Volume 10.34 | Aug 31

Cell Therapy News 10.34, August 31, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

One Factor is Sufficient – Even in Human Cells: After successful experiments with murine cells, German researchers have now reprogrammed human somatic cells with a single factor. [Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Munster]
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Science

Cord Blood Proficiency Testing: Standardize your Hematopoietic Colony-forming Cell (CFC) Assays with the PT Program.
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Wisconsin Team Grows Retina Cells from Skin-derived Stem Cells
A team of scientists has successfully grown multiple types of retina cells from two types of stem cells — suggesting a future in which damaged retinas could be repaired by cells grown from the patient’s own skin. [University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison]
Article

Finnish Scientists Discover Nerve Growth Factor with Possible Therapeutic Potential in Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers report that their latest results show a certain growth factor can be used to halt the progress of damage brought on by a nerve poison and possibly even restore the function of damaged cells. [Academy of Finland, Helsinki]
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‘Glow in the dark’ Red Blood Cells Made from Human Stem Cells
Victorian stem cell scientists from Monash University have modified a human embryonic stem cell line to glow red when the stem cells become red blood cells. [Monash University, Victoria]
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Improvement of Liver Stem Cell Engraftment by Protein Delivery
European researchers have engineered a chimeric protein that increases cell survival, migration and proliferation to improve stem cell engraftment. [INSERM, Paris]
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BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Secures Funding to Reach Clinical Trials for ALS
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced recently that the company has secured the funding required to complete pre-clinical trials underway for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, New York]
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Scientists Develop Gene Therapy Method to Prevent Some Inherited Diseases
Researchers believe they have developed one of the first forms of genetic therapy – a therapy aimed at preventing serious diseases in unborn children through mutated DNA in cell mitochondria. [Oregon Health and Science University, Portland]
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ABSTRACTS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Repopulation Efficiencies of Adult Hepatocytes, Fetal Liver Progenitor Cells, and Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Hepatic Cells in Albumin-Promoter-Enhancer Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Mice
This study explores the relative capacity of fetal liver progenitor cell suspensions and hepatic precursor cells derived from embryonic stem cells to engraft and repopulate a recipient liver compared with adult hepatocytes. [The American Journal of Pathology]
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Regeneration of Intestinal Stem/Progenitor Cells Following Doxorubicin Treatment of Mice
Here, the researchers investigated the factors involved with the rapid turnover of cells fed by a hierarchy of transit amplifying and stem/progenitor cells destined to give rise to the four differentiated epithelial lineages of the small intestine. [American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal Liver Physiology]
Article

NFI-A Directs the Fate of Hematopoietic Progenitors to the Erythroid or Granulocytic Lineage and Controls {Beta}-globin and G-CSF Receptor Expression
This paper shows that in normal human hematopoiesis the transcription factor nuclear factor I-A exhibits a marked lineage-specific expression pattern: it is upmodulated in the erythroid lineage while fully suppressed in the granulopoietic series. [Blood]
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Definitive Proof for Direct Reprogramming of Hematopoietic Cells to Pluripotency
This paper shows definitive proof of direct reprogramming of murine hematopoietic cells with no rearranged genes. [Blood]
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Policy

New York Commits $20.4M to Stem Cell Research
Governor David Paterson said $5.4 million would earmarked to recruit research fellows and transition them into research institutions in New York.
Article

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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Geron Comments on FDA Hold on Spinal Cord Injury Trial
Geron Corporation recently provided additional comments on the recent clinical hold on its Spinal Cord Injury Investigational New Drug. [Geron, Menlo Park]
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Mesoblast Limited US Associate Company Angioblast Closes A$10 Million Equity-Based Financing
Mesoblast Limited recently announced that its United States-based associate company Angioblast Systems Inc. has closed a A$10 million equity-based financing from institutional and sophisticated investors. [Mesoblast Limited, Melbourne]
Article

Stem Cell Firm Plans Russia’s 1st Post-crisis Initial Public Offering
Russia’s Stem Cell Institute is seeking to attract some 150 million rubles ($4.75 million) from investors in what would be the country’s first initial public offering in more than a year. [The Stem Cell Institute, Moscow]
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Drug, Biotech Research Spending Hangs Tough
Corporate America’s research spending shrank 4% overall, or $1.9 billion, from the fourth quarter of 2007 through the second quarter of this year, according to data compiled by Capital IQ on 961 U.S. companies. But many health-care companies have boosted their research outlays.
Article

MOLOGEN Obtains US Patent for Cancer Treatment with Cell-based Gene Therapy
The patent office in the USA has decided to grant MOLOGEN AG the patent for cell-based gene therapy to treat cancer. [MOLOGEN, Berlin]
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Indicted Scientist Still Confident of Cloning Authentic Stem Cells
Disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk seems to have returned to his old ways.
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NIH

New Reporting and Assurance Requirements for Institutions Receiving Awards for Training of Graduate Students for Doctoral Degrees (NOT-OD-09-141)
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Two Critical Issues for Recent Submissions of Applications for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) Individual Fellowships References and Designation of Sponsor (NOT-OD-09-144)
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xTrain Expands to Include Use for NIH Institutional Career Development Awards and NLM Training Grants (NOT-OD-09-146)
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2010 NIH Directors New Innovator Award Program (DP2) (RFA-RM-09-011)
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Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54) (RFA-RM-09-019)
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Regulatory

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Guidance for Industry on Formal Dispute Resolution; Appeals Above the Division Level
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Food and Drug Administration Transparency Task Force; Reopening of Comment Period until November 6, 2009
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Office of the Commissioner Reorganization; Statement of Organizations, Functions, and Delegations of Authority
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