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Quantitative Cell-Based Bioassays for Individual and Combination Immune Checkpoint Immunotherapy Targets
Zhi-jie Jey Cheng, Jamison Grailer, Pete Stecha, Jun Wang, Jim Hartnett, Frank Fan, and Mei Cong

Immune checkpoint receptors are promising new immunotherapy
targets for the treatment of a variety of diseases including cancer and
autoimmune-mediated disorders. We developed a suite of cell-based
bioluminescent reporter bioassays for individual and combination
immune checkpoint immunotherapy targets including: PD-1 (PD-L1 or PD-L2), CTLA-4, LAG-3, TIGIT, PD-1+TIGIT, GITR, 4-1BB, CD40, and OX40.

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A Novel Set of Serum-Free, Xeno-Free Differentiation Media for Adipogenesis, Osteogenesis and Chondrogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Various Tissue Sources
Mira Genser-Nir, Sharon Daniliuc, Marina Tevrovsky, Roni Hazan Brill, Yuliya-Yael Miropolski, David Fiorentini.

An overview of a novel SF, XF differentiation system which enables achieving defined conditions for rapid generation of differentiated hMSCs towards tissue engineering and drug screening applications

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A Synthetic CRISPR-Cas9 System for Homology-directed Repair
John A. Schiel, Maren M. Gross, Emily M. Anderson*, Eldon T. Chou, Anja van Brabant Smith Dharmacon, part of GE Healthcare, 2650 Crescent Drive, Lafayette, CO 80026, USA

Synthetic, dual-RNA-encoded Cas9 is used for precise homology-directed repair (HDR) gene engineering. Both short and long (GFP) inserts are covered.

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Mobility of Aeroallergens in Home: Effect of Location of Air Sampling and Implication for Evaluation of Patient Exposure
Julian Gordon1, Paul Detjen, Andrea Wachter & Prasanthi Gandhi1

The Inspirotec sampler permitted the easy testing of multiple locations within a household. Air sampling simultaneously at 12 locations by other technologies would have been technically challenging. These were run by an untrained operator.

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Building a digital pathology ecosystem for education and research
Yves Sucaet, Silke Smeets, Stijn Piessens, Sabrina D'Haese, Chris Groven, Wim Waelput, Peter In't Veld

We wanted to build a core digital pathology infrastructure to support different use cases. Various images platforms needed to be accessible through a single access point, and support different user profiles. We wanted a scalable solution that would allow interaction between equipment from different research groups.
We built a centralized infrastructure that integrates a variety of imaging platforms, and now have an interconnected network of heterogeneous and scalable information silos.

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A Simple Plate Based Assay Using pH Sensor Dye to Screen for Internalizing Antibody
Nidhi Nath, Becky Godat, Cesear Corona, Chad Zimprich, Mark McDougall, Poncho Meisenheimer, Marjeta Urh

Receptor mediated internalization is a key mechanism of action (MOA) for antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). However, current methods of studying antibody internalization have several limitations including: 1) A multistep process not suitable for screening; 2) Low signal-to-background ratios; 3) Not suitable for kinetic measurements. We have developed a method that mitigates problems associated with traditional internalization assays.

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Better Cell-Based Assays for Anti-CTLA-4, Anti-PD-1/PD-L1, and Bispecific Immunotherapy Drug Studies
Richard Somberg, Mei Cong, Pete Stecha, Natasha Karassina, Jim Hartnett, Zhi-Jie Jey Cheng, and Frank Fan

Here we report the development of a panel of robust reporter assays to measure the potencies for biologics in immunotherapy. These assays reflect mode of action and can serve as valuable tools in immunotherapy drug development and discovery.

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Development of a Robust Reporter-based T cell Activation Assay for Therapeutic Biologics in Immunotherapy
Zhi-jie Jey Cheng, Pete Stecha, Jim Hartnett, Frank Fan, and Mei Cong

Jurkat T-cells stably expressing luciferase reporter driven by IL2 promoter or NFAT-RE, are used as effector cells. Tumor cell lines endogenously expressing cancer antigen are used as antigen presenting cells (APC). By co-cultivating the two cell lines in the presence of CD3 bispecific antibody, TCR/CD3 is activated in Jurkat effector cells. Luciferase activity is up regulated through IL-2 promoter or NFAT-RE activation.

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Reporter Bioassays to Assess Therapeutic Antibodies for Immunotherapy Programs
Mei Cong, Zhi-Jie Jey Cheng, Pete Stecha, Jun Wang, Jamison Grailer, Natasha Karassina, Jim Hartnett, and Frank Fan

Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy or biotherapy, stimulates certain parts of the immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. Important drug targets in immunotherapy include: Co-inhibitory receptors, such as PD-1/PD-L1, CTLA-4, LAG3, Tim3; and co-stimulatory receptors, such as GITR, CD40, OX40, 4-1BB.
Current approaches to assaying these targets are cumbersome and variable. Here we offer an improved in vitro bioassay approach.

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Scientific News
Breakthrough Flu Vaccine Inhibited by Pre-existing Antibodies
Universal truths – how existing antibodies are sabotaging the most promising new human flu vaccines.
Antibody Drug Shows Promise in HIV Treatment
Researchers are a step closer to an alternative HIV treatment that has the potential for lasting effects and less frequent dosing.
Targeting Autoimmunity
Researchers have developed a strategy to treat a rare autoimmune disease which could lead to treatments of other autoimmune diseases.
Flu Vaccine May Reduce Death Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
New research suggests that a new flu vaccine may reduce probability of type 2 diabetes patients being hospitalised with stroke and heart failure.
Gut Bacteria Older than Human Species
Some bacteria have lived in the human gut since before we were human, suggesting evolution could have a larger role inhuman bacterial makeup.
Evidence of Mosquito Transmitting Zika
A direct link between the Yellow fever mosquito and Zika transmission has been found following investigation into selective mosquito control.
Antibody-Based Drug for Multiple Sclerosis
New antibody-based drug paves the way for new strategies for controlling and treating multiple sclerosis.
Three-Drug Combinations Counter Antibiotic Resistance
Research shows that combinations of three different antibiotics can treat resistant bacteria, even if they are ineffective independently.
Mapping Zika’s Routes to Developing Fetus
UC researchers show how Zika virus travels from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and also identified a drug that could stop it.
Treating HIV with Cancer-Fighting Gene Shows Promise
A type of gene immunotherapy that has shown promising results against cancer could also be used against HIV.
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