ISCT 2024

We are proud to sponsor International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy 2024. May 28 – June 1, 2024 | Vancouver, Canada Attending Robert McCarthy President & Co-Founder Aaron Craig Director of Quality Assurance Andrew Breite Director of Manufacturing Science & Technology Adam Imiolek Sales Global Showcase Presentation Bob McCarthy will be speaking at ISCT

Are you Tired of Collagenase Lot Qualification? Try This.

Robert McCarthy When you are down to the last few bottles of your current lot of traditional crude or enriched collagenase, do you feel like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” since you know that sooner than later, you must repeat the process to qualify a new lot of collagenase. You will have to make a

Open Science Initiative at VitaCyte

Robert McCarthy The results from a study, funded by the Center for Open Science and ScienceExchange, that aimed to evaluate the replicability of published results in cancer biology, have brought to light a significant issue in life science research.(1) The study, spanning over eight years, attempted to replicate results from 193 experiments described in 53

What’s Your Collagenase Paradigm?

Robert McCarthy Paradigm is a useful but often overused concept. Thomas Kuhn introduced the term paradigm in his 1963 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.(1) The Oxford English dictionary defines paradigm as a philosophical worldview that “underlies the theories and methodology of science in a particular period of history.” A paradigm shift is a “major

DE Collagenase is Now PD Collagenase

The DE Collagenase product line will be discontinued and replaced with two Purified Define (PD) Collagenase formulation products, PD Collagenase 100 (Cat # 011-3010) and PD Collagenase 800 (Cat # 011-3020). The switch will take effect March 1, 2024. The new PD Collagenase products, PD Collagenase 100 and PD Collagenase 800 will have the same

The Best Functional Measure of Collagenase Activity

The importance of measuring Clostridium histolyticum collagenases’ collagen degradation activity is illustrated by the “enzyme problem” that arose before beginning an NIH-funded, multi-million dollar clinical trial to assess the clinical efficacy of human islet transplantation to manage adult type 1 diabetic patients. C. histolyticum collagenase has been used since the 1960s as the primary enzyme

Meet Aaron Craig, the new Director of Quality Assurance

Aaron Craig is the new Director of Quality Assurance at VitaCyte, effective January 8, 2024. Aaron has over 20 years of experience managing and leading Eli Lilly’s, CBRE Workplace Solutions’, and MilliporeSigma’s quality assurance departments. Aaron’s expertise reflects VitaCyte’s ongoing commitment to setting the highest standards for manufacturing collagenase and protease enzymes as ancillary materials

Development of the First Version of Liberase™ HI Purified Enzyme Blend 

Most development projects rarely follow a straight line from concept to product launch. The story of the Liberase™ HI Purified Enzyme Blend is no exception; it’s a tale of starts, stops, and unexpected opportunities that breathe life back into a shelved project. The project was re-invigorated when Camillo Ricordi visited Boehringer Mannheim in 1992 to

Clostridial histolyticum Collagenase Caught in a Time Warp?

scientist at a lab bench

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a time warp as “an anomaly, discontinuity, or submission held to occur in the progress of time.” How does this concept apply to life science research or the biotech industry? Two words succinctly summarize one pervasive time warp in life sciences: “lot testing.” Lot-testing time is likely performed for the following

Reflections after 20 Years at VitaCyte

Francis Dwulet and I co-founded VitaCyte 20 years ago (17 September 2003) to continue the development of improved tissue dissociation enzymes for cell isolation. The key roles we played in developing the Liberase Purified Enzyme Blend product line at Boehringer Mannheim Biochemicals’ (BMB) R&D facility in Indianapolis from 1993 to 1998 preordained the formation of

VitaCyte is 20 years old!

Happy Birthday, VitaCyte! VitaCyte is celebrating its 20 year anniversary! Thank you to everyone who has participated in this 20 year journey to improve the science behind enzyme-mediated cell isolation. We thank all of our customers, past, present, and future, who continue to help make all this possible. Each Newsletter published during the Anniversary Year

IPITA IXA CTRMS Joint Congress 2023

Join VitaCyte at The International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (IPITA), the International Xenotransplantation Association (IXA), and the Cell Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Society (CTRMS), 2023 Joint Congress this fall. October 26 – 29, 2023 | San Diego, CA, USA Sponsored Symposia VitaCyte is sponsoring a symposium at the joint congress. Join us in this

Recombinant vs Natural Collagenase, a Future Entry into the Human Islet Yield Table

The development of the Liberase™ HI Purified Enzyme Blend product by an R&D team that included VitaCyte’s (VC’s) co-founders led to the company’s keen interest in optimizing the enzyme composition and dose used for human islet isolation. Several years ago, VC published a technical poster summarizing laboratory results that compared the performance of commercial collagenase-protease

Occam’s Razor Guides the Mechanistic Model of Tissue Dissociation

Occam’s razor is a useful mental model to develop hypotheses to untangle complex problems. It can be summarized as follows: “Other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones.” In 2011, McCarthy et al. proposed a hypothetical model of tissue dissociation that focused on how the synergistic interaction of collagenase and

GMP Grade BP Protease, a Dispase™ Equivalent Enzyme: Facts and Fiction

In 1975, Godo Shusei manufactured a purified bacterial protease from Bacillus polymyxa (now reclassified and renamed as Paneibacillus polymyxa), trademarked Dispase™, to use in place of bovine or porcine trypsin for harvesting cells from culture.(1) Dispase is an animal-origin-free (AOF – no animal components used in fermentation or during purification process) protease less aggressive than

Goldilocks Zone: Hospitable Conditions for Cell Isolation

Astronomers search for life on other planets coined the phrase the “Goldilocks Zone” to describe the ideal conditions that will support life. The “life supporting” planet cannot be too close or too far away from the sun of its solar system. It must have temperate zones that allows liquid water to exist and have an

Is There a Difference in Neutral Proteases for Cell Isolation?

The selection and dose of neutral protease used for cell isolation is the critical factor that controls the outcome from a cell isolation procedure if and only if there is an excess of collagenase collagen degrading activity in the enzyme mixture. The primary function of collagenase is to strip a sufficient number of tropocollagen molecules

Replace Liberase™ with VitaCyte Enzymes

The original Liberase™ Purified Enzyme Blend product line was developed, manufactured, and sold in the U.S. in December 1994, by Boehringer Mannheim Biochemicals in Indianapolis. In 1995, the Liberase product was sold worldwide. The acquisition of Boehringer Manheim by Roche in 1998 and the subsequent transfer of the Liberase manufacturing to Germany in 2007, led

VitaCyte Collagenases Backorder? No Way!

A primary concern for any operations or quality assurance manager who oversees a commercial or clinical cell manufacturing process is to tightly control the reagents used to perform critical process parameter steps. Clostridial histolyticum collagenases demand this oversight since the quality and consistency of these enzymes directly impact the reproducibility of cell isolation/recovery methods. However, with only

Are Your Cell Isolation Enzymes Under Control?

“Control” is the watchword commonly used to describe a robust manufacturing process. The Clostridium histolyticum collagenase enzymes used for cell isolation are critical process parameters for cell manufacturing. Control of these enzymes can be challenging because their consistency depends on the manufacturing process used to generate these products. Crude collagenase products were first sold in