Volume 10.39 | Oct 5

Cell Therapy News 10.39, October 5, 2009.
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Umbilical Cord Blood as a Readily Available Source for Off-the-shelf, Patient-specific Stem Cells: Umbilical cord blood cells can successfully be reprogrammed to function like embryonic stem cells, setting the basis for the creation of a comprehensive bank of tissue-matched, cord blood-derived induced pluripotent stem cells for off-the-shelf applications. [Salk Institute, La Jolla]
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Science

Complimentary Webinar: Defined, Serum-Free Culture of MSCs using MesenCult(R)-ACF Medium
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Cells in Developing Tissue Consider Their Signaling Exposure History to Determine Location
Researchers have found that cells cannot adopt multiple patterns of gene expression solely by measuring the local concentration of a morphogen. [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena]
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What Makes the Same Type of Cells Different?
A research team has managed to decipher a well-known phenomenon of why cells of the same type can react differently and what the reason for this is. [ETH Zurich, Zurich]
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Stem Cell Success Points to Way to Regenerate Parathyroid Glands
The scientists in this study were able to induce embryonic stem cells to differentiate into parathyroid cells that produced a hormone essential to maintaining bone density. [University of Michigan, Ann Arbor]
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Improving Stem Cell Techniques Using Protein Found In Moss
Researchers describe an ancient mechanism that alters the way DNA organizes inside the cell nucleus, which in turn, affects gene expression. [Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv]
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Stem Cells Point to Space Illness
Stem cells exposed to microgravity express different proteins than those grown in normal gravity, say Australian researchers. [University of New South Wales, Sydney]
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Scientists Discover Clues to What Makes Human Muscle Age
By manipulating a recently identified critical biochemical pathway, the researchers were able to turn back the clock on old human muscle, restoring its ability to repair and rebuild itself. [University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley]
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Cells Derived From Human Embryonic Stem Cells Reverse Retinal Degeneration
A new study reports that transplanted pigment-containing visual cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) successfully preserved structure and function of the specialized light-sensitive lining of the eye (known as the retina) in an animal model of retinal degeneration. [Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem]
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Cardiac Stem Cell Trial Seeks to Treat Some Heart Attack Patients
Researchers have begun enrollment for an early-stage clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an adult stem cell therapy for patients who have just experienced their first acute myocardial infarction. [University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco]
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Excellent Stem Cell Mobilization and Safety Profile for TG-0054
TaiGen Biotechnology Co., Ltd. announced today that in a phase 1 study in healthy volunteers TG-0054, a chemokine receptor CXCR4 antagonist, was well tolerated and rapidly mobilized stem cells and endothelial progenitor cells from bone marrow into peripheral blood. [TaiGen Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Taipei]
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ABSTRACTS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Human Cord Blood Using OCT4 and SOX2
In this study, the reprogramming of cord blood cells to pluripotency by retroviral transduction of four (OSKM), three (OSK), and as few as two (OS) transcription factors, without the need for additional chemical compounds are described. [Cell Stem Cell]
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JAK-STAT Signal Inhibition Regulates Competition in the Drosophila Testis Stem Cell Niche
In the Drosophila testis, Janus kinase–signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling is directly required for maintenance of the resident germline and somatic stem cells. [Science]
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Cardiomyocyte Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
In the present study, the researchers aimed to characterize the cardiomyocyte differentiation potential of hiPS cells and to study the molecular, structural, and functional properties of the generated hiPS-derived cardiomyocytes. [Circulation]
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Induction of Stem Cell Gene Expression in Adult Human Fibroblasts without Transgenes
This study suggest that it is possible to induce and manipulate endogenous expression of stem cell genes in somatic cells without genetic manipulation, but this short-term induction may not be sufficient for acquisition of true pluripotency. [Cloning Stem Cells]
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Policy

Obama Announces $5 Billion for New Medical Research
President Barack Obama announced a plan on Wednesday to spend $5 billion on medical and scientific research, medical supplies and upgrading laboratory capacity, which he said would create tens of thousands of new jobs.
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Business

RXi Pharmaceuticals Obtains Direct Ownership of Previously Licensed RNAi Delivery Intellectual Property
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation recently announced that it has recently acquired direct ownership of technology for which it had previously exercised its option to exclusively license from Advirna LLC.
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Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund invests in RealBio Technology
The Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund has announced RealBio Technology Inc. as the most recent addition to its portfolio.
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$16.8 Million Grant Awarded to Develop Platelet Recovery Treatments
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $16.8 million, seven-year grant to launch a bicoastal research partnership with an initial focus on a life-threatening complication of stem-cell transplantation called thrombocytopenia.
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Scientists Abandon Plan to Develop Hybrid Stem Cells After Funding Dries Up
Every one of the three projects to develop embryonic stem cells from cloned embryos created by fusing human cells with animal eggs has now been abandoned, after publicly-funded research councils refused to back the studies.
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Stem Cell Pioneers Among Nobel Prize Candidates
Two Canadian scientists whose discovery of stem cells has paved the way for controversial research could be candidates for the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine.
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Stem Cell Expert Accepts Lasker Award
Researcher Shinya Yamanaka formally received the 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discoveries concerning nuclear reprogramming and stem cells at a ceremony Friday in New York.
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NIH

Correction to Required Budget Component for the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA): R15, PA-06-042 (NOT-OD-09-154)
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Extension of Modified Application Submission, Referral and Review for Reviewers with Recent Substantial Service (NOT-OD-09-155)
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CBER

September 9, 2009: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement Presentations
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2009 Meeting Materials of the Blood Products Advisory Committee
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Regulatory

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

November 16-17, 2009 Blood Products Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement
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FDA Issues Strategic Plan for Risk Communication
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued its Strategic Plan for Risk Communication, which outlines the agency’s efforts to disseminate more meaningful public health information.
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THERAPEUTICS GOODS ADMINISTRATION (Australia)

Compliance with Current Standards Applicable to Haematopoietic Progenitor Cells
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Presentations About the Regulation of Blood and Tissues
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