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Daily Archives: April 5, 2021

AGC Biologics to Present Their End-to-End Cell and Gene Therapy Offering at ARM’s Meeting on the Mediterranean Conference

SEATTLE, April 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AGC Biologics, a leading global Biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), announced it will be attending Alliance for Regenerative Medicine’s virtual Meeting on the Mediterranean conference this week, from April 6 – 9, 2021 as a first-time attendee and Gold- and Agenda-level sponsor.

“We’re incredibly honored to be attending Meeting on the Med for the very first time as a CDMO with an industry-leading Cell and Gene Therapy offering,” says Mark Womack, Chief Business Officer at AGC Biologics. “Our team is extremely proud to offer our end-to-end Cell and Gene Therapy capabilities and offerings, and we’re grateful for ARM’s hosting of this event to allow us to connect with many others in the industry.”

“Our team has worked tirelessly to integrate and bring our Cell and Gene Therapy offerings into AGC Biologics,” says Patricio Massera, Chief Executive Officer at AGC Biologics. “We’re fully committed to doing our part to help shape the future of cell and gene therapy.”

The AGC Biologics Business Development and Marketing team will host a virtual booth at the conference, with a range of dynamic resources to showcase their cell and gene therapy expertise, as well as to host meetings with drug developers.

This announcement comes after recent news of an expansion at the company’s Center of Excellence for Cell and Gene Therapy in Milan, Italy last month, and the successful acquisition and integration of the Italy-based MolMed S.p.A facilities last summer.

About AGC Biologics:
AGC Biologics is a leading global biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with a strong commitment to deliver the highest standard of service as we work side-by-side with our clients and partners, every step of the way. We provide world-class development and manufacture of mammalian and microbial-based therapeutic proteins, plasmid DNA (pDNA), viral vectors and genetically engineered cells. Our global network spans the U.S., Europe and Asia, with cGMP-compliant facilities in Seattle, Washington; Boulder, Colorado; Copenhagen, Denmark; Heidelberg, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Chiba, Japan and we currently employ more than 1,600 employees worldwide. Our commitment to continuous innovation fosters the technical creativity to solve our clients’ most complex challenges, including specialization in fast-track projects and rare diseases. AGC Biologics is the partner of choice. To learn more, visit www.agcbio.com.

About Meeting on the Mediterranean:
The Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mediterranean is the leading conference bringing together the ATMP community from Europe and beyond. Covering a wide range of commercialization topics from market access and regulatory issues to manufacturing and financing the sector, this program features expert-led panels, extensive one-on-one partnering capabilities, exclusive networking opportunities, and 80+ dedicated presentations by leading publicly traded and privately held companies in the space. Join ARM for Europe’s premier conference for advanced therapies. Learn more and register at www.meetingonthemed.com.

David Self
AGC Biologics
dself@agcbio.com

Berkeley Lights Announces Opto™ Assure For Early Manufacturability Assessment of Antibody Therapeutics

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Berkeley Lights, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLI), a leader in digital cell biology, announced the launch of Opto Assure, a series of assays that provides yield and product quality data at an earlier stage in cell line development. The first of the series enables direct detection of product aggregates, ensuring a faster ramp toward volume production by evaluating biotherapeutic protein quality sooner in the antibody therapeutic development process. With Opto Assure, customers can rapidly select clonal cell lines with favorable manufacturability profiles, leading to decreased scale-up costs and better downstream products.

Cell line development has become more challenging with the emergence of complex antibody therapeutic formats. These highly engineered proteins are prone to quality issues including aggregation, by-products, and post-translational modifications, which impact drug manufacturability, shelf life, and safety. Berkeley Lights enhances its technology leadership position in cell line development by going beyond titer assessment in the clone selection process. Opto Assure helps minimize risk of costly late stage failures by identifying clones early on that secrete product with high yield and desired quality.

“We’re excited to empower manufacturers of complex therapeutics, such as bispecifics, to develop better production cell lines faster. As we build out the Opto Assure series, customers can look forward to added capabilities that further reduce resources spent on preventing product failures downstream and ensure a more efficient process,” said John Proctor, Ph.D., SVP of Antibody Therapeutics at Berkeley Lights.

About Berkeley Lights
Berkeley Lights is a leading digital cell biology company focused on enabling and accelerating the rapid development and commercialization of biotherapeutics and other cell-based products for our customers. The Berkeley Lights Platform captures deep phenotypic, functional and genotypic information for thousands of single cells in parallel and can also deliver the live biology customers desire in the form of the best cells. Our platform is a fully integrated, end-to-end solution, comprising proprietary consumables, including our OptoSelect™ chips and reagent kits, advanced automation systems, and application software. We developed the Berkeley Lights Platform to provide the most advanced environment for rapid functional characterization of single cells at scale, the goal of which is to establish an industry standard for our customers throughout their cell-based product value chain.

Forward Looking Statement
To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Berkeley Lights or its products, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties that relate to future events, and actual results and product performance could differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Berkeley Lights undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties relating to the Berkeley Lights Platform and Company workflows such as Opto Assure, including the ability to rapidly select clonal cell lines with favorable manufacturability profiles, to realize a faster ramp toward volume production, to de-risk scale-up, to reduce resources spent on preventing product failures downstream, and to improve downstream products, see the statements in the “Risk Factors” sections, and elsewhere, in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Berkeley Lights Platform and the Berkeley Lights’ Beacon® and Lightning systems and Culture Station instrument are FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Press Contact
berkeleylights@bulleitgroup.com

Investor Contact
ir@berkeleylights.com

Phase two COVID-19 vaccination to begin on April 19 in eight states

— Phase two of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, covering senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PwD) and those with chronic diseases, will begin on April 19 in eight states, said the programme’s Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Phase two will kick off with Kedah, Melaka, Penang, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and the Federal Territory of Labuan, to be followed a few days later by other states according to the readiness of the vaccination centres and staff, he said.

Khairy said potential vaccine recipients would be notified of their appointment dates through the MySejahtera application from today.

“Notifications will be sent out at least 14 days before the appointment date for receiving the vaccine, with reminders to be sent three days and one day in advance via short messaging service and call centres,” he told a joint press conference with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on the immunisation programme here today.

He said attendance is compulsory for those who have registered and pressed the button for confirmation to receive the vaccine, as thorough preparations have been made by vaccination centres and the allocated vaccines should not go to waste.

Khairy said several proposals would be tabled at a meeting of the Special Committee on Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) with the Human Resource Ministry tomorrow, including asking employers to allow workers to go for their vaccination appointment.

“Employers cannot prevent their workers from going for the vaccination session. We will propose or compel employers to grant leave to these workers to get vaccinated. The decision on this will be announced later,” he said.

Khairy said a proposal would also be made to the National Security Council (MKN) to allow interstate travel for people wishing to help dependants in the kampung who are too weak to go to vaccination centres on their own.

On the first phase of the immunisation, Khairy said 62,837 healthcare frontliners had not yet received their jabs, including personnel of government and private healthcare facilities, private healthcare laboratories, private ambulance operators and palliative care centres.

“A directive has been issued for these people to be given priority in getting the vaccine in April for us to complete phase one,” he added.

He said that 7,906,913 individuals or 32.6 per cent of the country’s population had registered via MySejahtera while 514,036 individuals had received at least one dose of the vaccine under the immunisation programme.

The five states with the most vaccines given out are Selangor with 106,660 doses, followed by Perak (81,171 doses), Sarawak (80,879), Sabah (73,125) and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (71,562).

Putrajaya recorded the highest sign-up rate at 89 per cent, followed by Selangor at 45 per cent and the FT of Kuala Lumpur (44 per cent), said Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister.

Sabah has the lowest registration rate at 12 per cent, followed by Kelantan (20 per cent), Pahang and Terengganu (26 per cent each) and Kedah (27 per cent), and focus would be given to these five states to boost the registration rates, he said.

Khairy said 593 vials of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were spoilt because of storage temperature problems – 585 vials during delivery from Pfizer and which have been returned to Pfizer, and eight vials during delivery within the country.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

ASEAN leaders to meet and discuss Myanmar issue

—Malaysia and Brunei have agreed for ASEAN leaders to meet and discuss the development in Myanmar.

In fact, Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah have also tasked their respective ministers and senior officials to undertake necessary preparations for the meeting to be held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“The leaders reaffirmed ASEAN’s readiness to assist Myanmar, including through the good office of the Chairman of ASEAN and the Secretary-General of ASEAN in a positive, peaceful and constructive manner.

“…it remains in ASEAN’s greatest interest to see Myanmar resolve the crisis and regain stability,” according to their joint statement issued at the end of the 23rd Annual Leaders’ Consultation at Istana Nurul Iman here Monday.

Muhyiddin is here on the final day of his two-day official visit to this country.

Brunei is the current chair of ASEAN.

It was reported that Myanmar experienced a coup two months ago when the military wrested power from democratically elected leaders.

Muhyiddin and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also urged all parties to refrain from instigating further violence, and for all sides to immediately exercise utmost restraint and flexibility.

“The leaders called on all parties concerned to seek a peaceful solution and pursue constructive dialogue, reconciliation and quickly return to normalcy in accordance with the will and interest of the people of Myanmar and for the greater peace, security and stability of the region,” the statement said.

Both leaders also agreed to advance ASEAN’s proactive and outward-looking approach in the conduct of its external relations based on shared interests, constructive engagements and mutual benefits.

They also agreed to hold the next leaders’ consultation in Malaysia next year.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Fiber optic network by TNB-Allo Technology boosts internet access in Melaka

The fiber optic network by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) through its subsidiary company Allo Technology Sdn Bhd (Allo) has succeeded in boosting the potential of the high speed broadband internet services (HSBB) up to 1Gbps in the state.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said as the first state to get the infrastructure, it served as the best platform for Melaka in its effort to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas with faster and more reliable services.

“This success is a follow-up to the broadband infrastructure network pilot project in Jasin that was started in January 2019, connecting 1,100 homes.

“The areas that recently benefit from this infrastructure are Alor Gajah, involving (8,500 homes), Malim Jaya (4,400), Ayer Keroh (500) and Jasin (2,500), with a total of 17,000 homes,” he told reporters after the state-level opening of the Allo Technology Broadband Optic Fiber Infrastructure Network in support of the National Digital Network Plan (JENDELA) here today. T

It was opened by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali. Also present was TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Ir Baharin Din.

Mahdzir said the fiber optic infrastructure facility enable more residents in Melaka have access to broadband internet, especially in today’s digital world, and at an affordable price.

With the availability of the fiber optic infrastructure, he said, Allo Technology, as a provider of open-access network, has succeeded in expanding the potential of high-speed broadband internet access in Melaka, which is now provided by retail service providers (RSP) such as Maxis, Digi and Celcom.

“We are not competing with TM (Telekom Malaysia), but more to compliment each other. We focus on areas that have no coverage, especially in rural and remote areas.

“This is because we have the capability in terms of infrastructure, as most places in the country already have electricity supply and this, directly, can bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas in the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sulaiman said the internet facility is now the third basic utility that serves as a benchmark to gauge the level of development and progress of a location, after electricity and water supply.

He said it has also become increasingly important since the COVID-19 pandemic when almost all services, such as education, purchase of goods, public transport and food ordering are carried out virtually or online.

“As a result, the demand for internet services has increased dramatically. So the facilities provided by Allo Technology are timely in enabling the people to gain access quickly, efficiently and effectively,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Ongoing data collection to correct perception of Sabah being poorest state – Ongkili

Efforts are being made to correct the perception of Sabah being one of Malaysia’s poorest states, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

As such, Ongkili said data collection was being done by his ministry to get the right inputs for the national database on poverty.

“A group is going to Kampung Gana first before moving to other places to gather data, and any information gathered will be channelled to the government. However, before any development is done, basic infrastructure must first be improved,” he said in a statement, here, today.

Ongkili said Kota Marudu was picked to kickstart the data collection work after it was named as one of the poorest districts in the state.

The programme is aimed at collecting data as well as educating and guiding the local community leaders on how to disseminate information on government aid, especially to reduce the poverty rate.

“Kota Marudu is not the poorest district in Sabah. There have been a lot of development over decades here, and people do feel the progress,” he said.

Ongkili added that in the lowland areas of Kota Marudu, the rural economy was strong.

“The district has more than 20,000 hectares of oil palm, is the second largest padi growing district in Sabah and has some 10,000 hectares of rubber.

“The local economy is stronger than that of other districts,” said Ongkili, who is also the Kota Marudu Member of Parliament.

He, however, added that beyond 10 kilometres from the town centre, the poor reside in numbers as subsistence agriculturists just like in the districts of Pitas, Beluran, Kinabatangan, Kudat, Pensiangan and Keningau.

“Basic infrastructure and modern technology are needed, as well as productive employment for rural youth,” he stressed.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Section C of ECRL back to original alignment

The Section C or the northern alignment of the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) from Mentakab to Port Klang has been reverted to the original alignment as proposed in 2016-2017, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said the Cabinet had, on Sept 2 last year, approved the alignment, and in a meeting on March 31, pushed for immediate implementation of the northern alignment project, which connects Mentakab to Port Klang through Bentong, Gombak and Serendah.

“The implementation of the northern alignment will increase the viability of the ECRL and thus, provide more economic, environmental and social benefits,” he said at a special media conference on ECRL here today.

Wee said the northern alignment, now dubbed the ECRL 3.0 alignment, is estimated to cover a total of 201 kilometres (km) including 32.4 km of deviation compared to the ECRL 2.0 previous alignment of 185.5 km including 41.5 km of deviation.

With the latest changes, Wee said the entire line from Kota Bharu to Port Klang now covers 665 km compared to 640 km previously.

He said the northern alignment will involve the construction of five stations, namely in Temerloh, Bentong, ITT Gombak, Serendah Baru and Jalan Kastam (Port Klang) at the initial stage, and two others in Puncak Alam and Kapar in Selangor have been designated as future stations.

“Temerloh, Bentong, Serendah Baru and Jalan Kastam will be passenger and cargo stations, while the ITT Gombak will be a passenger station,” he said.

Wee said the viability of the northern alignment was enhanced with the incorporation of the Serendah Bypass infrastructure into the entire project, which will serve as a significant relief line for the cargo containing hazardous materials or cement from having to go through the Kuala Lumpur city centre.

“This is also to ensure public safety and solve cargo service congestion faced by KTMB,” he said.

Wee said the cost for the northern alignment for the ECRL 3.0 alignment is now estimated at RM50 billion, including the construction of the Serendah Bypass.

“The federal government is now able to offer a cost-saving infrastructure expenditure by having this ideal proposal to implement two rail project at one price.

“Although the northern alignment of the ECRL project has been reverted to the original alignment, it can still be completed in seven years and be fully operational by 2027,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency