Volume 11.18 | May 17

Cell Therapy News 11.18, May 17, 2010.
In this issue:  Science  |  Policy  |  Business  |  NIH  |  CBER  |  Regulatory  |  Events Unsubscribe

TOP STORY

Induction of Tumor Immunity by Targeted Inhibition of Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay
Researchers describe an alternative approach in which the expression of new, and thereby potent, antigens are induced in tumor cells by inhibiting nonsense-mediated messenger RNA decay. [Nature]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Aiming to Cure Deafness, Scientists First to Create Functional Inner-Ear Cells
Researchers report that they have found a way to develop mouse cells that look and act just like the animal’s inner-ear hair cells — the linchpin to our sense of hearing and balance — in a petri dish. [Press release from the Stanford University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Low Oxygen Levels Prevent X Chromosome Inactivation in Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Oxygen levels in the lab can permanently alter human embryonic stem cells, specifically inducing X chromosome inactivation in female cells. [Press release from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Same Disease, Different Stem Cell Models
Induced pluripotent stem cells are different from embryonic stem cells in their ability to model a human genetic disease, a new cell-to-cell comparison shows. [Press release from Children’s Hospital Boston discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Building Organs Block by Block: Tissue Engineers Create a New Way to Assemble Artificial Tissues
Researchers have come up with a new way to get cells grown in a lab dish to form 3D shapes instead of flat layers, by encapsulating living cells in cubes and arranging them into 3D structures.  The new technique, dubbed “micromasonry,” employs a gel-like material that acts like concrete, binding the cell “bricks” together as it hardens. [Press release from PhysOrg discussing online prepublication in Advanced Materials]

New Findings Complicate Use of Stem Cells
A hitherto unknown function that regulates how stem cells produce different types of cells in different parts of the nervous system has been discovered by researchers. [Press release from Linköping University discussing online prepublication in PLoS One]

CURRENT PUBLICATIONS

A Proximity-Based Programmable DNA Nanoscale Assembly Line
Researchers demonstrate that a nanoscale assembly line can be realized by the judicious combination of three known DNA-based modules: a DNA origami tile that provides a framework and track for the assembly process, cassettes containing three independently controlled two-state DNA machines that serve as programmable cargo-donating devices and are attached in series to the tile, and a DNA walker that can move on the track from device to device and collect cargo. [Nature]

Mechanosensitive Hair Cell-like Cells from Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers present a stepwise guidance protocol starting with mouse embryonic stem and induced pluripotent stem cells, which were directed toward becoming ectoderm capable of responding to otic-inducing growth factors. [Cell]

Derivation of Pre-X Inactivation Human Embryonic Stem Cells Under Physiological Oxygen Concentrations
These findings indicate that the human blastocyst contains pre-X-inactivation cells and that this state is preserved in vitro through culture under physiological oxygen. [Cell]

In Vivo Prevention of Transplant Arteriosclerosis by Ex Vivo-Expanded Human Regulatory T Cells
Researchers found that the in vivo development of transplant arteriosclerosis in human arteries was prevented by treatment of ex vivo-expanded human regulatory T cells. [Nat Med]

Differential Modeling of Fragile X Syndrome by Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
These data highlight critical differences between embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells in modeling fragile X disorder. [Cell Stem Cell]

Mobilized Human Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells Promote Kidney Repair After Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury
Researchers studied the capacity of human CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells to promote kidney repair and regeneration using an established ischemia/reperfusion injury model in mice, with particular focus on the microvasculature. [Circulation]

A Self-Inactivating Lentiviral Vector for SCID-X1 Gene Therapy That Does Not Activate LMO2 Expression in Human T Cells
In order to develop safer and more effective vectors for gene therapy of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), researchers have evaluated new self-inactivating lentiviral vectors based on the HIV virus. [Blood]

Leukemia Regression by Vascular Disruption and Anti-Angiogenic Therapy
In search of a multi-target anti-vascular treatment strategy for acute myelogenous leukemias, researchers tested a novel vascular disrupting agent, OXi4503, alone and in combination with the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibody, bevacizumab. [Blood]

Transactivation of the Dopamine Receptor 3 Gene by a Single Provirus Integration Results in Development of B-Cell Lymphoma in Transgenic Mice Generated from Retrovirally Transduced Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers report on the development of lymphoma in mice generated from embryonic stem cells transduced with an enhanced green fluorescent protein. [Blood]

Development of a Drug Screening Platform Based on Engineered Heart Tissue
Researchers developed a simple technique to construct large series of engineered heart tissue and automatically evaluate contractile activity. The method shall be useful for drug screening and disease modeling. [Circ Res]

Micro-Masonry: Construction of 3D Structures by Microscale Self-Assembly
A biocompatible method for general construction of 3D structures by aggregation of micrometric polymeric subunits is presented. [Adv Mater]

Segment-Specific Neuronal Subtype Specification by the Integration of Anteroposterior and Temporal Cues
This study reveals a surprisingly restricted, yet multifaceted, function of both anteroposterior and temporal cues with respect to lineage control and cell fate specification. [PLoS One]

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POLICY

House Nixes More Research Spending in COMPETES Bill
Catching the Democratic leadership by surprise, members voted 292 to 126 to block passage of a 5-year authorization bill that would have provided healthy increases in the research and education budgets of the National Science Foundation and research programs at the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce. [House of Representatives, United States]

British Science and Climate/Energy Ministers Named
Following the formation of the United Kingdom's Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government, Conservative Member of Parliament David Willetts has been named as the new minister of state for universities and science. [House of Commons, United Kingdom]

European and International Experts Discuss the Way Forward in Stem Cell Research and Development
The European Medicines Agency assembled for the first time European and international experts from academia, regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industry to review opportunities and difficulties in developing stem cell-based therapies and to discuss regulatory challenges. [European Medicines Agency, European Union]

European Union Agency Prepares to Assess First Stem Cell Drug
The first regenerative medicine based on stem cells could be filed for approval in Europe later this year, bringing the groundbreaking medical technology a step closer to reality. [European Medicines Agency, European Union]

Training Australian Scientists in Latest Stem Cell Discoveries
For the first time in Australia, young researchers will be trained in the techniques of growing and using human induced pluripotent stem cells in research. [Australian Stem Cell Centre, Australia]

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BUSINESS

Elexopharm Enters into Cardiovascular Collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc
ElexoPharm announced a collaboration and exclusive worldwide license agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. through an affiliate to develop and commercialize novel candidates targeting aldosterone synthase for the potential treatment of cardiovascular disease. [ElexoPharm Press Release]

Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine, Genzyme Enter into Strategic Partnership
The strategic partnership between Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine and Genzyme will help quickly and successfully bring the company's innovative drugs to China, promoting innovation and development of the Chinese biopharmaceutical industry. [PR Newswire Press Release]

BioSystem Development and ProZyme Join Forces to Revolutionize Glycan Sample Preparation
BioSystem Development, LLC and ProZyme, Inc. announced a partnership to redefine biotherapeutic glycan analysis workflow. [BioSystem Development, LLC Press Release]

Mesoblast to Acquire Angioblast Systems Inc.
Australia’s regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast Limited, announced that it will acquire its United States associate company, Angioblast Systems, Inc. [Mesoblast Limited  Press Release]

Beike Biotechnology Opens World's Largest Stem Cell Storage and Processing Facility
Beike Biotechnology Co. Ltd. and the Jiangsu government's China Medical City opened China's state-of-the-art stem cell storage and processing facility. [Beike Biotechnology Co. Ltd. Press Release]

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Receives $27 Million Grant from Robertson Foundation to Promote Stem Cell Research
The New York Stem Cell Foundation has received a grant of $27 million from the Robertson Foundation, established by Julian and Josie Robertson. [The New York Stem Cell Foundation Press Release]

RegeneRx Awarded $3 Million Grant from National Institutes of Health for Development of Heart Attack Drug
RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to support and accelerate the clinical development of its novel product candidate RGN-352, an injectable formulation of the novel therapeutic peptide Thymosin beta 4, or TB4, for patients who have suffered an acute myocardial infarction. [RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

California Funds UCI Basic Research on Stem Cells
Two University of California Irvine (UCI) scientists will receive grants totaling more than $2.6 million to study the underlying biology of stem cells aimed at treating spinal cord injury, cancer and other disorders. [EurekAlert! Press Release]

Clinical Trial Approval for SCIB1 Melanoma Vaccine Study
Scancell Holdings Plc, the developer of therapeutic cancer vaccines, is pleased to announce that its proposal to conduct a Phase I clinical trial on SCIB1, its DNA ImmunoBody® vaccine being developed for the treatment of melanoma, has been approved by the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee and by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency Medicines Division. [Scancell Holdings Plc Press Release]

Alnylam Scientists and Collaborators Publish Research on Key Mechanism for Delivery of RNAi Therapeutics with Lipid Nanoparticles
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the publication of pre-clinical research in the journal Molecular Therapy revealing key mechanisms related to the systemic delivery of RNAi therapeutics using lipid nanoparticles. [Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

Compugen Discovers Drug Target for Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
Compugen Ltd. announced the discovery and initial experimental validation of CGEN-928 as a drug target for the treatment of multiple myeloma. [Compugen Ltd. Press Release]

Geron Announces Positive Study Data on GRNCM1
Geron Corporation reported positive preclinical study data showing that GRNCM1, Geron's cardiomyocyte product derived from human embryonic stem cells, does not cause cardiac arrhythmias after transplantation into a model of chronic heart damage designed to test this potential safety concern.  [Geron Corporation Press Release]
 
Argos Therapeutics Presents Phase IIa Data for Arcelis™ HIV Program Demonstrating Positive Impact on Viral Diversity and Viral Load
Argos Therapeutics announced the presentation of data from the Phase IIa trial of AGS-004, demonstrating that the personalized immunotherapy has a positive impact on the genetic diversity of residual HIV virus, and also results in substantially increased time to viral rebound in HIV patients treated with AGS-004 following antiretroviral therapy interruption. [Argos Therapeutics Press Release]

Opexa Strengthens Tovaxin® Patent Estate Through Issuance of Key Patents
Opexa Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing Tovaxin®, a personalized T cell therapy for multiple sclerosis, announced that two of its key patents have been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, with a third patent expected to issue later this month based on a received Notice of Allowance. [Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

Johns Hopkins to Unveil Center for Biotechnology Education
The Johns Hopkins University’s Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Advanced Academic Programs, will unveil the Center for Biotechnology at its fifth annual biotechnology research symposium. [Johns Hopkins’ Center for Biotechnology Education Press Release]



NIH

United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius Announces $1 Billion in NIH Recovery Act Awards to Construct or Improve Biomedical Research Facilities
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced one billion dollars of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds have been awarded to construct, repair and renovate scientific research laboratories and related facilities across the country.

Notice of Intent to Publish Request for Applications for the Clinical Proteomic Technologies for Cancer Initiative (CPTC): Proteome Characterization Centers (NOT-CA-10-027)

National Library of Medicine Independent Career Development Award for Biomedical Informatics (K22) (PAR-10-195)

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CBER

List of Establishments Granted Approval for a Variance to 21CFR640.3(d) and 21CFR640.3(f)



REGULATORY

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Personal Gene-Testing Companies Need U.S. Clearance, FDA Says
Gene-test kits that promise to tell consumers their risk of Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer and numerous illnesses must be approved by regulators whether the tests are sold online or in stores, a U.S. official said.

Roster of the Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee
As part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) ongoing efforts to recruit qualified experts with minimal conflicts of interest who are interested in serving on FDA advisory committees, FDA is requesting nominations for members to serve on its advisory committees.


EVENTS

2010 Mater Medical Research Institute (MMRI) Stem Cell Symposium: Epigenetics, Transcriptomics and Nanobiotechnology of Stem Cells
May 20-21, 2010
Brisbane, Australia

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

ESTOOLS International Scientific Symposium: Stem Cells in Biology and Disease
May 26-28, 2010
Lisbon, Portugal

London Research Institute Stem Cell Club Meeting
May 31, 2010
London, United Kingdom

Stem Cell Investor & Executive Networking Conference Event (S.C.I.E.N.C.E.)
June 1, 2010
New York, United States

The Future of Molecular Epidemiology: New Tools, Biomarkers, and Opportunities
June 6-9, 2010
Miami, United States

Regenerative Medicine in 21st Century: Managing Uncertainty at the Global Level Conference
June 9-10, 2010
Madison, United States

8th International Conference on Cell and Stem Cell Engineering
June 11-12, 2010
Dublin, Ireland

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – European Union 2010
June 13-17, 2010
Galway, Ireland

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

Accelerating Anticancer Agent Development and Validation
June 23-25, 2010
North Bethesda, United States

XXXIst International Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) in joint cooperation with the 43rd Congress of the German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology (DGTI)
June 26-July 1, 2010
Berlin, Germany

Translational Cancer Medicine 2010 – USA
July 11-14, 2010
San Francisco, United States

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) 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

CHI's 5th Annual Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Summit (ImVacS)
August 17-19, 2010
Cambridge, United States

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

International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) – Europe 2nd Regional Meeting
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

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

Joint Metastasis Research Society – American Association of Cancer Research Conference on Metastasis and the Tumor Microenvironment
September 12-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – Asia Pacific 2010
September 15-17, 2010
Sydney, Australia

4th American Association of Cancer Research International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development
September 27-30, 2010
Denver, United States

Third America Association of Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved
September 30-October 3, 2010
Miami, United States

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, Germany

American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Annual Meeting & Cellular Therapy and Transfusion Medicine Expo (CTTXPO) 2010
October 9-12, 2010
Baltimore, United States

Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists
October 17-22, 2010
Boston, United States

3rd Annual Dubai Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine (DCAAAM)
October 26-27, 2010
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress Asia 2010
October 26-29, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Select Biosciences 2nd Annual RNAi Asia Conference
November 15-16, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

Stem Cell Network 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Canada

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – North America 2010 Annual Conference
December 5-8, 2010
Orlando, United States

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.


 

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