Volume 10.43 | Nov 2

Cell Therapy News 10.43, November 2, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Scientists Turn Stem Cells Into Precursors for Sperm, Eggs: Researchers have devised a way to efficiently coax human embryonic stem cells derived from excess IVF embryos to become human germ cells, the precursors of egg and sperm cells, in the laboratory. [Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford]
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Science

Breakthrough in Creating an Abundant New Source of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers have shown that immature, unfertilized human eggs can be used to create “parthenotes” from which human parthenogenetic stem cell lines may be derived. [International Stem Cell Corporation, Oceanside]
Article

New Process for Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Discovered
In a novel approach to the study of embryonic stem cells, researchers have discovered a potential means of controlling differentiation into desired cell types, by demonstrating that sugars play a major role in modulating stem cell differentiation into tissues. [Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston]
Article

Stem Cell Therapy May Offer Hope for Acute Lung Injury
Researchers have shown that adult stem cells from bone marrow can prevent acute lung injury in a mouse model of the disease. [University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago]
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Gene Therapy Repairs Injured Human Donor Lungs
For the first time, scientists have successfully used gene therapy to repair injured human donor lungs, making them potentially suitable for transplantation into patients. [McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Toronto]
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Caltech Researchers Show Efficacy of Gene Therapy in Mouse Models of Huntington’s Disease
Researchers have shown that a highly specific intrabody (an antibody fragment that works against a target inside a cell) is capable of stalling the development of Huntington’s disease in a variety of mouse models. [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena]
Article

Geron and FDA Reach Agreement on Clinical Hold
In discussions with the company, the FDA has advised that it concurs with Geron that positive data from this study and Geron expects the data from this study to enable re-initiation of the clinical trial in the third quarter of 2010. [Geron, Menlo Park]
Article

Children with Congenital Blindness Can See After Gene Therapy
The study used gene therapy that produces light-sensitive pigments to safely improve vision in five children and seven adults with a Leber’s congenital amaurosis. [The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia]
Article

Living Cell Technologies Updates Progress with Diabetes Clinical Trial
Living Cell Technologies recently reported that the Phase I/IIa clinical trial in Russia has continued to show positive results with the company’s encapsulated pig insulin producing cells for type 1 diabetes. [Living Cell Technologies Limited, Auckland]
Article

Heart Disease and Cellular Therapy: Start of Phase III Clinical Trial “PERFECT” Using Autologous CD133+ Bone Marrow Stem Cells
A recent trial aims at determining whether intramyocardial injection of autologous CD133+ bone marrow stem cells improves heart function in addition to coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease and reduced pumping function. [Miltenyi Biotec, Bergisch Gladbach]
Article

ABSTRACTS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Non Cell-Autonomous Reprogramming of Adult Ocular Progenitors: Generation of Pluripotent Stem Cells Without Exogenous Transcription Factors
This study describes an alternative strategy of reprogramming somatic progenitors entirely through the recruitment of endogenous genes without the introduction of genetic materials or exogenous factors. [Stem Cells]
Article

Tbx1 Regulates Proliferation and Differentiation of Multipotent Heart Progenitors
Clonal analysis of Tbx1-expressing cells and loss and gain of function models, in vivo and in vitro, was used to define the role of Tbx1 in cardiac progenitors cells. [Circ Res]
Article

Policy

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Stem Cell Rule
A judge on Tuesday dismissed a Christian adoption agency’s challenge to Obama administration regulations expanding stem cell research.
Article

CIRM, the UK and Canada Award more than $250 Million to Accelerate the Pace of Bringing Stem Cell Therapies to the Clinic
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state stem cell agency, and two international partners awarded more than $250 million to 14 multidisciplinary teams of researchers in California, the UK and Canada to develop stem cell-based therapies for 11 diseases.
Article

Ontario Targets $25 Million for Stem Cell Research
The Ontario government will announce $25 million for stem cell research as part of an initiative to encourage collaboration among scientists across the province and around the world.
Article

Risks to Personalized Medicine Seen in U.S. Reform
The federal government’s push to control health costs through comparative effectiveness research could threaten strides in personalized medicine.
Article

Michigan Panel to Discuss Stem Cell Research Bills
State lawmakers have planned a hearing on proposals that would set up penalties for violations and require reports related to stem cell research in Michigan.
Article

Stem Cell Research Petition to Circulate to Push for a Vote
A petition, expected to begin circulating in South Dakota this week, will give voters in the 2010 election the chance to overturn a state ban on embryonic stem cell research.
Article

Business

Alnylam Grants KOKEN License to Kreutzer-Limmer Patents for the RNA Interference (RNAi) Research Products Market
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and KOKEN Co., Ltd., announced recently that Alnylam has granted KOKEN a non-exclusive worldwide license to manufacture and provide RNAi research products and services under the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family.
Article

NeoStem Acquires China Biopharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc.; Obtains Controlling Interest in Profitable Leading Chinese Pharmaceutical Company
The acquisition was completed following the approval of shareholders that was obtained at a Special Meeting of Shareholders held recently.
Article

Shorenstein, SKS Near $1B Project
Shorenstein Properties and SKS Investments have a preliminary agreement with the city of South San Francisco to build 2.3 million square feet of waterfront biotech research and development space at Oyster Point.
Article

NIH

Recovery Act Funds Expand Studies of Stem Cell Biology
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, is using $5.4 million of Recovery Act funds to accelerate basic studies of induced pluripotent stem cells.
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Until Further Notice, Only Papers Written in Latin Script will be Collected via the NIH Manuscript Submission System for the NIH Public Access Policy (NOT-OD-10-009)
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Electronic Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (eSNAP) Error in Report Image (NOT-OD-10-010)
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CBER

Public Workshop: Emerging Arboviruses: Risk Assessment for Blood, Cell, Tissue and Organ Safety
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Regulatory

THERAPEUTICS GOODS ADMINISTRATION (Australia)

Authorization to Cancel a Product from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods
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