Volume 11.08 | Mar 8

Cell Therapy News 11.07, March 1, 2010.
In this issue:  Science  |  Policy  |  Business  |  NIH  |  CBER  |  Regulatory  |  Events Unsubscribe


Gene Therapy Reverses Effects of Lethal Childhood Muscle Disorder in Mice
Reversing a protein deficiency through gene therapy can correct motor function, restore nerve signals and improve survival in mice that serve as a model for the lethal childhood disorder spinal muscular atrophy, new research shows. [Press release from Ohio State University discussing the online prepublication in Nature Biotechnology]

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Scientists First to Identify Wide Variety of Genetic Splicing in Embryonic Stem Cells
Human embryonic stem cells must sort through a seemingly endless number of options to settle on the specific genetic message that instructs them to become more-specialized cells in the body.  Researchers have shown that this tuning process is accomplished in part by restricting the number of transcripts produced from each gene. [Press release from the Stanford University School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Breakthrough Reveals Blood Vessel Cells Are Key to Growing Unlimited Amounts of Adult Stem Cells
In a leap toward making stem cell therapy widely available, researchers have discovered that endothelial cells produce growth factors that can grow copious amounts of adult stem cells and their progeny over the course of weeks. [Press release from the Weill Cornell Medical College discussing the online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Deceptive Model
They are considered to be the most important model organism for research into human biology: mice may look totally different, but they are in many ways similar to Homo sapiens on a fundamental level. [Press release from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine discussing the online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Theory of Single Stem Cell for Blood Components Challenged
Components of the blood or hematopoietic system derive from stem cell subtypes rather than one single stem cell that give rise to all the different kinds of blood cells equally. [Press release from the Baylor College of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

ReNeuron Presents Key Pre-Clinical Efficacy Data with ReN009 Stem Cell Therapy at Leading United Kingdom Diabetes Conference
ReNeuron Group plc announces further positive pre-clinical efficacy data with its ReN009 stem cell therapy for peripheral arterial disease in diabetic patients. [ReNeuron Group plc Press Release]

Second Dose of Gene Therapy for Inherited Blindness Proves Safe in Animal Studies
New findings suggest that patients who benefit from gene therapy in one eye may experience similar benefits from treatment in the other eye for Leber’s congenital amaurosis, a retinal disease that progresses to total blindness by adulthood. [Press release from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Science Translational Medicine]

Stem Cell Therapy Used for Urinary Incontinence
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are among three North American study sites to participate in a clinical trial using autologous adult stem cell transplantation to treat an exceedingly common problem in women — stress-related urinary incontinence. [Vanderbilt University Medical Center Press Release]

Pluristem Therapeutics Receives Data Safety Monitoring Board Approval to Advance to Final Dose Level with PLX-PAD
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. recently announced that it has received approval from an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board to advance to the highest and final dose level with its placenta-derived cell therapy product, PLX-PAD, in a Phase I dose-escalating clinical trial in Europe for the treatment of critical limb ischemia, the end-stage of peripheral artery disease. [Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. Press Release]

International Stem Cell Corporation Parthenogenetic Stem Cell Line Shown to Carry the Most Common Immune Genes Matched to the U.S. Population Retains Stem Cell Characteristics over Two Years in Culture, Which is Necessary for Therapeutic Value
International Stem Cell Corporation announced that human parthenogenetic stem cell lines, created by scientists from its Research and Therapeutic Development Group, have demonstrated ability to maintain the essential properties of immortal stem cells throughout extended laboratory cultivation. [International Stem Cell Corporation Press Release]


Reprogrammed Cells Come Up Short, for Now
Recent research papers offer some of the first side-by-side comparisons of human induced pluripotent stem and human embryonic stem cells as they differentiate into various kinds of cells. [Science]

Rescue of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Phenotype in a Mouse Model by Early Postnatal Delivery of SMN
Researchers use scAAV9-mediated postnatal day 1 vascular gene delivery to replace SMN in spinal muscular atrophy pups and rescue motor function, neuromuscular physiology and life span. [Nat Biotechnol]

Endothelial Cells Are Essential for the Self-Renewal and Repopulation of Notch-Dependent Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Researchers developed angiogenic models to demonstrate that endothelial cell-derived angiocrine growth factors support in vitro self-renewal and in vivo repopulation of authentic long-term hematopoietic stem cells. [Cell Stem Cell]

Conserved and Divergent Roles of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 Signaling in Mouse Epiblast Stem Cells and Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Investigators show that activation of the Activin pathway promotes self-renewal of epiblast stem cells via direct activation of Nanog, whereas inhibition of this pathway induces neuroectodermal differentiation, like in human embryonic stem cells. [Cell Stem Cell]

Distinct Hematopoietic Stem Cell Subtypes Are Differentially Regulated by Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1
This study demonstrates definitive isolation of lineage-biased hematopoietic stem cells subtypes and contributes to the fundamental change in view that the hematopoietic system is maintained by a continuum of hematopoietic stem cells subtypes, rather than a functionally uniform pool. [Cell Stem Cell]

Dynamic Transcriptomes During Neural Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Revealed by Short, Long, and Paired-End Sequencing
To examine the fundamental mechanisms governing neural differentiation, researchers analyzed the transcriptome changes that occur during the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into the neural lineage. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Safety and Efficacy of Subretinal Readministration of a Viral Vector in Large Animals to Treat Congenital Blindness
Researchers evaluated the immunological and functional consequences of readministration of rAAV2-hRPE65v2 to the contralateral eye using large animal models. [Sci Transl Med]

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Canadian Budget Light on New Research Dollars
Relief was the order of the day for Canadian scientists recently as the federal government brought down its fiscal blueprint for 2010-11. [Conservative Party, Canada]

In Annual Rite, Chinese Science Showered with Riches
At the opening session of the National People's Congress, officials announced that the science and technology budget will rise 8% to 163.3 billion RMB ($24 billion) in 2010. [National People's Congress, China]



BMTbase™ Version 4 Released
STEMSOFT Software is pleased to announce the release of BMTbase™ version 4!  Completely redesigned from the ground up using .NET technology, version 4 is a browser-based application allowing for easier user access, deployment and more robust database management and security. [STEMSOFT Software Press Release]

Advanced Cell Technology‘s Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells Granted Orphan Drug Status from the Food and Drug Administration for Treatment of Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. announced recently that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted orphan drug designation for the company’s MA09-hRPE cells for use in the treatment of Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. Press Release]

Contract’s End Means Changes for Stem Cell Scene
Although the University of Wisconsin (UW) community has remained a leader in the field of stem cell research, WiCell, a non-profit organization that supports stem cell research in collaboration with UW, is currently undergoing major changes after the federal contract that created the National Stem Cell Bank expired this week. [University of Wisconsin Press Release]

Merck KGaA and Millipore Announce Transaction
Merck KGaA and Millipore Corporation recently announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck KGaA will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Millipore, for US$107 per share in cash, or a total transaction value, including net debt, of approximately US$7.2 billion. [Merck KGaA Press Release]

Greffex, Inc. and the Greffex Group Announce Strategic Alliance Framework with UPMC/ISMETT
Greffex and UPMC/ISMETT have agreed to jointly investigate Greffex's approach to immune suppression at ISMETT, one of the world’s foremost transplantation centers. [Greffex, Inc. Press Release]

Geron Highlights Product Launch from Collaboration with Corning – The Synthemax™ Surface for Scalable Growth of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Geron Corporation announced that Corning Incorporated has launched the Synthemax™ surface, a new synthetic matrix for growing human embryonic stem cells, developed under a collaboration and license agreement between the two companies. [Geron Corporation Press Release]

Axiogenesis Announces Worldwide, Exclusive Distribution Agreement with Lonza Cologne
The agreement includes Axiogenesis’s current product and service portfolio, including the industry standard Cor.At® mouse embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. [Axiogenesis AG Press Release]

Key Bone Repair Patent Granted in the United States
Mesoblast Limited recently announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted a key patent that provides exclusive commercial protection for its bone tissue generating products through to at least the year 2019 in the United States. [Mesoblast Limited Press Release]

NeoStem Enters into a Sponsored Research Agreement with University of Michigan; Funding from the National Institutes of Health Stem Cell Research Grant
NeoStem, Inc. announced that it has entered into a sponsored research agreement with the University of Michigan to evaluate bone defect repairs using human stem cells. [PR Newswire]

Stem Cell Innovations, Agennix Sign Research Pact
Stem Cell Innovations Inc. has signed a master services agreement with biopharmaceutical firm Agennix AG. [Houston Business Journal]

Stem Cell Research Center to Open at University of California, Davis Med Center
University of California, Davis will open a $62 million stem cell facility at its medical center campus in Sacramento. [Sacramento Business Journal]

Using Own Skin Cells to Repair Hearts on Horizon
A heart patient’s own skin cells soon could be used to repair damaged cardiac tissue thanks to pioneering stem cell research of the University of Houston’s newest biomedical scientist, Robert Schwartz. [University of Houston Press Release]


Request for Information (RFI): To Solicit Input for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Strategic Plan for Training and Career Development (NOT-GM-10-102)

Correction to Required Budget Component for PAR-09-084: Enhancing Developmental Biology Research at Undergraduate Institutions Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) (NOT-HD-10-007)

Clarification of Budget Form for PAR-09-092 Academic-Community Partnership Conference Series (U13) (NOT-HD-10-009)

Recovery Act Limited Competition: The NIH Director's American Recovery & Reinvestment Act Funded Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce (DP4) (RFA-OD-10-013)

Minority Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T34) (PAR-10-119)


Workshops, Meetings & Conferences (Biologics) DIA/FDA CDER/CBER Computational Science Annual Meeting, Posted



Guidance for Industry: Characterization and Qualification of Cell Substrates and Other Biological Materials, etc., 9905–9906 [2010–4553]


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

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 101st Annual Meeting 2010
April 17-21, 2010
Washington, DC, United States

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Workshop: Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Reprogramming and Differentiation
April 21-23, 2010
St-Raphaël, France

Society for Biological Engineering's (SBE) 2nd International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering
May 2-5, 2010
Boston, United States

Select BioSciences' 4th Annual RNAi & miRNA World Congress
May 5-7, 2010
Boston, United States

World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
May 11-13, 2010
London, United Kingdom

16th International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Meeting
May 23-26, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

ESTOOLS International Scientific Symposium
May 26-28, 2010
Lisbon, Portugal

International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) 3rd Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

2nd International Conference on Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (ICCMB2)
August 2-4, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

Select BioSciences' 3rd Annual Stem Cells Europe Conference
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

International Society of Cell Therapy (ISCT) Annual Meeting – Europe
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

Hydra VI: The European Summer School on Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
September 11-17, 2010
Hyrda, Greece

2010 World Stem Cell Summit
October 4-6, 2010
Detroit, United States

5th World Congress on Preventive & Regenerative Medicine (WCRM)
October 5-7, 2010
Hannover, GermanyDubai Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine (DCAAAM)
October 26-27, 2010
Dubai, United Arab Emirates



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