Volume 11.02 | Jan 25

Cell Therapy News 11.02, January 25, 2010.
In this issue:  Science  |  Policy  |  Business  |  NIH  |  CBER  |  Regulatory  |  Events Unsubscribe


TOP STORY


VIDEO: A Bountiful Harvest Offers Promise for Regenerating Blood Vessels
Researchers have devised a new method that increases the number of blood vessel-forming cells they can make from human embryonic stem cells. [Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase]

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SCIENCE

Scientists Identify Molecule that Inhibits Stem Cell Differentiation
The molecule, called DNMT1, helps the stem cells know whether to self-renew to create more stem cells, or to differentiate into specialized, non-dividing adult skin cells. [Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford]

Alnylam and Collaborators Discover Additional Class of Novel Lipid Nanoparticles with Markedly Improved In Vivo Potency for RNAi Therapeutics
A new paper describes the discovery of a novel lipid, known as “KC2,” based on a medicinal chemistry effort to explore the structure-activity relationships in the lipid “DLinDMA,” which is used in certain first generation lipid nanoparticles such as Tekmira’s stable nucleic acid-lipid particles formulations. [Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge]

Singapore Scientists Discover New Concoction to Reprogram Differentiated Cells into Pluripotent Stem Cells
Scientists have discovered a transcription factor, known as Nr5a2, which is responsible for the reprogramming of differentiated cells into stem cells. [Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore]

Stem Cells Become Functioning Neurons in Mice
Transplanted neurons grown from embryonic stem cells were able to form proper brain connections in newborn mice, according to researchers. [Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford]

Neuralstem Announces First Patient Treated in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Stem Cell Trial
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that the first amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient was treated with its spinal cord stem cells at the Emory ALS Center at Emory University, in Atlanta, GA. [Neuralstem, Inc., Atlanta]

European Medicines Agency Waives Requirement to Test StemEx® in Paediatric Patients 17 Years of Age and Under
The Gamida Cell-Teva Joint Venture announced that the Paediatric Committee of the European Medicines Agency has granted product specific waivers for StemEx® for all subsets of the paediatric population (birth to 17 years of age) in all conditions. [Gamida Cell Ltd., Jerusalem]

PUBLICATIONS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Notch-Mediated Expansion of Human Cord Blood Progenitor Cells Capable of Rapid Myeloid Reconstitution
Researchers report the development of a clinically relevant Notch-mediated ex vivo expansion system for human CD34+ cord blood progenitors that results in a marked increase in the absolute number of stem/progenitor cells, including those capable of enhanced repopulation in the marrow of immunodeficient nonobese diabetic–severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice. [Nat Med]

Induction of Immune Tolerance to Coagulation Factor IX by Intramuscular Adeno-Associated Virus Gene Transfer is Independent of the Activation Status of Dendritic Cells
Investigators hypothesized that the nonpathogenic nature of adeno-associated virus (AAV) plays a critical role in induction of tolerance after AAV gene transfer. [Blood]

New Lines of Green Fluorescent Protein Transgenic Rats Relevant for Regenerative Medicine and Gene Therapy
Using lentiviral vectors researchers develop two new lines of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing transgenic rats displaying different levels and patterns of GFP-expression. [Transgenic Res]

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POLICY

Maryland Stem Cell Commission Gets 141 Applications for Grants
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has received 141 applications for $45 million in research grants, but only $12 million is available. [The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission, United States]

Re-Restricting Stem Cell Research in Michigan
The state Senate Health Policy Committee is expected to vote on restrictions and rules surrounding embryonic stem cell research at Michigan clinics and universities. [Michigan Senate Health Policy Committee, United States]

Governor O’Malley names Dr. Judith Britz Executive Director of the Maryland Biotechnology Center
Governor Martin O’Malley named Dr. Judith A. Britz, a scientist, academician and entrepreneur with more than 25 years in Maryland’s bioscience industry, as Executive Director of the Maryland Biotechnology Center. [Maryland Biotechnology Center, United States]

Improving Access to Research
Last week, the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee's Roundtable on Scholarly Publishing released a report arguing that journal articles derived from federal research funding should be made publicly available as quickly as practicable—generally in a year or less after publication—and in ways that will improve scholarship by maximizing the scope for interoperability across articles, among disciplines, and internationally. [House Science and Technology Committee, United States]

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

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BUSINESS

Venture Funding Stabilizes, Shifts to Biotech, Shuns Energy
Venture-capital funding for startup companies stabilized in the fourth quarter, with investor interest shifting toward drug development and away from clean energy. [Bloomberg]

Turmoil at Baylor College of Medicine Over Conflicts, Possible Suitor
Worries about future governance continue to shake Baylor College of Medicine, the top ranked, but financially troubled research institution in Houston, Texas. [Science Insider]

GenVec Enters Collaboration on Hearing Loss Treatments with Leading Global Pharmaceutical Company
GenVec and Novartis will collaborate to discover and develop novel treatments for hearing loss and balance disorders. Preclinical results suggest that delivery of the atonal gene using GenVec’s innovative adenovector technology may have the potential to restore hearing and balance function. [GenVec Press Release]

The Automation Partnership Begins New Five Year Collaboration with Top Regenerative Medicine Centre Following an Injection of £5.3 Million from the UK Government
The Automation Partnership announced recently that its collaboration with leading translational research group, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine at Loughborough University is to continue into a second five year phase. [The Automation Partnership Press Release]

Stem Cell Assurance Announces a Financing and Marketing Partnership with MDwerks
Stem Cell Assurance, Inc. and MDwerks, Inc. announced a financing and marketing partnership wherein MDwerks, through its Xeni Finance subsidiary, has provided the first tranche of financing to Stem Cell for the purchase of various medical devices from Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. [Stem Cell Assurance, Inc. Press Release]

Aastrom Biosciences Announces Closing of Unit Offering
Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering from which the Company received approximately $12.4 million in net proceeds from the sale of the units (including the partially exercised option of the over-allotment), after underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses. [Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. Press Release]

Oxford BioMedica Secures Exclusive License for Key Intellectual Property Related to Ocular Products
Oxford BioMedica announced that it has entered a license agreement with the Research Development Foundation, the technology transfer entity for the Clayton Foundation for Research of Houston, Texas. [Oxford BioMedica Press Release]

AstraZeneca and Dako Sign Agreement to Develop Companion Diagnostics for Cancer Treatments
AstraZeneca and Dako Denmark A/S announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop companion diagnostic tests for multiple AstraZeneca oncology projects, including biologics and small molecules, in various stages of discovery and development. [Dako Press Release]

$1.5 Billion in Public Money for Biotech Hasn't Paid Off Yet
Florida taxpayers have spent more than $1.5 billion to turn the state into a biotech hub, but the payoff remains elusive, according to a new report by a legislative research group. [The Palm Beach Post]

Scientific Breakthrough: Baltimore’s Bioparks Enjoy a Growth Spurt
Here’s some good news for an industry that was short on highlights during the recession: Companies are taking more space in Baltimore’s two emerging biotechnology research centers; at least one firm is mulling a venture capital-backed funding round; and plans to expand the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s biopark are still on the table. [Baltimore Business Journal]

Blood Institute is Building New Donor Center in Oklahoma City
A $9 million blood donor center being built in Oklahoma City will improve medical care for many state stem cell patients and make way for new technology that can basically “scrub blood” free of bacteria and viruses. [Tulsa World]

Indian Biotech Industry to Top $10 Billion by 2015
Positive triggers would propel India's biotech sector to become a ten billion dollars industry by 2015. [Hindustan Times]

Can Miromatrix “Regenerate” Minnesota's Medical Industry?
Miromatrix Inc. has one official employee, zero money, and nothing yet to develop, never mind sell. But make no mistake: Everyone wants a piece of it. [MedCity News]



NIH

Directed Stem Cell Differentiation for Cell-Based Therapies for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases [SBIR (R43/R44)]

Directed Stem Cell Differentiation for Cell-Based Therapies for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases [STTR (R41/R42)]

Clarification on the Extended Error Correction Window and Format of the Research Strategy Section for Restructured Applications Intended for Due Dates on or After January 25, 2010 (NOT-OD-10-050)

FY2010 Recovery Act Funding Announcements: Clarification on Page Limitations for Bibliography and References Cited Section (NOT-OD-10-051)

Clarification of SF424 (R&R) Application Instructions for Resubmissions of Revision and Renewal Applications (NOT-OD-10-052)

Department of Commerce (DOC), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FY-2010 SBIR Solicitation



CBER

November 18-19, 2009: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Briefing Documents – Presentations and Transcripts Posted, Updated



REGULATORY 

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

National Institutes of Health Recommends Approval of Another Stem Cell Line
A National Institutes of Health advisory committee voted to recommend the first human embryonic stem cell line leftover from Bush administration rules receive federal research funding.



EVENTS

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


 

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