from skin or blood cells that have been reprogrammed into an embryonic stem-cell like cells capable of differentiating into various human cells for therapeutic purposes.

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March 21 2019
Tide Motion System: The Perfect Partner for World Immunization

The last week of April is the week where World Health Organizer (WHO) will celebrate the World Immunization Week that serves as a great reminder that vaccines are powerful tools used to protect everyone from certain types of diseases.

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March 1 2019
Measles Outbreak Climbs, Prompting Vaccination

Illnesses such as measles, chickenpox, and mumps are diseases that should have never been underestimated or even complacent about. The year 2019 has been welcomed with panic as measles have alarming report of cases. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to date, five measles outbreaks in the US have already been reported, most of the population diagnosed with the disease are of children 10 years old or younger.

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March 1 2019
Oncolytic Virus Therapy: A Promising Approach to Immunotherapy

Oncolytic virotherapy is considered as one of the major breakthroughs in immunotherapy especially in terms of enhancing the immune response to tumor. Oncolytic virus, a genetically modified virus, infects and kills cancer cells but leaves the normal cells unharmed; after which, tumor antigens will be released by the dying cancer cells that allow the cancer to be recognized by the immune system.

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January 30 2019
Vaccine Hesitancy: A Global Health Threat

From antimicrobial resistance to Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked vaccine hesitancy as one of the top ten health threats in the world. Vaccine hesitancy is the refusal or the skepticism in the acceptance of vaccines; despite its availability and scientific evidence of showing efficacy in preventing diseases.

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January 30 2019
The Raging Epidemic of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in South Africa

January 7 - South Africa's Department of Agriculture quarantined an area in Vhembe, Limpopo, where an estimated of 15,000 cattle and sheep were affected with Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD).

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January 8 2019
Allogeneic CAR–T in Action this 2019

One of the significant trends this 2019 is the expanding research in immunotherapy. As one of the hot topics, the development and manufacturing of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy pipelines will continue to progress towards commercialization.

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January 7 2019
Flu Impact: It's the Time of the Year

Influenza or Flu is a highly contagious respiratory viral infection caused by type A or B influenza viruses. People tend to mistakenly compare flu with common colds, but influenza causes serious complications that can sometimes lead to death.

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December 10 2018
Rotavirus Surveillance
(Part 1 of 3)

The global impact of rotavirus infection in infants and young children affects child morbidity and mortality worldwide at a high rate. Although first identified in animals in the 1960s, rotavirus (RV) was later discovered through the examination of a part of the small intestine (duodenum) of children who have severe diarrhea.

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November 8 2018
Acute Flaccid Myelitis: A Rare Disease for Children

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), is a rare disease affecting the nervous system and is caused by the Enterovirus 68. Since AFM affects the nerves, it can weaken not only the arms and the legs, but also respiratory muscles, which can lead to respiratory failure. Many symptoms of AFM develop after a viral infection such as poliovirus, West Nile virus, and adenovirus. Hence, some cases have a clear correlation why some infected people develop AFM.

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September 28 2018
JEV WAVE
The Disease Beyond Borders

Japanese encephalitis virus or JEV is a debilitating mosquito-borne Flavivirus disease that belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile viruses. The rise of global transportation, trade, and climate change allow insects to easily carry disease thus, infecting animals as well as humans. Most JEV infections are endemic in tropical and subtropical regions. It later causes death when left untreated.

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August 28 2018
Caring for Livestock

Agricultural animals play an important role in economic and socio-cultural aspects in terms of food supply, source of income, transport and so much more. These animals are taken care of to reproduce and to provide good quality products.

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July 27 2018
The Tide Motion Platform for Exosome Production (Part 3 of 3)

Exosomes provide promise in its potential for therapeutic application. The role of these extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a nano-vehicle for transporting molecular payloads, is designed to treat diseases. For example, catalase incorporated in exosomes, targets and delivers this cargo to the brain tissue, leading to a promising option for Parkinson's Disease (PD) therapy.

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July 27 2018
Bangkok: A Rabies Red Zone

Since March 2018, Thailand has been trying to contain rabies outbreak by conducting vaccinations for 10 million cats and dogs around the country. According to the Department if Livestock Development (DLD) there have been 400 confirmed rabies cases with a total of 37 Thailand provinces that were declared temporary rabies epidemic zones. Due to this, people brought in pets to be vaccinated; as such, vaccines are now running low.

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July 1 2018
The-Unstoppable-CAR-T-Therapy

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) – T cell therapy is the first FDA approved immunotherapy to cure cancer. T cells are the backbone of this therapy because they are the killer cells of our immune system that fight foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses, or tumor cells.

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June 29 2018
EXOSOMES AT WORK Part 2 of 3

The emerging role of exosomes as a natural nano-vehicle offers important advantages for drug delivery compared to other nanoparticulate delivery systems. Looking at a bigger picture, exosomes are a part of the family of “bioactive vesicles” that are involved in several biological and pathological processes.

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May 31 2018
Exosomes: The Bigger Picture
(Part 1 of 3)

The immune system has evolved its response to threats, protecting the host from pathogens. The ability of the immune system to differentiate itself from pathogens is through intercellular communication which is a key in this process. Cell to cell communication or signaling involves the transfer of chemokines, cytokines, and direct cell contact.

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May 30 2018
Fixing A Broken Heart

Stem cells are the most promising and most exciting area in medicine. Stem cells are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division. It can be induced to embody cells with special functions. Due to their potential in regenerating and repairing damaged tissues, scientists are exploring and optimizing stem cells abilities to treat different types of diseases.

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May 3 2018
EVERY BREATH COUNTS!

Esophageal cancer is one of most frequently diagnosed cancer in Asia specifically in China and Japan. According to International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), an estimated 17,497 new cases and 11,746 deaths in China; and 17,497 new cases and 11,746 deaths caused by esophageal cancer in Japan last year.

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April 2 2018
Producing Beauty in a Bottle

The word “beauty” comes in many definitions that change over time. Although beauty and preference are based on the individual’s taste and personality, beauty products help in a great way to enhance one’s external appearance.

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March 30 2018
Spread the Word and Get Vaccinated

Cervical cancer is the second most common causes of cancer death in the world especially in Southeast Asia. It is frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44. According to International Association of Cancer Registries, about 13, 240 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed and about 2, 170 women will die from cervical cancer this year.

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March 1 2018
We Are Stronger than Breast Cancer

According to American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), more women are diagnosed with breast cancer than any other cancer. Breast cancer is a form of cancer that starts with an abnormal growth of cells in the breast tissue. These cells usually form a tumor, that can be malignant, growing into surrounding tissues invading other distant areas of the body.

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February 6 2018
Adeno-associated Virus in Gene Therapy

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) belongs to the family Parvoviridae and genus Dependovirus. Because of its non-pathogenicity, the medical field gave little to no interest at all. However, as gene therapy gains more attention, scientists are scrambling to find the best possible viral vectors for human gene therapy applications. AAV can target specific cells to correct disease-causing protein malfunction. Currently it is one of the commonly used viruses in gene

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February 5 2018
One Way to Make a Better and Effective Vaccine

Based on National Center for Health Statistics, 8.2% of death in the United States of America was caused by flu last December 30, 2017. The World Health Organization (WHO) is closely monitoring the evolution of influenza virus to produce the specific vaccine.

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January 5 2018
Beauty in a Bottle

Stem cell therapies have been widely known to treat numerous diseases such as cancer. However, stem cells have also been a huge head turner in the skin care world. Cosmeceutical science is advancing to discover and deliver skin treatments that can aid in skin regeneration, rejuvenation, and aging.

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January 4 2018
Keep Moving Forward!
TideCell® Closed System for Aseptic Bioprocessing

Aseptic bioprocessing is a major challenge in vaccine manufacturing, whether for microbial, viral, recombinant protein, and polysaccharide vaccines. The operation, from cell culture to cell harvesting should be in a pristine environment.

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December 4 2017
Dimension Attention

Therapeutic application of cells or cell-based therapy is a flourishing research field that offers a transformative approach to the healthcare industry. This type of research provides hope not only for treating incurable or rare diseases, but also the possibility to cure them. For the manufacture of cell-based therapies, cells are optimized to produce therapeutic agents. Generating an adequate number of cells with retained cell function and quality represents an essential factor for product effi

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October 23 2017
Continuous Bioprocessing

Biomanufacturing companies have long sought better approaches with regards to bioprocessing. Due to rapidly fluctuating market demands for biologics, there is a growing interest in the benefits of continuous bioprocessing, mainly for cell culture. This process had increasingly driven biomanufacturing companies to develop innovative solutions for highly flexible and cost-effective production.

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October 12 2017
Esco Life Sciences and Healthcare is Strengthening its Core in Biocontainment

From the world’s most certified Biological Safety Cabinet manufacturer, Esco is now the only manufacturer of biocontainment solutions with vertically integrated and regional factories to provide customized Class III Biological Safety Cabinets which exceed international standards from NSF 49 to EN 12469.

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September 26 2017
Esco VacciXcell is Launching the New and Improved TideCell in the US

Esco VacciXcell is proud to launch the new TideCell® with enhanced features and now controlled by Siemens HMI/PLC in USA soil.

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September 14 2017
Stop POLIOMYELITIS Get Vaccinated

Poliomyelitis also known as Polio or infantile paralysis, is a highly contagious viral infection caused by poliovirus. It invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis, breathing problems and even death. It is caused by one of the three polioviruses from genus Enterovirus: Human poliovirus 1 (HPV1), Human poliovirus 2 (HPV2) and Human poliovirus 3 (HPV 3). Polio can strike at any age, but mainly affects children under 5 years old.

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August 10 2017
GlucCell: Your Glucose Meter Partner

Glucose is the main source of energy for cells specially in in-vitro cultures. Glucose gives cells the required energy in order to grow and proliferate. Sadly reserchers and scientists around the globe do not know the proper levels of glucose required by their culture. Learn why measuring glucose is important and what is the best way to do it.

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July 1 2017
Man's Best Friend and Rabies

Rabies is a disease caused by a rabies virus of the genus Lyssavirus. It is most often transmitted from a bite of a rabid animal. The virus replicates in the animal carrying it and is retained in their salivary glands. Although dogs are commonly known to transmit rabies; skunks, bats, racoons, and foxes are among the animals that are reported to transmit vast majority of rabies cases. It is endemic on all continents except Antartica.

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May 11 2017
Do not let Yellow Fever ruin Summer

Planning for a vacation to that tropical paradise? Aside from having your plane ticket, hotel and itinerary ready maybe you should also consider getting vaccinated for yellow fever. Do not let yellow ruin your summer!

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April 21 2017
Why Wave When You Can Tide

Tide motion is a novel and innovative system for high density culture of adherent cells. Learn why tide motion can solve all your adherent culture problems!

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March 17 2017
Understanding Vaccines: Attenuated vs Inactivated

Attenuated vaccines contain live viruses albeit "weakened". These viruses live such that they can induce an immune response but not strong enough to cause disease to the host. Inactivated vaccines contain inactive or "killed" viruses. The viruses were inactivated using either chemical or physical processes but retain their composition thus still allowing them to induce an immune response.

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February 15 2017
KNOWING AVIAN INFLUENZA AND HOW TO PREVENT A PANDEMIC

Avian influenza, also known as avian flu or bird flu, is a type A influenza caused by viral infection in birds. Generally speaking, avian flu can only infect birds and poultry but there has been cases wherein humans were infected through direct or indirect contact with infected birds. Notable subtypes of avian flu are H5N1 and H7N9

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January 17 2017
ARE YOUR CELLS GETTING ENOUGH GLUCOSE?

During in-vitro cell culture, it is important that the culture environment mimic the chosen cell line's original in-vivo environment for it to grow and propagate. Glucose, being the main source of energy for heterotrophic cells, is one of the parameters that should be carefully monitored during the culturing process.

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October 25 2016
VacciXcell at the AAVLD/USAHA Annual Meeting 2016

The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) and the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) held their 59th and 120th annual meetings, respectively, at Sheraton Greensboro, North Carolina last October 13-19, 2016. The meeting was well attended by both members and non-members of both associations.

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October 21 2016
VacciXcell™ Hybrid Bioreactor

Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutics derived from biological sources; they are a promising and growing trend in the treatment of diseases. In contrast to their synthetic counterparts, biopharmaceuticals are much more specific and targeted and therefore have fewer side effects. Furthermore, they do not merely treat the symptoms of diseases but can treat the diseases at their cause.

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August 10 2016
VacciXcell™ Hybrid Bioreactor

Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutics derived from biological sources; they are a promising and growing trend in the treatment of diseases. In contrast to their synthetic counterparts, biopharmaceuticals are much more specific and targeted and therefore have fewer side effects.

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May 6 2016
Introducing the Esco TideCell®

VacciXcell’s TideCell® System takes vaccine production to a higher level, with new enhanced features and more options for better flexibility. Users can choose between single-use and multiple-use and different capacities and options for the different components of the TideCell® system.

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May 2 2016
Zoonotic Outbreaks: The VacciXcell Solution

When an animal epidemic breaks out, the economy suffers grave losses due to agricultural losses, as the infected animals can die or their meat, milk, and other products are no longer fit for human consumption. Moreover, sanitation and immunization in farms are not well established and thus, diseases can easily spread among the herd, leading to further losses.

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March 18 2016
Zika Virus and Pandemic Outbreaks: The VacciXcell Solution

In September 2012, the first case of the deadly Mers-Cov virus was reported in the Middle East and has since then spread within the Arabian Peninsula. In 2015, the largest Mers-Cov outbreak outside the Arabian Peninsula occurred in South Korea. According to WHO, there is a total of 591 Mers-Cov related deaths since 2012 among the 1652 reported cases in 26 countries around the world.

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December 16 2015
Innovative cold chain solution from VacciXcell

VacciXcell is proud to be awarded a walk in chiller project for a developing country for vaccine storage.

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March 23 2020
COVID-19 Response: A letter to our customers

The COVID-19 pandemic has been dominating global headlines in recent times. It is indeed worrying for everyone, and it is uncertain how the situation will pan out in the coming months. Nonetheless, Esco would like to assure all our customers that we

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December 7 2018
A Tide to Remember

Throughout 2018, Esco Aster and Esco VacciXcell have been very determined in providing solutions through the use of proprietary technologies, to make human lives healthier and safer.

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January 5 2018
Esco Healthcare Welcomes 2018!

Esco Healthcare, a member of the Esco Group of companies, is comprised of 3 divisions namely, Esco Pharma, TaPestle Rx, and Esco VacciXcell. Altogether, these 3 divisions aim to make your 2018 a year of continuous learning for unsurmountable growth and development.

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December 8 2017
ESCO ASTER AND INSTITUTE OF MOLECULAR CELL BIOLOGY ANNOUNCE A COLLABORATION TO ACCELERATE PRECLINICAL DEVELOPMENT OF A HAND FOOT AND MOUTH VACCINE

Singapore, December 07, 2018 - Esco Aster, a leading independent contract development and manufacturing organization dedicated to the Singapore's R&D ecosystem, has signed a research collaboration agreement with A*STAR's Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (IMCB). The collaboration will facilitate the quick development and commercialisation of a multivalent vaccine targeting Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

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June 15 2017
Introducing Aster BioPharma Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO)

A CDMO or Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization is a contractual company that provides services like drug development and drug manufacturing in the healthcare industry. CDMO services running on Esco's VacciXcell are now provided by a new independent company called Esco Aster Biopharma.

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March 8 2017
Know Why Industries are Going with the New Tide

Cell culture using mammalian cells has been used in bioprocessing and biopharmaceutical to produce a variety of life saving products. Mammalian cells are preferred by scientists and industries due to its relatively closer resemblance to human cells as compared to microbial, plants or insect cells. The challenge of using mammalian cells however has always been in the culture and proliferation of the cells.

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February 1 2017
Innovations and Advances for Bioprocessing Seminar, Hong Kong

Esco VacciXcell successfully conducted a seminar last January 20, 2017 in HKPC Building, 78 Tat Chee Aveneu, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong. Lead by Mr. Liang Ke, product specialist, and Ms. MK Kim, application specialist, the seminar entitled "Innovations and Advances for Bioprocessing" welcomed attendees to a day of learning on the new technologies and processes on bioprocessing, specifically in the field of cell therapy.

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January 27 2017
FEATURED CLIENT: MEDIGEN VACCINE BIOLOGICS CO

In 2009, the H1N1 pandemic was bringing panic to the whole world due to its infection rate and lethality. In response to this threat, Medigen Biotechnology Corporation (MBC) decided to create a vaccine division which would integrate innovative technology that would be able to produce necessary vaccines in large volumes within a short period of time.

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November 14 2016
VACCIXCELL BIOPROCESSING SEMINARS: A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL BOATS

Esco VacciXcell has conducted two seminars within the past few months that is aimed to educate and enlighten people from the scientific community of the revolutionary technology that is the TideMotion bioreactor system.

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November 8 2016
Catching the Tide: How VacciXcell's TideMotion Bioreactor is Innovating Bioprocessing

Biopharmaceutical companies and industries around the world use cell culture as a means of producing their bio products. Whether the company is producing vaccines, monoclonal anti-bodies, proteins, biosimilars or stem cells, using some type of bioreactor is the widely accepted and most efficient method of doing it.

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August 12 2016
VacciXcell conducts product training for International Atomic Energy Agency

Dr. Mudasser Habib, is a principal scientist whose research focuses on the development of vaccine for PPR virus for goat cells has participated in a product training for CelCradle™, TideCell™ and StirCradle™, bioreactors conducted by the VacciXcell Esco Healthcare last August 1-12, 2016 at the Esco Ventures, Singapore.

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May 25 2016
Vaccine BioProcessing Seminar

One of VacciXcell’s main visions is a world of vaccine self-sufficiency for all nations, including developing ones and conducting free end-user seminars is one of VacciXcell’s ways to fulfil this vision. These end-user seminars help increase awareness of current news and situations in the vaccine industry and as well as the latest trends and techniques in vaccine bioprocessing;

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May 13 2016
VacciXcell’s Turnkey Solutions

VacciXcell will be providing a turnkey laboratory facility for animal vaccine research and development in Pakistan.

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November 10 2015
Esco Launches VacciXcell and TapestleRx

Esco group of companies is excited to launch 2 new platforms VacciXcell and TaPestle Rx!

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June 10 2015
Official Launch of VacciXcell at World Vaccine Congress Asia

VacciXcell officially launched in Singapore on 3-4 June, 2015 at Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre during World Vaccine Congress Asia! We are excited to embark on this journey with you, offering turnkey solutions to clients of all applications and budgets.

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June 28 2019
Buckle Up! Join Esco at BIO Asia-Taiwan International Conference and Exhibition

With a strong portfolio of more than 40 years, Esco continues to engage in a variety of operating businesses, investment holdings, and venture building. Now, fairgoers of BIO Asia-Taiwan on Jul. 25-28 can drop by Esco booth L818 for the provision of tailored content, possible networking, and a potential partnership.

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May 3 2019
Let's Hop to the International Society Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT) 2019

Esco Aster will be exhibiting once again at International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT) 2019 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia from May 29 to 31.

ISCT is a growing global society that offers a unique collaborative environment to address the three key areas of translation: academic, regulatory, and commercialization.

This year, the event is expecting over 500 delegates from all over the world. This will serve as a great opportunity

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March 22 2019
Esco Aster Will Set West To See You At WVC Washington

PENNSYLVANIA - Esco Aster will set west to attend the world's most exciting vaccine event, the World Vaccine Congress (WVC) at Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel this Apr. 15-17.

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November 9 2018
The Ottawa Phenomena

PENNSYLVANIA — Canada's Till and McCulloch Stem Cell Meetings at Westin Ottawa Hotel is the only conference of its kind to provide unparalleled opportunities this Nov. 12-14.

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September 27 2018
The Tide is Rolling to Europe!

Ola! Esco VacciXcell and Esco Aster will be exhibiting again for the upcoming World Vaccine Congress (WVC) at EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel Lisbon, Portugal from Oct. 29 – 31.

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August 24 2018
INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES ARE HEADING EAST

PENNSYLVANIA – Bioprocess International (BPI) conference at Hynes Convention Center Boston got innovative technologies covered with more science, more new data, and more case studies this Sep. 4-7.

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May 29 2018
Esco VacciXcell Attends the 26th Analytica!

Esco VacciXcell had the opportunity to showcase its Patented Tide Motion technology at Analytica, the international trade fair for analytics, biotechnology and modern laboratory processes. The 26th Analytica was held in Munich, Germany from April 10 – 13, 2018.

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May 23 2018
A Look Back: ISCT 2018

Esco VacciXcell looks back for the successful ISCT event held in Montreal, Canada last May 2-5, 2018. The response to this year’s event offered exciting possibilities for the evolution of cell therapy and how it seems to be pervasively expanding. From the promise of CAR-T therapies to Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine, there is a huge presence of how bioprocessing technologies become more accessible.

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April 26 2018
There's More to Canada!

Esco Aster, alongside with Esco VacciXcell will be back for the upcoming International Society for Cell Therapy (ISCT) 2018 at Palais Des Congres de Montreal, Canada from May 2 – 5, 2018.

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April 24 2018
Esco Aster and Esco VacciXcell Made It West!

Esco Aster, a leading CDMO company in ASEAN that utilizes Esco VacciXcell’s Tide Motion technology, jump started the year right. The recently held World Vaccine Congress at Renaissance Hotel, Washington D.C. last April 2-5, 2018 was a huge success, with lots of delegates worldwide brought together for a specific reason.

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March 1 2018
HEAD EAST, GO DOWNTOWN!

Start off the year right! The 18th Annual World Vaccine Congress, which leads the largest event in gathering thousands of attendees, key speakers, and networking opportunities, will continue to progress this coming March 2 – 5, 2018 at Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.

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November 30 2017
World Vaccine and Immunotherapy Congress | Coronado Bay Resort San Diego, CA

VacciXcell will unveil the new and improved TideCell®, a revolutionary bioprocessing adherent bioreactor, which utilizes the tide motion principle for the upcoming World Vaccine and Immunotherapy Congress. This event will give an in-depth look at the advancements in the integration of innovative technologies and its impact on immunotherapy and vaccine development.

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November 8 2017
Imagine the Possibilities: From Science to Society

VacciXcell is strengthening its core in bioprocessing for being one of the exhibitors of the upcoming Research Support Center Scientific Roadshow on November 14, 2017, starting from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at Epicenter Matrix Biopolis, Singapore.

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October 20 2017
Esco VacciXcell at World Vaccine Congress in Barcelona, Spain

Esco VacciXcell recently participated in the World Vaccine Congress Exhibition held in Crown Plaza Hotel Barcelona, Spain from October 10-12, 2017. The congress brought together scientific scope, breadth, and partners from around the globe.

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October 5 2017
Esco VacciXcell Heads to the East!

Esco VacciXcell have recently participated in BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition 2017 last September 26-28 in Hynes Convention Center Boston, Massachusetts. The event brought science, technology, and partners to accelerate promising biologics towards commercial success.

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August 29 2017
Esco Vaccixcell at International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) 2017

The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering or ISPE was successfully concluded last August 23-26, 2017 at Suntec & Exhibition Centre in Singapore. This year’s theme “Innovating for Next Generation Pharma Manufacturing” involved a lot of bioprocessing companies and delegates from different companies around the Globe.

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July 14 2017
CPhI China 2017

CPhI China brings together domestic and international pharmaceutical  companies every year to share ideas and innovations in China. LABWorld China 2017, in partnership with CPhI, is a grand exhibition held at the New International Expo Center, N1, Shanghai, China.

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June 14 2017
9th HUMAN VACCINE AND 5th VETERINARY INDUSTRY SUMMIT, CHINA

Esco VacciXcell attended the recently concluded human vaccine and veterinary industry summit held in Four Points Hotel, Qing Dao, West Coast China. The event lasted 2 days, starting from June 13 and ending on June 14, 2017. The event commemorated two both the 9th Human Vaccine Industry Summit and the 5th Veterinary Industry Summit.

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May 8 2017
ISCT 2017

VacciXcell participated in the recently concluded ISCT 2017 held at ExCel London, United Kingdom last May 3-6, 2017. ISCT 2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of the International Society for Cellular Therapy. VacciXcell displayed their tide motion bioreactor systems which are perfect for cell proliferation such as those utilized in cellular therapy.

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April 24 2017
Korea Lab 2017

Esco VacciXcell participated in the recently concluded Korea Lab 2017 held last April 18-21, 2017 at Korea International Convention Center, Gyeonggi, South Korea. The event was attended mostly by professionals from the pharmaceutical, cell therapy and cosmetics industry.

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April 13 2017
VacciXcell at World Vaccine Congress 2017

World Vaccine Congress USA successfully concluded another series last April 10-12, 2017 held at Grand Hyatt Washington DC. This year, the Congress brought together over 700 senior vaccine executives for debates and discussions exploring new vaccine technologies.

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February 28 2017
BioProcess International West 2017

Esco VacciXcell joined the only phase-based event to break down silos for accelerating biologics from early stage process development to commercial manufacturing in the western United States!

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November 25 2016
CPhI and P-MEC India 2016

Esco VacciXcell alongside Esco Biotech (India) Pvt. Ltd. Participated in the recently concluded CPhI-India and P-MEC held last November 21 - 23, 2016 at MMRDA Grounds, BKC in Mumbai, India.

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October 14 2016
Go with the Tide: ISCT North America Regional Meeting 2016 & Boston Biotech Week Exhibits

The International Society of Cell Therapy held its annual North America Regional Meeting at the Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee last September 30 to October 2. The event was well attended by experts in the field of Cell Therapy such as medical doctors, clinicians, scientists, regulatory experts, and laboratory professionals and industry personnel involved in cell processing facilities and programs in North America.

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September 29 2016
INVITATION TO WORLD VACCINE CONGRESS EUROPE AND AAVLD ANNUAL MEETING 2016

Europe's most successful vaccine event is now entering its 17th year. For 16 years the World Vaccine Congress in Europe has been the leading event to talk about scientific advances and find new business opportunities within the vaccine sector and this year is no exception.

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September 7 2016
REACHING EAST AND WEST:

The 2016 International Society of Pharmaceutical (ISPE) conference held at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Center in Singapore has concluded last August 26 with more than 100 local and international companies participating in the event.

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June 1 2016
The International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT) 2016

VacciXcell was recently at The International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT) in Singapore. Held at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre, the 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting was held in Asia for the first time.

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April 4 2016
World Vaccine Congress USA 2016

VacciXcell was present at the recently concluded World Vaccine Congress USA 2016 held at the Grand Hyatt Washington DC. The Congress, which ran for 3 days, consisted of 7 conferences namely World Vaccine Cancer & Immunotherapy, World Vaccine Influenza & Respiratory, World Vaccine Emerging & Re-Imerging, World Vaccine Clinical Trials, World Vaccine Bioprocessing & Manufacturing, World Vaccine Veterinary, and World Vaccine Partnerships.

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March 29 2016
Esco VacciXcell commences the first day of World Vaccine Congress USA 2016 in Washington DC

For the first time, our production scale packed bed 2 liter bioreactor, with pH and DO control, was displayed and launched in the American market, drawing huge attention and positive feedback from various delegates.

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March 24 2016
Arab Lab 2016

VacciXcell, together with Esco, visited Dubai again for the second time this year to attend Arab Lab 2016, which was held last 20-23 March 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Center. VacciXcell reintroduced the CelCradle™ to the Middle East, this time brining the unit to the exhibition.

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January 29 2016
VacciXcell coming to you in Middle East!

VacciXcell is currently in Dubai with the Esco Group of Companies exhibiting our innovative CelCradle Biorea

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November 10 2015
VacciXcell commences the 1st day of exhibition at the Europe Vaccine Congress 2015 in Madrid

VacciXcell, a subsidiary of Esco Group of companies, completes day 1 of the European Vaccine Congress. Of great interest is our latest CelCradle Single-Use Bioreactor that drew large responses from the international delegates.

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October 28 2015
9th Vaccine & ISV Congress

VacciXcell exhibited at the 9th Vaccine & ISV Congress held on 18-20th October at Lotte Hotel in Seoul, Korea. Products featured at the booth were the BelloCell® bioreactor system and the CelSafe® CO2 Incubator, which is an excellent combination for vaccine development.

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Gene Therapy: Shape Your Future

Gene Therapy
What is Gene Therapy?

Genes are the basic hereditary units that define a person’s traits – the features or qualities that are inherited from the parents. They carry the information that makes a person unique such as hair type, eye color, height, and even the smile. These physical attributes come from one generation and pass on to the next through genes.

Genes comprise DNA. Over the lifespan of an individual, DNA mutations are bound to happen. These are generally influenced by mistakes in DNA replication or driven by environmental and carcinogenic substances. Any random, unexpected changes that occur in the DNA of a gene may result in protein malfunction that is harmful to the health. These mutations are likely to cause certain diseases such as genetic disorders or cancer.

A promising solution to the problems of mutations is a technique called gene therapy. This technique is used to engineer gene expression or alter the biological properties of a living cell to prevent or treat diseases. Gene therapy allows scientists and doctors to treat diseases through the insertion of an engineered gene into the patient’s cell.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gene Therapy

Gene therapy research has been around for over decades, and its potential serves as a silver lining to many people. The main advantage of gene therapy that outweighs its disadvantages is the promise of providing a patient with a genetic disease or cancer, a life free of regular therapies and disease management.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gene Therapy
Diseases Gene Therapy Can Potentially Treat
Diseases Gene Therapy Can Potentially Treat
Vectors in Gene Therapy

Genes that are inserted directly to the cell are likely to degrade. Rather than direct insertion, vectors are used to operate as carriers to deliver the genes. Vectors are defined as any vehicle used to transport a specific DNA sequence into the host cells.

Vectors in Gene Therapy

Figure 1. 5-step general process of ex vivo cell therapy.

Cell therapy begins with harvesting the stem cells and T cells from a patient. Meanwhile, a virus is genetically engineered in the laboratory to remove certain genes that can potentially cause a disease, lowering its pathogenicity. A specific, therapeutic gene is then inserted into the genetically engineered virus. The altered virus, along with the gene, is inserted into the harvested cells turning them into modified cells. The modified cells are infused back into the patient’s body to target and kill the antigen-expressing cancer cells. On the contrary, in vivo gene therapy requires direct administration of the therapeutic gene into the viral genome. The viral vector containing the therapeutic gene is then injected back into the patient’s body, producing the desired proteins encoded by the therapeutic genes.

These two gene therapy techniques both have their own advantages and limitations. Ex vivo gene therapy has low immunogenicity and offers the capability to evaluate transduction efficiency before infusing the cells back into the patient’s body. In vivo gene therapy is usually preferred by scientists; however, the drawback of this strategy is its need for high specificity in targeting only the desired cells and tissues. Poor targeted delivery induces an immune response that may pose risks to the patient.

Viral Vectors

Viral vectors utilize viruses as tools in delivering genetic material into a target host cell. Viruses are used due to their natural capability of entering the cells in the body. However, these viruses are modified in a way that they could not cause a disease to the patient who receives it. Retrovirus, lentivirus, adenovirus, and adeno-associated virus (AAV) are among the viruses that have been used in laboratories for their gene therapy applications. Each of these vector systems has a distinct application best suited for the functions it holds.

Table 1. Commonly used viral vectors in gene therapy and their features

Vector Features
Adeno-associated virus (AAV)
  • Slow onset of gene expression due to conversion of ssDNA to dsDNA
  • Limited cargo capacity
Adenovirus
  • High immunogenicity
  • Transient gene expression
Retrovirus
  • Integrates genome into DNA
  • Long-term expression
Lentivirus
  • Integrates genome into DNA
  • Long-term expression
Table source: Lundstrom K, Boulikas T. (2003). Viral and non-viral vectors in gene therapy: technology development and clinical trials. Technol Cancer Res Treat
Adeno-associated virus

Adeno-associated virus is among the most studied vector vehicles in gene therapy. Initially, AAVs were derived as a contaminant in adenovirus preparations. AAV is a capsid (protein shell) that functions to protect a small, single stranded DNA. There are several serotypes of AAV, however the majority are based on AAV serotype 2 (AAV2). The life cycle of AAV in human cell begins by binding to a receptor present on the surface of the cell and its subsequent entry into the target host cell by a cellular process called endocytosis. Once the virus is engulfed, it escapes from the endosome and enters the nucleus wherein it promotes transgene expression. Some of the advantages of AAVs include superior biosafety rating as it is known not to cause diseases, low immunogenicity further supporting its lack of pathogenicity, wide-range cell transduction, and stable and long-term expression.

Adenovirus

Adenoviruses are the most common causes of typical illnesses such as colds, fevers, flu, and more. These viruses are known, in most cases, to not cause severe and life-threatening infection, making them an ideal vector for carrying genes to the target host cells. Adenoviral vectors comprise a double stranded DNA genome enclosed in an icosahedral nucleocapsid. Their entry into the cell involves a series of interactions among the proteins on the surface of the vector and the target host cell. The transduction occurs via the absorption of the virus onto the target cells through the coxsackie and adenovirus receptors (CAR) present on the surface of the cell. These viral vectors then introduce their DNA molecule into the host, however, do not incorporate their genetic material into host cell’s genetic material. Instead, their DNA molecules are released in the nucleus of the cell, and are transcribed like any other cell, but do not replicate upon cell division.

Lentivirus

Lentivirus belongs to the Retroviridae family and is known as a subtype of retroviruses. The pathogenesis of lentivirus is similar to that of retrovirus. Their genome comprises RNA that is reverse transcribed into DNA, replicated in the process, and integrated into the host cell’s genome. Once it integrates, the host cell transcribes its genome along with the viral genomes, resulting in a stable transgene expression. The main difference among these two viral vectors is lentiviruses can infect both non-dividing and dividing cells, while retroviruses are limited to infecting only the actively dividing cell types.

Retro Viral Vectors

“Retro”-virus implies a backwards behavior contrary to the conventional concept of genetics, which starts with DNA replication, transcription, and translation. The RNA genome of retroviruses is contained in a glycoprotein envelope which interacts with receptors on the target host cells to gain entry during the onset of infection. Once inside the cell, reverse transcription occurs as the single stranded RNA of the virus is converted into double stranded DNA. As the cells undergo division, the viral DNA integrates with the target host cell DNA. This stable integration is considered the most significant advantage of retroviruses from other retroviral vectors.

Non-Viral Vectors

Non-viral vectors do not integrate viruses in their delivery systems, therefore, are less likely to cause diseases as compared with viral vectors. Instead, physical, and chemical methods are the two ways these vectors carry out the delivery of the genetic material into the host cell. Physical methods are used in delivering genetic material to any target cell with the means of force in order to disrupt the cells’ membrane barrier, allowing its entrance into the target host cell. Physical methods generally include direct microinjection, electroporation, plasmid injection, and ballistic injection of DNA. On the other hand, chemical methods usually involve carriers such as lipids, polymers, and peptides which have cell-specific functionalities that mainly affect specific cells.

Table 2. Commonly used nonviral vectors in gene therapy and their features

Chemical Method Features
Liposomes
  • Cationic
  • Neutral/Zwitterionic
  • Intraperitoneal administration
  • 3-fold increase in transfection efficiency from human colon cancer cells
  • Can be prepared through different methods – extrusion through membranes
  • Coating with polyethylene glycol chains (PEG)
Polymers
  • Interacts with (-) charged DNA to form complexes
  • Can target ligands
Peptide-DNA Complexes
  • Destabilizing liposomes, improving plasmid delivery
Physical Method Features
Microinjection
  • Most direct approach
  • Uses small glass needles to inject DNA into cell
  • High transfection efficacy
Electroporation
  • Uses electrical pulse to penetrate membrane and form temporary pores which DNA complexes can enter
  • High transfection efficacy
Biobalistic
  • Acceleration system that uses carrier gas, projecting the DNA molecule with microparticles (tungsten or gold)
  • High transfection efficacy
Table source: Lundstrom K, Boulikas T. (2003). Viral and non-viral vectors in gene therapy: technology development and clinical trials. Technol Cancer Res Treat. | Nardi, Nance. (2008). A role for adeno-associated viral vectors in gene therapy. Genetics and Molecular Biology.
Liposomes

Liposomes are characterized as spherical vesicles that serve as vehicle for drugs and small molecules to be released in target site in the body. These vesicles are deemed versatile due to their dynamic properties that are simple to manipulate, therefore making them an ideal delivery system for therapeutic purpose.

  • Cationic Liposomes – They comprise a positive, hydrophilic head, and a hydrophobic tail. Their structure serves as the basis for their use in gene delivery of DNA. The positive head of the liposomes interact with the (-) DNA, while the hydrophobic tail forms bilayers surrounding the DNA. Cationic liposomes are promising nonviral vectors because of their biodegradability, biocompatibility, and efficient nucleic acid encapsulation.
  • Cationic Liposomes – These liposomes are known to have positive and negative charges within their structures which give them a major lead from single-charged liposomes. Zwitterionic liposomes are generally known as non-toxic and stable, making them a promising candidate for gene therapy vectors.
Polymer

Over the years, polymers have been widely studied and developed for a wide range of biomedical and therapeutic applications due to their versatile conformations, biodegradability, and ease of synthesis. The first variety of nonviral gene delivery systems are cationic polymers, and these are discovered to interact with negatively charged DNA to form complexes, known as lipoplexes. Lipoplexes have the ability to shield genes from degradation and transport them inside the target cells.

Peptide-DNA complexes

The main goal of peptide-DNA complexes in gene therapy is to mimic the function of viral proteins through short peptide sequences of approximately 50 amino acids or less. Besides their biodegradability and biocompatibility properties, the amino acids in the sequences can be easily manipulated to enhance their capacity to overcome the barriers for gene delivery. Additionally, peptides are fairly easier to produce and store as they are stable under ambient conditions.

Exosomes

Exosomes, termed the ‘rising star’ in drug delivery, are presently recognized to have a major role in mediating cell-cell communications. These are fluid-filled sacs extracellular vesicles that are secreted by cells as means of communicating with other cells in the human body. In fact, exosomes are found in all bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine, etc. Exosomes are excellent and feasible gene delivery systems, owing it to their nano size, low immunogenicity, and targeting efficiency. Moreover, the functional lipid membrane and hydrophilic core of these vesicles provide a stable environment for the nanomaterials, preventing immune responses and granting fusion with the plasma membrane for direct entry into the target cell.

Production of Viral Vectors for Gene Therapy

Upstream Workflow

The initial steps in the general upstream bioprocess of producing viral vectors is the (1) retrieval and thawing of vector producer cells (VPC), followed by the (2) cell expansion in a bioreactor. The HEK293 cells, which are adherent in nature, are among the widely used cell lines in laboratory scale for vector production. However, upscaling the production poses several challenges such as the conventional scale-out approaches that make the overall process laborious, costly, and timeconsuming. Presently, bioreactors that operate with the Tide Motion principle, such as CelCradle X® and TideXcell®, cater to adherent cell lines for both lab and pilot scale production respectively, providing the optimum conditions for the cells, and altogether reducing the risks of contamination that may occur with conventional approaches. Subsequently, the cells are (3) harvested manually or through semi, or fully automated harvesting systems. For pilot scale production, the cells are expanded in larger scale Tide Motion bioreactors.

Downstream Workflow

The downstream process of viral vector production involves a series of purification and filtration steps to remove impurities, both product- and process-related. (1) Clarification is performed to eliminate cell debris and cell contaminants, within the supernatant, that may cause disturbance to the downstream product quality. The clarified harvests are then subjected to (2) chromatography for further purification and removal of unwanted impurities, or adventitious agents, that are unintentionally introduced into the production process. (3) Tangential flow filtration (TFF) concentrates the viral vectors to separate and purify the sample solution by filtering the permeate and recycling the retentate back to the feed. Followed by (4) diafiltration and (5) sterile filtration for further separation and purification. The following downstream steps, formulation and filling, labelling and packaging, and storage are accomplished to establish the finished product for the sales and distribution.

Vectors in Gene Therapy

Figure 2. Manufacturing process of viral vectors for gene therapy.

Overcoming Manufacturing Challenges with Tide Motion Bioreactors

As medical and pharmaceutical industries shed light on the continuous development of gene therapy, there are still arising challenges and limitations to take into account. Although different industries have accelerated the progress on gene therapy, they must continue to further the efficiencies and improve production processes for its economic viability at scale.

Enhance Production Capacity

Depending on the vector for gene therapy, scaling out or scaling up will pose challenges and limitations. For example, autologous gene therapy requires only a single batch per patient, hence the initial option would be scaling out. This scale-out scenario is costly and time-consuming as it requires additional materials, and therefore requiring multiple skilled operators. These can be considered limiting factors in increasing capacity through scaling out.

Scaling up, on the other hand, offers more advantages as increasing the capacity of a bioreactor could produce greater volumes without additional resources. Tide Motion bioreactors such as CelCradle X® and TideXcell® could increase production through the scale-up scenario, and at the same time provide the optimal conditions for the cells. CelCradle X®, a single-use bioreactor, cuts the downtime in the upstream process that involves sample and bioreactor preparations. It is also considered simpler at laboratory scale, and safer as the chances of contamination with adventitious agents from one batch to another is relatively low in single-use bioreactors. Furthermore, the ideal bioreactor for single-use and multiple-use technology for adherent cell expansion, at pilot scale, is TideXcell®. This Tide Motion bioreactor integrates the desirable, cutting-edge features that allow monitoring and control over the conditions of the cells, providing them the most favorable environment.

CelCradle X®

CelCradle X® (Closed Automated Single-Use Bioreactor)

TideXcell®

TideXcell® (Pilot Scale Tide Motion Bioreactor)

Reduce The Risk of Contamination

The risk of biocontamination can compromise the outcome of gene therapy, not only affecting the patient, but also leaving grave financial consequences, and a negative impact on the overall operation. Essentially, in gene therapy, cells should be free of adventitious agents, yet the risk of contamination is especially high throughout the manufacturing process which generally involves a series of stages that need the highest requirements of quality control to ensure Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance.

The design of closed system bioreactors provides physical barriers to avoid the exposure of cells to contaminants. In accordance with GMP compliance for strict aseptic techniques, CelCradle X® and TideXcell® for laboratory scale and pilot scale, respectively, operate in a closed system that contain the cells under controlled sterile conditions. Furthermore, these bioreactors are equipped with decontamination systems for more sterile measures.

References
  1. DS, A. (2004). The use of retroviral vectors for gene therapy-what are the risks? A review of retroviral pathogenesis and its relevance to retroviral vector-mediated gene delivery. Genetic Vaccines and Therapy, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-0556-2-9
  2. Kaiser, A. D., Assenmacher, M., Schröder, B., Meyer, M., Orentas, R., Bethke, U., & Dropulic, B. (2015). Towards a commercial process for the manufacture of genetically modified T cells for therapy. Cancer Gene Therapy, 22(2), 72–78. https://doi.org/10.1038/CGT.2014.78
  3. Mancheño-Corvo, P., & Martín-Duque, P. (2006). Viral gene therapy. Clinical and Translational Oncology, 8(12), 858–867. https://doi.org/10.1007/S12094-006-0149-Y
  4. Mathiyalagan, P., & Sahoo, S. (2017). Exosomes-Based Gene Therapy for MicroRNA Delivery. Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1521, 139. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1- 4939-6588-5_9
  5. Ramamoorth, M., & Narvekar, A. (2015). Non Viral Vectors in Gene Therapy- An Overview. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 9(1), GE01. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2015/10443.5394
  6. Srivastava, A., Mallela, K. M. G., Deorkar, N., & Brophy, G. (2021). Manufacturing Challenges and Rational Formulation Development for AAV Viral Vectors. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 110(7), 2609–2624. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.XPHS.2021.03.024
  7. Thapa, R. K., & Sullivan, M. O. (2018). Gene delivery by peptide-assisted transport. Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, 7, 71. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COBME.2018.10.002
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World Vaccine Congress (WVC) - Barcelona
October 19 - 21, 2021
Hotel Arts Barcelona, Spain