Volume 10.04 | Feb 9

Cell Therapy News 10.04, February 9, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Damaged Mice Spines Improved with iPS Cells: A team of researchers at Keio University has succeeded in improving spinal cord damage in mice by transplanting into them neural stem cells produced with human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Stem Cells Used to Reverse Paralysis in Animals: A new study has found that transplantation of ependymal stem cells, reverses paralysis associated with spinal cord injuries in laboratory tests.


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Japanese Stem Cell Scientist Turn Stem Cells into Platelets
A Japanese research team headed by University of Tokyo Professor Hiromitsu Nakauchi announced this week that they had turned human stem cells into platelets.

Don’t Go Changing: New Chemical Keeps Stem Cells Young
Scientists at the Universities of Bath and Leeds have discovered a chemical that stops stem cells from turning into other cell types, allowing researchers to use these cells to develop new medical treatments more easily.

Cloned Human Embryos Successfully Reprogrammed Using Human, But Not Animal Eggs
The research published recently demonstrates that although human-to-human clones and human-to-animal clones appear similar, the pattern of reprogramming of the donor human cell is dramatically different.

University of Minnesota Researchers Find Master Gene Behind Blood Vessel Development
Using genetically engineered mice, researchers were able to identify a protein, Nkx2-5, which activates a certain gene, and in turn, determines the fate of a group of cells in a developing embryo.

Australian First for Melbourne Stem Cell Scientists
Melbourne scientists have created Australia’s first induced pluripotent stem cell lines.

UC San Diego Engineers Develop Novel Method for Accelerated Bone Growth
Engineers at the University of California at San Diego have come up with a way to help accelerate bone growth through the use of nanotubes and stem cells.

‘Sister’ Factors Promote Survival of Blood-system Stem Cells
Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine demonstrate that two specific “sister” genes that control transcription play often overlapping roles in maintaining this pool of hematopoietic or blood cell-forming stem cells.

Stem Cells in Hair Follicles Point to General Model of Organ Regeneration
New research from Rockefeller University reveals that a structure at the base of each strand of hair, the hair follicle, uses a two-step mechanism to activate its stem cells and order them to divide.

Stem Cell Transplants Show Promise for Multiple Sclerosis
Researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine appear to have reversed the neurological dysfunction of early-stage multiple sclerosis patients by transplanting their own immune stem cells into their bodies.

Cell-building Discovery Could Reduce Need for Some Animal Research
Brown University biomedical engineers, using a 3-D Petri dish they invented, have successfully built complex-shaped microtissues by assembling small building blocks of living cell clusters.

Potential New Herpes Therapy Studied
A new therapy being developed at the University of Florida employs a gene-targeting approach using a specially designed RNA enzyme to inhibit strains of the herpes simplex virus.

International Stem Cell Corporation Begins Pre-Clinical Trials on Human Corneal Epithelial Cells
International Stem Cell Corporation is planning pre-clinical trials aimed at applying its laboratory-grown human corneal epithelial cells to improve photorefractive keratectomy, a form of corrective laser eye surgery.

First Patient Treated in Adipose Stem & Regenerative Cell Study for Stress Urinary Incontinence
Cytori recently announced that the first patient was enrolled in an investigator-initiated safety and feasibility study using adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells to treat stress urinary incontinence.


Oct4-Induced Pluripotency in Adult Neural Stem Cells
In this report, the researchers show that only exogenous expression of the germline-specific transcription factor Oct4 is sufficient to generate pluripotent stem cells from adult mouse NSCs.

The Influence of Three-dimensional Nanofibrous Scaffolds on the Osteogenic Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells
In this study, the researchers examine the effects of nanofibrous architecture and biochemical cues on the osteogenic differentiation of embryonic stem cells compared to the more traditional architecture without the nanofibrous features in two dimensions (thin matrix or flat films) and three dimensions (scaffolds) in vitro.

The OP9-DL1 System: Generation of T-Lymphocytes from Embryonic or Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Vitro
This paper describes an approach providing a simple, versatile, and efficient culture system that allows for the commitment, differentiation, and proliferation of T-lineage cells from different sources of stem cells.

Gene Therapy for Bladder Overactivity and Nociception with Herpes Simplex Virus Vectors Expressing Preproenkephalin
The researchers studied the effect of targeted and localized expression of enkephalin in afferent nerves that innervate the bladder by gene transfer using replication-defective herpes simplex virus vectors in a rat model of bladder hyperactivity and pain.

Clinical Responses to Gene Therapy in Joints of Two Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis
This paper describes two subjects with rheumatoid arthritis that received ex vivo, intra-articular delivery of human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) cDNA.


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Stem Cell Board Awards, then Delays New Grants
The governing board of the California stem cell agency tentatively approved $58 million in new grants Friday, but with the nation in recession and the bond market stagnant, board members decided to hold up the money and reassess the situation in March.

Who is Plan B for HHS?
Daschle had legislative acumen, Washington connections and White House clout – a unique blend that made proponents of universal coverage so optimistic about passing legislation this year, and now so worried that goal is at risk.

Beware a Scottish Stem Cell Brain Drain
America’s new science policy could hit one area considered key to Scotland’s future prosperity.


Special Committee of Genentech Board of Directors Responds to Roche’s Announced Intention to Commence a Tender Offer
The special committee of the Board of Directors of Genentech, Inc. recently urged shareholders to take no action at this time with respect to the announcement by Roche that it intends to commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Genentech not owned by Roche for $86.50 per share.

Millipore Expands Cell Biology Offering With Acquisition of Guava Technologies
Millipore Corporation recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Guava Technologies, a provider of easy-to-use, bench top cell analysis systems.

Pluristem Therapeutics Announces US $1,200,000 Restricted Share Purchase
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. recently announced that on January 29, 2009, the Company entered into definitive agreements to sell restricted common stock and warrants for aggregate gross proceeds of $1,200,000.


Salary Limitation on AHRQ Grants, Cooperative Agreements and Contracts Under the Current Continuing Resolution (NOT-HS-09-004)


2008 Biological Device Application Approvals – Update

2008 Biological License Application Approvals – Update

2008 Biological License Application Supplement Noteworthy Approvals – Update

Current Licensed Establishments and Products



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