The Science meets Business café on March 10th was a great success!
The evening started off with a pitch of Max Green, co-founder of start-up Buxenus. Our second speaker was Brigitta Witte who introduced drug target discovery at Charles River Laboratories. And last but not least, Prof. Dr. Pieter Hiemstra, from the Department of Pulmonology of the LUMC presented his research on Airway Epithelial Cells.
Call to Action – Max Green, Buxenus
Buxenus is a start-up founded by Max Green and Jan H Zender, that aims at “unbolting bioscience”, by making a lab in a box. The box is not bigger than one cubic meter and contains all facilities to produce, extract and analyse cells, nucleotides and protein. By doing so, they provide an easy, affordable and safe environment in which everyone could run tests or produce proteins. This opens up opportunities outside the scientific institutions for persons who do not have access to lab space. They want to sell their boxes but also provide a rent service.
BioPartner Update – Brigitta Witte, Charles River Laboratories
Brigitta Witte gave a presentation about Target Discovery and Validation within the Charles River Laboratories. In 2014 Charles River acquired BioFocus, a former division from Galapagos. The target discovery group has delivered novel, validated drug targets in a range of therapeutic areas. They use PhenoFocus™ for small molecule screening to discover new therapeutic effects. They use SilenceSelect® for Adenoviral RNAi screening to discover targets and their validation, and CRISPR to generate cell lines and transgeneric mice. With the acquisition of BioFocus, Charles River is able to provide an ‘End to End’ integrated drug discovery. From the target finding all the way up to the selection of clinical candidates.
Making pigs fly – Prof. Dr. Pieter Hiemstra, LUMC Department of Pulmonology
Prof. Dr. Pieter Hiemstra talked about his research on cultured human airway epithelial cells to study asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The airway epithelial cells that line the airways are the first cells that come into contact with substances that are inhaled, they are considered as a passive barrier against these substances. However these cells also play an active role in inflammation and infections. Prof. Hiemstra build a cell culture system which mimics the epithelium that is lining the airways. This model is considered to be an accurate model for studying the influence of cigarette smoke and diesel emission on these cells. The diesel emission test was executed in collaboration with TNO. The studies performed by prof. Hiemstra may be relevant in understanding the effects of toxic emissions on the lungs, and might provide new insight in the treatment of COPD and Asthma.
Kicking off the evening with the Call to Action will be Max Green of start-up Buxenus, presenting how they will “unbolt bioscience”.
Over the years many people have expressed the importance in becoming literate in the language of life, but the possibilities of actually engaging with life on a molecular level outside of scientific institutions are fairly slim. Laboratory hardware is expensive and clunky, regulations are complicated and change rapidly and the knowledge is cyphered in jargon. Buxenus is working on solving these problems, making biotechnology accessible for every person in the world, in a safe, affordable and educational environment.
The BioPartner Update will be provided by Brigitta Witte from Charles River Laboratories on Discovery and Validation.
By combining proprietary adenoviral technology with complex cellular assays, Charles River’s target discovery group has delivered novel, validated drug targets in a range of therapeutic areas for over 10 years. We examine the effects of introducing shRNAs (SilenceSelect) or full-length cDNAs (FLeXSelect) contained within our libraries of adenoviruses into human primary cells, differentiated stem cells or cell lines. siRNA and miRNA technologies are also available for gene knockdown studies.
Last but not least, Prof. Dr. Pieter S. Hiemstra, from the Department of Pulmonology of the LUMC wiil be Making Pigs Fly. The subject he will touch upon is “Cultured human airway epithelial cells to study asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)”.
The Airway Epithelial Cells (AEC) that line the airways are the first cells to come into contact with substances that are inhaled. Originally, these cells were considered as a passive barrier against such substances, but it is now realized that they play an active role in inflammation and infections.
AEC are thought to play a central role in the development of chronic inflammatory lung diseases such as asthma and COPD. To improve our understanding of their role, we are using air-liquid interface (ALI)-cultures of well-differentiated primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBEC). This cell culture system was developed to best mimic the epithelium that is lining the airways. Since exposures to cigarette smoke and diesel emissions are relevant disease triggers, we developed dedicated exposure models.
[…] studies demonstrate that in vitro CS and DE exposures have effects on AEC that may be relevant for understanding adverse respiratory health effects.
If you want to find out more about these studies at the LUMC, the D&V at Charles Rivers and/or what the guys as Buxenus have in store, please join us next Thursday, March 10th!
||Call to action:
||Discovery and Validation
||Making pigs fly:
||Cultured human airway epithelial cells to study asthma and CPOD
Department of Pulmonology (LUMC)
||Discussion & take-home messages
||Drinks (until 19:00)
The BioPartner Accelerator foyer, BioPartner 1, J.H. Oortweg 21.
The BioPartner Accelerator foyer is open as of 17:00, so feel free to come early and grab a drink before we start. If you can’t make it at 17:30, don’t hesitate to (quietly) drop in later on or during the drinks hour.
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