Volume 10.48 | Dec 7

Cell Therapy News 10.48, December 7, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Scientists Rescue Visual Function in Rats Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: In experiments spearheaded by University College London’s Amanda Carr, the team found that by surgically inserting stem cell-derived retinal pigmented epithelium into the retinas of the rats before photoreceptor degeneration, vision was retained. [University College London, London]
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Science

Growing Back a Lost Limb
An Israeli researcher has developed a biologically active ‘scaffolding’ of soluble fibers which could be used to regenerate lost or damaged bone and tissue. [Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv]
Article

Muscle Cell Infusion Shown to Strengthen Sphincters in Animals
A new study shows that muscle cells grown in the lab can restore an intestine’s ability to squeeze shut properly. The work, performed in dogs and rats, might ultimately help treat patients with conditions such as gastric reflux and fecal incontinence. [Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford]
Article

Study Results Suggests Adult Stem Cells May Help Repair Hearts Damaged by Heart Attack
Results from the Phase I study show stem cells from donor bone marrow appear to help heart attack patients recover better by growing new blood vessels to bring more oxygen to the heart. [Rush University Medical Center, Chicago]
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Kiadis Pharma Announces Enrollment of First Patients in a Multinational Registration Study for ATIR™
The study is designed to show reduction in transplant related mortality after one year following an allogeneic stem cell transplantation with a mismatched (haplo-identical) donor in blood cancer patients eligible for an allogeneic stem cell transplantation but without having a matched donor available. [Kiadis Pharma, Amsterdam]
Article

Clinical Trials Launched for Treating Most Aggressive Brain Tumour with Personalised Cell Vaccines
The University of Navarra Hospital has launched a series of clinical trials in order to assess the efficacy of an immunotherapy treatment involving the application of personalised vaccines designed to combat glioblastomas, one of the most aggressive and frequent malignant tumours. [University of Navarra Hospital, Pamplona]
Article

New Technique Could Revolutionize Stem Cell Transplants
Montreal researchers have developed a new approach that preserves the cells that fight infection and leukemia while eliminating the cells that reject donor cells. [Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, Montreal]
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Neurologix Completes All Surgical Procedures in Its Clinical Trial for Parkinson’s Disease
Neurologix, Inc. announced the completion of all planned surgeries in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of the company’s gene transfer approach to the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease. [Neurologix, Inc., Fort Lee]
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PUBLICATIONS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Cyclin E-dependent Protein Kinase Activity Regulates Niche Retention of Ovarian Follicle Stem Cells
Researchers identified a hypomorphic cyclin E allele WX that strongly impairs the maintenance of follicle stem cells in the Drosophila ovary but does not reduce follicle cell proliferation or germline stem cell maintenance. [PNAS]
Article

SKPs Derive from Hair Follicle Precursors and Exhibit Properties of Adult Dermal Stem Cells
This study investigated whether skin-derived precursors might fulfill the role for an adult dermal stem cell. [Cell Stem Cell]
Article

Electrophysiological Properties of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Previously, researchers reported that several specialized ion channels are functionally expressed in hESCs. Using transcriptomic analyses as a guide, TEA-sensitive (IC50 = 3.3 ± 2.7 mM) delayed rectifier K+ currents in 105 of 110 single iPSCs (15.4 ± 0.9 pF) was observed. [Am J Physiol Cell Physiol]
Article

Policy

Obama Taps Emory’s Wagner for Bioethical Advisory Post
The White House recently announced the formation of a new Presidential Commission for the Study Bioethical Issues and tapped Emory University President James W. Wagner as its vice chairman.
Article

Bill Would Ban Public Money for Stem Cell Research in Missouri
Missouri would ban the use of public dollars for stem cell research through a constitutional amendment proposed in legislation filed last week.
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Business

Clarient Granted Exclusive License to Commercialize Cancer Biomarker by Minerva Biotechnologies
Clarient, Inc. recently announced that Minerva Biotechnologies has granted it the exclusive right to develop and commercialize a test that identifies the MUC1* protein, an altered form of MUC1, on cancer cells and on embryonic stem cells.
Article

Israeli Stem Cell Co BiogenCell Raises $1Million
Stem cell start-up BiogenCell Ltd., whose product aims to treat blood flow problems in the limbs, has raised $1 million.
Article

Stem Cell Commercialization Center in Detroit Aims to Create Jobs
A new stem cell commercialization center is set to open in Detroit’s TechTown incubator as early as July and is seeking federal grants to bring new high-tech jobs to the city.
Article

Women Researchers Less Likely to Receive Major Career Funding Grants
Women were less likely than men to receive major funding for scientific research, according to a study from the University of Michigan Health System. The study also found that only a quarter of all researchers, both men and women, who received a major early career award went on to get further federal funding within five years.
Article

StemCyte Licenses Promising IP for Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Stroke
StemCyte, Inc. concluded an exclusive license and commercialization agreement with Academia Sinica, the National Laboratory of Taiwan, for certain proprietary methods and Intellectual Property related to the treatment of Chronic Stroke with stem cells.
Article

NIH

2010 NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration: Philadelphia, PA & Portland, OR
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CBER

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

Regulatory

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Approved for Use Under New NIH Guidelines 
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U.S. Set to Fund More Stem Cell Study
The Obama administration has begun approving new lines of human embryonic stem cells that are eligible for federally funded experiments, opening the way for millions of taxpayer dollars to be used to conduct research that was put off-limits by President George W. Bush.
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