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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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CellTiter-Glo® 2.0: A Novel Luminescent Cell Viability Assay with Greatly Enhanced Storage Stability
Michael P. Valley, James Unch, Poncho L. Meisenheimer, James J. Cali, and Dan F. Lazar

Here we report on the attributes of a novel ATP detection reagent for cell viability with all of the assay performance of the previous CellTiter-Glo® Reagent, but now with markedly enhanced stability as a single component in a liquid format. These new features provide for much greater ease-of-use in that storage of the reagent at 4°C eliminates the requirement for reagent thawing and minimizes temperature equilibration time.

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Design and Validation of Bioluminescent Assays for 3D Cell Culture Models Poster
Terry L. Riss, Michael P. Valley, Chad A. Zimprich, Andrew L. Niles, Kevin R. Kupcho and Dan F. Lazar

Cells cultured in 3D model systems often acquire relatively large in vivo-like structures compared to the thickness of a 2D monolayer of cells grown on standard plastic plates.

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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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iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes and Luciferase Reporters: A Robust Reporting Platform for Monitoring Cardioprotection and Pathway Biology in Endogenous Human Tissue Cells
Fiene, S., Thompson, A., Niles, A., Robers, M., Anson, B.

Pathophysiological conditions, medical interventions, and off-target toxicities can all result in cellular oxidative stress. In cardiac myocytes, prolonged and/or excessive oxidative stress can lead to cardiotoxicity: a primary cause of developmental delays, black-box warnings, and post-launch withdrawal of pharmaceuticals.

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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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ROS-Glo™ H2O2 Assay: A Luminescent Assay for Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species Poster
Gediminas Vidugiris, Sarah Duellman, John Shultz, Jolanta Vidugiriene, Hui Wang, Jean Osterman, Wenhui Zhou, Poncho Meisenheimer and James J. Cali

H2O2 is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) that is measured in cells as a marker of oxidative stress. It is also measured as a marker of enzyme activities that either consume or produce H2O2. It is desirable to screen chemical compounds for their capacity to alter H2O2 levels in cultured cells or for their effects on H2O2 levels in enzyme reactions.

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Testing a Novel Real Time Cell Viability Assay
Amy Landreman, Sarah Duellman, Wenhui Zhou, Jolanta Vidugiriene, Brad Hook

Recently developed assay technologies make it possible to use multi-well plate readers to measure the number of live or dead cells in culture in real time over a period of days. Live cells are measured in real time by adding a reagent containing a shrimp-derived luciferase and a pro-substrate directly to the culture medium. Only viable cells can convert the pro-substrate into a luciferase substrate and generate light.

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The P450-Glo™ CYP2B6 Assay: a Rapid and Selective Assay for Measuring CYP2B6 Induction and Inhibition
Dongping Ma, Hui Wang, Poncho Meisenheimer, James J. Cali

We have developed a luminogenic CYP2B6 assay for biochemical CYP2B6 inhibition and for cell-based CYP2B6 induction studies. Here we present the CYP2B6 luminogenic assay characterization and demonstrate its utility for measuring time dependent CYP2B6 inhibition, and for measuring CYP2B6 induction in cultured primary human hepatocytes with normalization to viable cell count.

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Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
Flu Vaccine May Reduce Risk of Death For Type 2 Diabetes Patients
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the vaccine may have substantial benefits for patients with long-term conditions.
Cancer Gene-Drug Combinations Ripe for Precision Medicine
The study aims to expand the number of cancer gene mutations that can be paired with a precision therapy.
Porphyrins as Catalysts in Scalable Organic Reactions
This review covers the most relevant scalable porphyrin-catalysed procedures, showing how these compounds represent broad applications in chemistry.
CDC Updates Zika Recommendations
CDC has issued updated Zika recommendations and guidance for healthcare providers with a focus on sexual transmission.
Exploiting Malaria’s Achilles’ Heel
Researchers have uncovered an Achilles' heel in malaria's anti-drug treatment arsenal that could lead to a disease cure.
Genome of 6000-Year-Old Barley Sequenced
Researchers have successfully sequenced the genome of Chalcolithic barley grains for the first time.
3D Models May Yield Ovarian Cancer Insights
Researchers are developing new tools to decipher ovarian cancer developments through a 3D printing technology.
Targeting BRAF Mutations in Thyroid Cancer
Treating metastatic thyroid cancer patients harboring a BRAF mutation with vemurafenib showed anti-tumor activity in a third of patients.
Plant Compounds Fight Together Against Colon Cancer
Research shows treating colon cancer cells with curcumin, then silymarin is more effective than treatment with each individually.
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