Volume 11.01 | Jan 18

Cell Therapy News 11.01, January 18, 2010.
In this issue:  Science  |  Policy  |  Business  |  NIH  |  CBER  |  Regulatory  |  Events Unsubscribe


TOP STORY


Vitamin C is Key to Creating Stem Cells
Adding vitamin C to cell cultures was found to hold back senescence and make reprogramming much more efficient. Experiments with both mouse and human cells showed that the vitamin accelerated genetic changes and boosted the transition to a reprogrammed state. [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou]

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SCIENCE

MyoD Helps Stem Cells Proliferate in Response to Muscle Injury
The master regulator of muscle differentiation, MyoD, functions early in myogenesis to help stem cells proliferate in response to muscle injury, according to researchers. [Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland]

Needling Molecules
Researchers have developed a method using nanowires as needles to poke molecules into cells. If the method proves effective, it could greatly speed the ability to manipulate cells in a variety of applications, including stem cell reprogramming and drug screening. [Harvard University, Boston]

Fake Skin Patches Could Deliver Helpful Genes
Patches of synthetic skin could deliver gene therapies to patients without the need for injections. [National Institutes of Health, Bethesda]

Researchers Discover a Molecular Security System that Protects Human Cells from Potentially Harmful Foreign DNA
Researchers have discovered a molecular security system in human cells that deactivates and degrades foreign DNA. This discovery could open the door to major improvements in genetic engineering and gene therapy technologies. [University of Minnesota, Minneapolis]

Regulatory Network Balances Stem Cell Maintenance, Differentiation
Working with the small roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, researchers describe how a network of regulatory factors can maintain a stable pool of stem cells while launching a second pool of cells on the path toward maturing into differentiated cells with specific functions. [University of Wisconsin, Madison]

Study Shows that Delivering Stem Cells Improves Repair of Major Bone Injuries in Rats
Recent studies show that delivering stem cells on a polymer scaffold to treat large areas of missing bone leads to improved bone formation and mechanical properties compared to treatment with the scaffold alone. [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta]

Human Immune Cells — In Mice
Researchers recently reported that they have engineered, for the first time, strains of mice that produce several types of human immune cells. Though the mice still do not express the full complement of immune cells, the work represents a big advance in generating so-called “humanized” mice. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge]

Pluristem Therapeutics Announces Interim Results from PLX-PAD Clinical Trials
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. recently announced interim results from their Phase I clinical trials utilizing their placenta derived cell therapy product, PLX-PAD, for the treatment of critical limb ischemia, the end-stage of peripheral artery disease. Data suggested that PLX-PAD is safe and potentially efficacious. [Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., Haifa]

Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. Announces Second Positive Review by Data Safety and Monitoring Board for the Modified REGENESIS Phase IIb Stroke Trial and Provides Corporate Update
Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. announced it has been advised by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) that its second regularly scheduled safety analysis has been completed and the DSMB has recommended for the Phase IIb acute ischemic stroke trial to continue as per protocol. [Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp., Calgary]

University Hospitals Case Medical Center Testing Gene Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
University Hospitals Case Medical Center is one of 12 sites conducting the first Phase 2 clinical trial of a gene therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. The study uses a viral-based gene transfer system called CERE-110, which is designed to deliver nerve growth factor into the brain. [University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland]

PUBLICATIONS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: One Cell to Rule Them All?
Rapid progress with induced pluripotent stem cells is bringing scientists closer to understanding their strengths and weaknesses as embryonic stem cell stand-ins. [Nat Methods]

Human Neural Stem Cell Grafts Modify Microglial Response and Enhance Axonal Sprouting in Neonatal Hypoxic–Ischemic Brain Injury
The efficacy of human neural stem cells derived from human embryonic stem cells in a rat model of neonatal hypoxic–ischemic was investigated and the mechanisms enhancing brain repair. [Stroke]

Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cell Isolation and Proliferation in Cytokine and Serum-Free Medium Conditioned by Rat B104 Cells
The isolation of rodent multipotent adult progenitor cells and proliferation of these cells in both standard medium and medium without exogenous serum or growth factors conditioned by the rat cell line B104 are described by investigators. [Br J Haematol]

Synergistic Effect of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor Double Gene Therapy in Mouse Limb Ischemia
Local transient expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and stem cell mobilizer granulocyte colony-stimulating factor genes in ischemic limbs can complement their activities and be more efficient for limb recovery. [J Gene Med]

Functional and Transcriptional Characterization of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells for Treatment of Myocardial Infarction
Researchers developed an extracellular matrix culture system for increasing endothelial differentiation and free from contaminating animal cells. Transcriptional changes that occur during endothelial differentiation of human embryonic stem cells using whole genome microarray were investigated, and compared to human umbilical vein endothelial cells. [PLoS One]

Funding of US Biomedical Research, 2003-2008
With the exception of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, funding support for biomedical research in the United States has slowed after a decade of doubling. However, the extent and scope of slowing are largely unknown. [JAMA]

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POLICY

Cal State Northridge Receives $1.6 Million to Train Students for Careers in Stem Cell Research
Cal State Northridge has received a $1.6 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state stem cell agency, to train undergraduate and graduate students for research careers in stem cell biology. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, United States]

Beike Biotechnology, Jiangsu University and Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital Receive $1.8 Million for Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell R&D and Clinical Trials
The Jiangsu Government’s Science and Technology Department has announced a $1.8 million grant – the Jiangsu Technological Achievements Transformational Grant – to support the research and development of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell technologies. [Science and Technology Department, China]

The ISSCR Outstanding Young Investigator Award [International Society for Stem Cell Research, United States]

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Fellowship Program [New York Stem Cell Foundation, United States]

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers [Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan]

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BUSINESS

RXi Pharmaceuticals and the University of Massachusetts Medical School Announce Research Collaboration Focused on Ocular Disease
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation recently announced a collaboration with Shalesh Kaushal, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at The University of Massachusetts Medical School. The research collaboration will be focused on the application of RXi's self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA™) compounds for ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.

CryoLife Becomes Largest Shareowner of Medafor, Inc. and Proposes Combination Between the Two Companies
CryoLife, Inc. announced recently that it has purchased approximately 1.6 million shares of Medafor's common stock from Medafor's founders and certain principal shareholders for approximately $2.00 per share.

Fort McPherson’s Biotech Makeover Moves Forward
A proposed 170-acre research park, expected to be the engine of a redeveloped Fort McPherson, could generate up to 7,000 jobs and lure Big Pharma to southwest Atlanta.

Geron Corporation Announces Warrant Exchange
Geron Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to exchange outstanding warrants held by certain institutional investors for shares of Geron common stock.

The Automation Partnership Premiers Live Cell Observation and Analysis System
The Automation Partnership recently announced the US launch of Cell-IQ® – a live cell observation and analysis system.

Aastrom BioSciences Hires New CEO, Plans to Hire Five
One of Ann Arbor's older bio-tech firms is looking to make room for some new hires this year now that it has brought on new leadership.



NIH

NIH Awards Over $5,000,000 for T(Beta)4 Research in 2009/2010

IACUC 101 and 201 PLUS Workshops: February 24-25, 2010 in Lafayette, LA (NOT-OD-10-044)

NIH Broadens Eligibility for NIH Diversity and Re-Entry Supplements (NOT-OD-10-045)

Proposed FDA Rulemaking on Informed Consent Requirements (NOT-OD-10-046)

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2010 (NOT-OD-10-047)

Delays in Grant Application Submission due to Earthquake in Haiti January 2010 (NOT-OD-10-048)

Change in Application Receipt Date for AHRQ ARRA PROSPECT Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): RFA-HS-10-005 (NOT-HS-10-011)

Salary Limitation on FY2010 AHRQ Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts (NOT-HS-10-012)

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Institutional Comparative Effectiveness Research Mentored Career Development Award (KM1) (RFA-OD-10-011)

PHS 2010-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications [Parent SBIR (R43/R44)] (PA-10-050)

PHS 2010-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications [Parent STTR (R41/R42)] (PA-10-051)

Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10) (PAR-10-082)



CBER

2010 Advisory Committee Tentative Meetings – Meeting Cancelled: April 30, 2010, Allergenic Products Advisory Committee

Clinical Investigator Status (Biologics) – Clinical Investigator Inspection List



REGULATORY 

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance on Informed Consent For In Vitro Diagnostic Device Studies Using Leftover Human Specimens That Are Not Individually Identifiable

FDA Unveils First Phase of Transparency Initiative

February 22, 2010: Meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee



EVENTS

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine World Congress
January 20-21, 2010
San Francisco, United States

Phacilitate Cell and Gene Therapy Forum 2010
January 25-27, 2010
Washington, DC, United States

CHI's Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference 2010
February 3-5, 2010
San Francisco, United States

SMi’s Second Annual Stem Cells 2010
February 15-16, 2010
London, United Kingdom

Keystone Symposia: Stem Cell Differentiation and Dedifferentiation (B4)
February 15-20, 2010
Keystone, United States

5th Annual Stem Cell Summit
February 16, 2010
New York, United States

4th World Congress on Regenerative Medicine
March 12-14, 2010
Bangkok, Thailand

12th Biennial Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium Meeting
April 7-10, 2010
Vancouver, Canada

SBE's Second International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering
May 2-5, 2010
Boston, United States

16th Annual ISCT meeting
May 23-26, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

ISSCR 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States


 

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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Research & Development Scientist – Pancreatic Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research & Development Scientist – Endothelial Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research & Development Scientist – Epithelial Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies)

Data Entry Assistant – Marketing (STEMCELL Technologies)

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