Volume 10.40 | Oct 12

Cell Therapy News 10.40, October 12, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Liver Cells Grown From Patients’ Skin Cells; Treatment of Liver Diseases Possible: Scientists have successfully produced liver cells from patients’ skin cells opening the possibility of treating a wide range of diseases that affect liver function. [Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee]
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Science

Webinar: Feeder-independent growth of hESCs & hiPSCs using TeSR(TM)2
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VIDEO: Introducing TeSR2 medium for feeder-free, animal protein-free culture of human ESCs and iPSCs
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Nanomagnet in “Star-Trek Style” Wand Could Cure Cancer
For reasons scientists do not fully understand, stem cells have an affinity for cancer and are exploiting this property in bone marrow ”mesenchymal” stem cells to deliver the iron oxide particles.
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How Hematopoietic Stem Cell Development Is Regulated
During cell division, whether hematopoietic stem cells will develop into new stem cells or differentiate into other blood cells depends on a chemical process called DNA methylation. [Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin]
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And the Beat Goes On: Scientists Jump-start the Heart by Gene Transfer
Recent research shows that gene therapy may be used to improve an ailing heart’s ability to contract properly. [Universities of Michigan, Ann Arbor]
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Novel Polymer Delivers Genetic Medicine, Allows Tracking
Researchers have developed a new molecule that can travel into cells, deliver genetic cargo, and packs a beacon so scientists can follow its movements in living systems. [Virginia Tech, Blacksburg]
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Research Reveals Unique Properties of Vitro’s Fluorescent Stem Cells
Vitro Diagnostics, Inc. announced completion of a research report concerning its fluorescent stem cells involving transfer of fluorescent to differentiated cells. [Vitro Diagnostics, Inc., Golden]
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Major Improvements Made In Engineering Heart Repair Patches from Stem Cells
Researchers have succeeded in engineering human tissue patches free of some problems that have stymied stem-cell repair for damaged hearts. [University of Washington, Seattle]
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Stem Cells Which “Fool Immune System” May Provide Vaccination for Cancer
By immunizing the host with stem cells, the researchers are able to ‘fool’ the immune system to believe that cancer cells are present and thus to initiate a tumor-combating immune program. [UConn Stem Cell Institute, Farmington]
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Scientists Announce Potential Stem Cell Alternative to Live Animal Testing for Corneal Damage
Initial results using non-animal or “in vitro” tests indicate an excellent correlation between the rates at which drugs pass through ISCO’s lab-grown corneal tissue and rabbit corneal tissue. [International Stem Cell Corporation, Oceanside]
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Enhanced Stem Cells Promote Tissue Regeneration
Engineers have boosted stem cells’ ability to regenerate vascular tissue by equipping them with genes that produce extra growth factors (naturally occurring compounds that stimulate tissue growth). [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge]
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Henry Ford Launches Gene Therapy Study for Parkinson’s Disease
The clinical trial will test whether gene transfer therapy is able to restore better mobility in Parkinson’s patients who have lost responsiveness to drug therapy. [Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, West Bloomfield]
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Living Cell Technology Reports Successful First Implant Of DIABECELL(R) In New Zealand
The first of eight implants of encapsulated porcine cells that produce insulin was carried out under LCT’s clinical protocol for New Zealand. [Living Cell Technologies Limited, Auckland]
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ABSTRACTS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

A Wound-induced Wnt Expression Program Controls Planarian Regeneration Polarity
The Smed-wntP-1 gene is required for regeneration polarity and is expressed at the posterior pole of intact animals in head-versus-tail regeneration polarity. [PNAS]
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Nucleation, Propagation and Cleavage of Target RNAs in Ago Silencing Complexes p754
Here, the crystal structures of ternary complexes of Thermus thermophilus Ago catalytic mutants, a family of proteins providing the slicer activity of the RNA-induced silencing complex, are reported and analyzed. [Nature]
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Policy

Maryland Stem Cell Commission Issues Requests for Applications
The grants to be awarded under these two RFAs will fund basic and translational research with human stem cells of all types, as defined in the Stem Cell Act.
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Stem Cell Feud Goes to Constitutional Court
Currently in Korea, the Constitutional Court hosted a public hearing over whether embryos should be granted, the same legal rights as persons, and whether it would be right to use embryos left from artificial insemination for research purposes.
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Russia Stem Cell Firm Sees Post-IPO Market Cap at $28m
Russia’s Stem Cell Institute said on Wednesday it plans to raise up to 165 million rubles ($5.53 million) in what will be the country’s first initial public offering since the financial crisis erupted last year.
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Business

STEMCELL Technologies Inc. Introduces MethoCult(R) Express for Cord Blood Banks and Transplant Centers
STEMCELL Technologies Inc., announces the launch of MethoCult(R) Express, an innovative methylcellulose-based medium specifically formulated to allow enumeration of total colony-forming cells after only 7 days of culture. With this new medium, reliable information on hematopoietic progenitor cell numbers in cord blood can be obtained much earlier than with standard 14-day assays.
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STEMCELL Technologies Inc. Announces Direct Distribution to Spain
STEMCELL Technologies Inc., a leader in specialty cell culture media, cell separation products and ancillary reagents for life science research, is pleased to announce that they are now selling directly to customers in Spain.
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Cyntellect Establishes European Commercial Operations
Cyntellect, Inc. recently announced the opening of the Company’s European operations with a U.K.-based office.
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Isolagen, Inc. Reorganizes as Fibrocell Science, Inc.
Isolagen, Inc. has reorganized and emerged from bankruptcy as Fibrocell Science, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing regenerative fibroblast cells for aesthetic, medical and scientific applications.
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United States Securities and Exchange Commission Declares Effective Registration Statement for NeoStem’s Acquisition of China Biopharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc.
NeoStem, Inc. announced recently that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has declared effective its Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed with the Commission.
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Endogenous Stem Cells Activators Inc. Provides Grant to LA BioMed to Investigate Long-term Correction of Erectile Dysfunction
Endogenous Stem Cells Activators Inc. announced recently that it will award a $1.3 million grant to Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for pre-clinical studies aimed at activating penile endogenous stem cells with the company’s drug, KRONOS IV.
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Stem Cell Therapy International, Inc. Announces U.S. Patent Awarded for Isolation of Stem Cells for Therapy
Stem Cell Therapy International, Inc. announced that its subsidiary has been awarded a U.S. Patent entitled “Method of Isolating and Culturing Mesenchymal Stem Cell Derived from Cryopreserved Umbilical Cord Blood.”
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Mass. Biotech Firms Urged to Remain Independent
Industry leaders warned that the old model of forming a biotech company, shepherding a drug through development and years of clinical trials, and then selling the company to a pharmaceutical buyer may be played out.
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NIH Grantees Win 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Telomere Research
The three researchers are honored for discovering how telomeres, through the enzyme telomerase, protect chromosomes against degradation.
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NIH

For N.I.H. Chief, Issues of Identity and Culture
Already known for his leadership of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Collins, 59, is settling in after nearly two months on the job but still contends with controversies that follow him.
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NHLBI Awards $170 Million to Fund Stem Cell Research
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $170 million to be paid over seven years to 18 teams of research scientists to develop the high-potential field of stem and progenitor cell tools and therapies.
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CBER

2009 Meeting Materials, Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee
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Regulatory

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Food and Drug Administration Transparency Task Force Meeting, 51161–51163 [E9–23916]
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