Review: Research Xchange Forum 2018

Insights | Translation | Solutions
Trends and Challenges in Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy

The second Research Xchange Forum also focused on fostering the exchange of ideas between Academia and Industry, this time on basic and translational research in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy. A series of fascinating lectures held by experts provided inspiration and thought-provoking insights, offering both sectors a platform for dialogue and discussion. In addition, the winner and three finalists of the Sartorius & Science Prize presented their research and received their awards as part of a formal ceremony.

The event took place on March 20 and 21, 2018, at Sartorius in Göttingen, Germany. Some 140 attendees took part in this knowledge sharing event.

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  • Expert insights from leading international biopharma R&D experts into their latest developments
  • Research results from the winners of the Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy

Managing Director and 2014 Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry

What motivates me is (...) coming up with something original, something risky, something that is fun if it works.

Inspirational Speech on How to Win a Nobel Prize

Watch Prof. Dr. Hell‘s interview

Watch Prof. Dr. Hell‘s speech

Priscilla N. Kelly, Ph.D. (Science | AAAS, USA)

Editor for Biomedicine

The world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals, AAAS has individual members in more than 91 countries around the globe. Membership is open to anyone who shares our goals and belief that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can help solve many of the challenges the world faces today.

Francesca Bellintani (MolMed, Italy)

Vector Downstream Process Development Manager

Retroviral and Lentiviral Production: Development and Scaling Up of Upstream and Downstream Process Steps

MolMed has implemented a large-scale process to meet the increasing demand for clinical and commercial grade vector production. There is a special focus on identification of challenges in the downstream/purification strategy to ensure efficient contaminant removal and preservation of viral infectivity.

Assoc. Director of Commercial Development, Autologous Cell Therapies

The main difficulties are probably the difference in expectations.

The „Future Technologies” business area under the Pharma & Biotech division of Lonza has a focus on personalized medicine & cell therapy. One of the major challenges in these fields is the production of the patient-specific and patient-scale CAR-T cells or stem cells for treatment.

Manufacturing Strategies for Patient Scale Cell Therapies

Watch Dr. Nina G. Bauer‘s interview

Watch Dr. Nina G. Bauer‘s lecture

The improved interaction with industry is a unique opportunity to make the transition from proof of principle to clinical applications.

Bile duct disorders carry significant morbidity and mortality and remain a leading cause for liver transplantation in children and adults. Fotios invented a system for culturing bile duct organoids which reproduced key features of various biliary diseases in the lab.

Cholangiocyte Organoids for Clinical Applications

Watch Fotis Sampaziotis interview

Watch Fotis Sampaziotis lecture

I will continue to bridge that gap between academia and industry.

Will’s initial research identified a new progenitor cell type within the inner ear, and showed that separate populations of progenitors can generate hearing, balance, and neural cell types. Will’s work demonstrated that a drug combination could induce the normally senescent cochlear hair cell progenitors to divide by reprogramming them to a more plastic state.

Toward a True Cure for Hearing Impairment

Watch Will McLean‘s interview

Watch Will McLean‘s lecture

One of the biggest challenges for bringing academia and industry together is a lack of conversation.

The body’s epithelial barriers are routinely exposed to damage causing pathogenic and noxious agents. Yet, our understanding of how barrier tissues cope with such recurrent pressures is limited. Naik found that the fundamental units of epithelial tissues, their stem cells, remember acute inflammatory encounters.

Inflammatory Tuning of Epithelial Stem Cells

Watch Shruti Naik‘s interview

Watch Shruti Naik‘s lecture

I want to make sure the transition works from academia to where we can make impact in patients.

Kole developed a novel class of synthetic receptors called synthetic Notch (synNotch) receptors that directly induce a custom transcriptional response when they recognize disease or tissue-related cues.

Hacking Immune Cells to Expand Their Therapeutic Potential

Watch Kole Roybal‘s interview

Watch Kole Roybal‘s lecture

Group Leader Preclinical Development

The goals are a bit different in the beginning, but industry and academia can profit from each other.

The biopharmaceutical company apceth is harnessing the potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), in which the mechanism of therapeutic effects are very different from that of CAR-T cells. The aim is to provide innovative cell-based gene therapies for the treatment of major indications, such as cancer, chronic lung and kidney diseases and for immunomodulation. 

Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Immunotherapy

Watch Dr. Ulf Geumann‘s interview

Director of External Studies in Immunooncology

The best way is to attend meetings where you have both – biotech's industrial and academy representatives.

Servier is applying the Cellectis’ TALEN gene editing technology to overcome current limitations and provide an allogeneic, frozen, “off-the-shelf” T cell based medicinal product.
UCART19 is an allogeneic CAR T-cell product candidate being developed for treatment of CD19-expressing hematological malignancies.

Allogenic Approach Development by Servier and the Preclinical Data of...

Watch Dr. Thierry Wurch‘s interview

Watch Dr. Thierry Wurch‘s lecture

Normally, the partners want ready-to-use-solutions, but we very often need someone who can support us to take the next step in the right way.

The generation of patient specific specialized cell-types is a major task in regenerative medicine. Despite the success of genetic reprogramming protocols, it is still a challenge to generate, cultivate and expand patient specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Small Molecules to Enable, Faciliate and Improve iPSC Generation and C...

Watch Prof. Dr. Stefan Wölfl‘s interview

Watch Prof. Dr. Stefan Wölfl‘s lecture

Awards Ceremony for the Winners of the Sartorius & Science Prize

The winner and three finalists competing for the Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy received their awards at the cermony held in their honor.

Congratulations to Grand Prize winner Kole Roybal and to the three finalists Shruti Naik, Fotis Sampaziotis and Will McLean. A big thank you goes out to all participants for making this awards ceremony such a special event.

Learn more about the winner and the finalists

Panel Discussion: Scientific publications in the 21st century

What makes a certain scientific field or topic a focal point of interest and how can digitalization of labs (ELNs/LIMS) affect the ways we spread scientific information in the future? These were among the questions asked during the panel discussion: In search of excellence – Scientific publications in the 21st century.

The panelists were Dr. Stefan Hell, Ph.D.; Dr. Priscilla N. Kelly; Del Trezise and Dr. Ulf Geumann. The discussions were moderated by Dr. Reinhard Baumfalk, Vice President of R&D Instrumentation & Control at Sartorius in Germany.

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