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Creating Better Gene-Edited Cell Lines with the FAST-HDR System

About This Webinar

Cell lines are the core of biological research. Scientists need cell lines for drug development, basic biology research, safety testing, and biologic therapeutic production. Since the 1980s, genetic manipulation has allowed researchers to tailor cell lines to the experiment or production purpose. Over time, the requirements for these cell lies have risen. In many cases, the cells require multiple genetic edits and must produce data that passes FDA. Moreover, the current funding environment often requires rapid delivery of these cells so scientists can produce data to support further budget and/or investment. This is particularly acute for knock-in cell lines. Current technologies may take months to complete a cell line, allow a limited number of edits, and often have off-target effects that are not suitable for FDA filings. ExpressCells uses its patented FAST-HDR plasmid--along with CRISPR, to address these problems. The FAST-HDR process can precisely knock-in multiple genes (while supporting other types of genetic modifications), ensure precise placement of these edits, and deliver them months faster than competing technologies.

This webinar will discuss the basis of the FAST-HDR technology and illustrate several uses. The first part is a presentation by Oscar Perez-Leal, MD, the inventor of the technology. Oscar will discuss the problems he faced as a researcher and how FAST-HDR was designed to address them. He will outline the details of the technology, the history of its development, and several examples where he used FAST-HDR. The second part is a conversation with Jon Weidanz, PhD. Jon will outline the challenges he faced at AbeXXa and how he selected a FAST-HDR custom cell line for his project. He'll outline the learnings from using this cell line, some of which were unexpected, but valuable to future development.

By attending this program, attendees will:

  • Understand the current challenges in creating custom gene-edited cell lines

  • Know the technology underlying the FAST-HDR gene-editing system, including its use with CRISPR

  • Be able to describe the advantages of the FAST-HDR system

  • Learn about several case studies using gene-edited cell lines

Featured Presenters
Webinar hosting presenter
Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept., Temple University School of Pharmacy
Dr. Oscar Perez is an Assistant Professor in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of the School of Pharmacy at Temple University. Dr. Perez’s expertise lies in molecular biology, genome editing, and biosensor development for drug discovery. In particular, he is highly experienced in developing cellular models to identify promising compounds for novel targets. He received his medical degree from Universidad del Norte in Colombia in 2002 and did his postdoctoral training in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Temple University (2005 – 2009). He has received research funding from NIH and the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Perez is an inventor on four issued patents, including the FAST-HDR plasmid system used by ExpressCells. Dr. Perez received a Masters in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from the Fox School of Business at Temple University in 2015 and has strong interests in commercializing his academic inventions. Dr. Perez is the co-founder of two startup biotech companies, Recensa Therapeutics, and ExpressCells.
Webinar hosting presenter
Associate Vice President for Research and Professor, College of Nursing and Health Innovation
Jon Weidanz, MPH, Ph.D. is an Associate Vice President for Research and Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Director of Biotechnology and Systems Biology in the Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics at the University of Texas Arlington. Dr. Weidanz has broad experience and interest in biotechnology with particular knowledge and expertise in immunology, immuno-engineering, immunotherapy research and product development. His research has been funded by various agencies including the NIH, over many years to identify tumor-specific peptides presented by the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system for use as potential targets for immunotherapy. As part of this focus, his laboratory developed methods to discover antibodies that recognize specific peptide/HLA complexes that his laboratory has dubbed as T-cell receptor mimicking (TCRm) antibodies. TCRm molecules share the binding selectivity traits of T-cell receptors while retaining the positive attributes of antibodies. TCRms are highly valued as research tools and his group has used them extensively to study antigen presentation in healthy and diseased cells including tumors. Furthermore, his laboratory has been active in research and development of other immunotherapeutic agents including soluble T-cell receptors, and multifunctional/multispecific protein-based molecules. His earlier interests led to the laboratory’s most recent exciting project, the discovery of a TCRm, EXX-1, to Qa-1b/Qdm peptide complex, the ligand for NKG2A/CD94 inhibitory receptor. The NKG2A axis is an immune checkpoint that suppresses the cytolytic function of Natural Killer cells and CD8+ T-cells in the tumor microenvironment. His laboratory has shown that EXX-1 TCRm can enhance anti-tumor immunity in mice. Translation of these recent basic research findings to immunotherapies for treating human cancers is being pursued by his former company, Abexxa Biologics that was acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim (https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.us/press-release/boehringer-ingelheim-acquires-abexxa-biologics-further-expand-its-research-efforts). Additionally, Dr. Weidanz is a seasoned entrepreneur and innovator with more than 25 years of relevant corporate biotechnology accomplishments that include co-founding four biotech companies. Recently, he was elected to the National Academy of Inventors for his outstanding contributions as an innovator and for his efforts to commercialize university technologies.