Volume 10.32 | Aug 17

Cell Therapy News 10.32, August 17, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Scientists Make Multiple Types of White Blood Cells Directly from Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells: Researchers at UW-Madison have transformed embryonic stem cells into progenitors of white blood cells and into six types of mature white blood and immune cells. [University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison]
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Science

VIDEO: An Introduction to a New and Innovative Way of Making Uniform, Size-controlled Embryoid Bodies
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Tumor Suppressor Pulls Double Shift as Reprogramming Watchdog
Salk researchers have uncovered that the tumor suppressor p53, not only stops cells that could become cancerous in their tracks but also controls somatic cell reprogramming. [Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego]
Article

Researcher Discovers Genetic Circuit that Regulates Behavior of Stem Cells
European researchers have discovered that embryonic stem cells are in a state of biochemical repose, static, awaiting a signal that causes them to differentiate is not correct, and that in fact the state of pluripotentiality in stem cells is anything but static. [Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Terrassa]
Article

Technique Enables Efficient Gene Targeting in Human Embryonic Stem Cells
A novel technique allows researchers to efficiently and precisely modify or introduce genes into the genomes of human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. [Whitehead Institute, Cambridge]
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University of Central Florida Scientists Control Living Cells with Light
Researchers have shown for the first time that light energy can gently guide and change the orientation of living cells within lab cultures. [University of Central Florida, Orlando]
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Researchers Unlocking the Healing Promise of Stem Cells Derived from Fat
Fat may carry negative connotations in today’s world, but the stem cells found in fat tissue may prove valuable for their potential to heal wounds. [University of Virginia, Charlottesville]
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Compassionate Use Patients in Spain Treated With Adult Stem Cell Therapy Demonstrate Jaw Bone Regeneration Enabling Dental Implants
Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. recently announced that results from compassionate use treatments using Aastrom’s Bone Repair Cells in patients suffering from severe craniofacial defects. [Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., Ann Arbor]
Article

Gene Therapy Offers Hope Against Inherited Blindness
The phases I trial included three patients with a form of Leber congenital amaurosis, caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene, and were injected with healthy copies of the RPE65 gene under the retina of their eyes. [University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh]
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Gene Therapy Trial Succeeds in Spurring Production of a Protective Protein
In the clinical trial, three patients who received injections of a harmless virus containing copies of a correct gene for alpha-1 protein in their upper arms were able to produce trace amounts of alpha-1 antitrypsin for up to one year; a defect that can lead to fatal lung and liver diseases. [University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester]
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Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. Announces Enrollment of First Patient in the modified REGENESIS Phase IIb Stroke Trial
Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. recently began enrollment for its modified REGENESIS trial in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase IIb clinical trial for SCT’s lead program, NTx(R)-265, for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. [Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp., Calgary]
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Patients Begin Enrolling into Investigator-Sponsored Phase 2 Trial of Antigenics’ Oncophage(R) Cancer Vaccine in Newly Diagnosed Glioma
Antigenics Inc. recently announced that they have begun enrolling patients into a Phase 2 clinical trial of Oncophage for newly diagnosed glioma patients. [Antigenics Inc., Lexington]
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ABSTRACTS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

In vitro Differentiation of Retinal Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells by Small-molecule Induction
This study reports a defined culture method using low-molecular-mass compounds that induce differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells into retinal progenitors, retinal pigment epithelium cells and photoreceptors. [Journal of Cell Science]
Article

c-MycERTAM Transgene Silencing in a Genetically Modified Human Neural Stem Cell Line Implanted into MCAo Rodent Brain
In this study, the researchers investigated the fate of this transgene following growth arrest (EGF, bFGF and 4-OHT withdrawal) in vitro and following intracerebral implantation into a mid-cerebral artery occluded rat brain. [BMC Neuroscience]
Article

Insulin-Secreting Cells from Human Eyelid-Derived Stem Cells Alleviate Type I Diabetes in Immunocompetent Mice
In this study, the researchers isolated neural crest-like stem cells from the human eyelid fat and examined their therapeutic potentials for diabetes. [Stem Cells]
Article

BIO5192, a Small Molecule Inhibitor of VLA-4, Mobilizes Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells
This paper shows that interruption of the VCAM-1/VLA-4 axis with a small molecule inhibitor of VLA-4, BIO5192, results in a 30-fold increase in mobilization of murine hematopoietic stem and progenitors over basal levels. [Blood]
Article

Pluripotency Can be Rapidly and Efficiently Induced in Human Amniotic Fluid-derived Cells
The researchers here report for the first time rapid and efficient generation of iPS cells from human amniotic fluid-derived cells via ectopic expression of four human factors: OCT4/SOX2/KLF4/C-MYC. [Human Molecular Genetics Advance]
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Policy

Legislature to Duke It Out Over Stem Cell Regulations
Opponents of embryonic stem cell research in Michigan have mobilized to push for proposals requiring in-vitro fertilization patients to sign a consent form that addresses issues such as potential excess embryos, costs to store leftover embryos and a statement on the prohibition of accepting anything valuable in exchange for frozen embryos.
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Business

Connexon Creative Launches Cord Blood News
Cord Blood News is a weekly e-newsletter that keeps members of the cord blood community informed by providing the latest news from all areas of the field, including its science, research, policy, and business.
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Cryo-Cell Announces Strategic Partnership With S-Evans Biosciences, Inc.
Cryo-Cell International, Inc. recently announced that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with S-Evans Biosciences, Inc. to market and manufacture proprietary C`elle(SM) menstrual stem cell technology. [Cryo-Cell International, Inc., Oldsmar]
Article

Salk Institute President to Join Stem Cell Board
Salk Institute President William Brody was appointed yesterday by Lt. Gov. John Garamendi to the oversight board for the state’s stem cell institute. [Salk Institute, San Diego]
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Biotechnology Industry is Expected to Rebound
Investors accurately forecasted the rebound of the biotechnology industry, but underestimated the degree to which positive clinical trial data would drive the sector higher, according to recent findings.
Article

NIH

Senate Confirms New NIH Director
The Senate on Friday confirmed Dr. Francis Collins, a scientist who helped unravel the human genetic code, as director of the National Institutes of Health.
Article

Pre-Application Workshop for RFA-HD-09-008 Cooperative Research Partnerships to Promote Workforce Diversity in the Reproductive Sciences (U01) (NOT-HD-09-021)
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Immunobiology of Xenotransplantation (U01, U19) (RFA-AI-09-035)
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CBER

2009 Meeting Materials, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee 
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Regulatory

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Directed Stem Cell Differentiation for Cell-Based Therapies for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases (R21) (PA-09-248)
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Directed Stem Cell Differentiation for Cell-Based Therapies for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases (SBIR [R43/R44]) (PA-09-249)
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Directed Stem Cell Differentiation for Cell-Based Therapies for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases (STTR [R41/R42]) (PA-09-250)
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