Volume 11.26 | Jul 12

Cell Therapy News 11.26, July 12, 2010.
In this issue:  Science  |  Policy  |  Business  |  NIH  |  CBER  |  Regulatory  |  Events Subscribe  |  Unsubscribe

TOP STORY 


Biologists Identify a New Clue Into Aging Process
Researchers have uncovered an important new DAF-16 isoform — DAF-16d/f — that collaborates with other DAF-16 protein isoforms to regulate longevity. [Press release from the University of Massachusetts Medical School discussing online prepublication in Nature]

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SCIENCE NEWS


Taking a Hard Look at Soft-Tissue Sarcomas
Researchers made three genomic discoveries that could affect the way certain soft-tissue sarcomas are treated. [Press release from the Broad Institute discussing online prepublication in Nature Genetics]

Genetic Mechanism Once Thought Rare May Allow Rapid Cell Production
Researchers showed that when the gene TIF1 gamma is mutated, the machinery that allows red blood cells to form from their progenitors is left in suspended animation. [Press release from PR Newswire discussing online prepublication in Cell]

NIH-Led Scientists Find Antibodies that Prevent Most HIV Strains from Infecting Human Cells
Scientists have discovered two potent human antibodies that can stop more than 90 percent of known global HIV strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory, and have demonstrated how one of these disease-fighting proteins accomplishes this feat. [Press release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discussing online prepublication in Science]

Lab Reveals Connection Between Mutation and Malignancy
Researchers have found that the process of repairing DNA damage unexpectedly increases the rate of mutations and changes the kinds of mutations that arise. [Press release from Brandeis University discussing online prepublication in Science]

Researchers Create HIV-Resistant Cells
Researchers have successfully transplanted blood stem cells modified to be resistant to HIV into mice, allowing the animals to control HIV infections. [Press release from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California discussing online prepublication in Nature Biotechnology]

Protein That Predicts Prognosis of Leukemia Patients May Also be a Therapeutic Target
Researchers have identified a protein, called Musashi 2, that is predictive of prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia patients. [Press release from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research discussing online prepublication in Nature Medicine]

Mount Sinai Hospital Scientists Uncover Important Clues in the Biology of Stem Cells
Researchers uncovered a number of genes and cellular signaling pathways that change over time and hypothesized that, through manipulation of these genes, they could improve the efficiency and speed of reprogramming. [Press release from Mount Sinai Hospital discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Cancer Stem Cells Are Not One Size Fits All, Lung Cancer Models Show
Researchers have identified cancer stem cells in a model of the most common form of human lung cancer and, more significantly, have found that the cancer stem cells may vary from tumor to tumor, depending upon the tumor's genetic signature. [Press release from Children's Hospital Boston discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Normal Adult Blood Can Generate Pluripotent Stem Cells, Study Reports
In findings likely to make it easier and faster for stem cell biologists to generate patient-specific embryonic-like stem cells, researchers have reprogrammed adult blood cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. [Press release from Children’s Hospital Boston discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

New Microscope Lets Scientists Make Movies of Early Animal Development
A new imaging method, which combines two established microscopy techniques, will allow researchers to study speedy cell processes over hours and days rather than seconds, and to examine how morphological defects arise in developing animals. [Press release from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute discussing online prepublication in Nature Methods]

‘Stem Cell Detectives’ Uncover Potential Cancer Cause
Australian researchers have uncovered a new mutation in stem cells that may be linked to the development of leukemia, breast and colon cancer. A major finding of the new study was the discovery of a novel DNA mutation in the c-Myb gene. [Press release from the Australian National University discussing online prepublication in Blood]

Biologists Find Way to Lower Tumor Risk in Stem Cell Therapies
Researchers report that they have identified a new signaling pathway critical for unlimited self propagation of embryonic stem cells. [Press release from the University of California, San Diego discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Stem Cell Researchers Successfully Treat Spinal Cord Injuries in Mice
Researchers have succeeded in restoring the mobility of mice with damaged spinal cords using induced pluripotent stem cells. [Press release from The Mainichi Daily News discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

A New Spin on Gene Delivery
Researchers have discovered how to greatly enhance the delivery of DNA payloads into cells. [Press release from Virginia Polytechnic Institute discussing online prepublication in Lab on a Chip]

Scientists Design New Delivery Device for Gene Therapy
Scientists have designed a nanoparticle that appears to effectively deliver genetic material into cells with minimal toxic effects. [Press release from Ohio States University discussing online prepublication in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics]

Cell Signaling Classification System Gives Researchers New Tool
A new study has demonstrated how knowledge of biological systems can be derived by computational interrogation of genomic sequences. [Press release from Oak Ridge National Laboratory discussing online prepublication in Science Signaling]

Study Shows Hope for Gene Therapy
Researchers have launched a new gene therapy trial for children with a rare disease known as “bubble boy syndrome.” Scientists plan to enroll 20 boys with severe combined immunodeficiency, X-linked. [The Wall Street Journal]

UM's Stem Cell Study on ALS Looks Promising
Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) are seeing positive results from the earliest stages of experiments designed to determine whether stem cells can help patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). [The Detroit News]

Compugen Discovered Protein Shown to Abolish Recurring Relapses in Multiple Sclerosis Animal Model
Compugen announced that administration of CGEN-15001 in an animal model of multiple sclerosis has been shown to completely abolish spontaneous relapses. [Compugen Limited Press Release]

CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

A New DAF-16 Isoform Regulates Longevity
Researchers show that DAF-16 isoforms functionally cooperate to modulate insulin/IGF-1 signaling-mediated processes through differential tissue enrichment, preferential modulation by upstream kinases, and regulating distinct and overlapping target genes. [Nature]

Subtype-Specific Genomic Alterations Define New Targets for Soft-Tissue Sarcoma Therapy
Frequently mutated genes in soft-tissue sarcomas included TP53 (17% of pleomorphic liposarcomas), NF1 (10.5% of myxofibrosarcomas and 8% of pleomorphic liposarcomas) and PIK3CA (18% of myxoid/round-cell liposarcomas, or MRCs). [Nat Genet]

TIF1 Gamma Controls Erythroid Cell Fate by Regulating Transcription Elongation
Genetic studies in the zebrafish tif1 gamma mutant moonshine  showed that loss of function of RNA polymerase II-associated factors PAF or DSIF rescued erythroid gene transcription in tif1 gamma-deficient animals. [Cell]

Rational Design of Envelope Surface Identifies Broadly Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibodies to HIV-1
By expressing immunoglobulin genes from individual cells, researchers identified three monoclonal antibodies, including a pair of somatic variants that neutralized over 90% of circulating HIV-1 isolates. [Science]

Structural Basis for Broad and Potent Neutralization of HIV-1 by Antibody VRC01
Researchers determined the crystal structure of VRC01 in complex with an HIV-1 gp120 core. VRC01 partially mimics CD4 interaction with gp120. [Science]

Increased Mutagenesis and Unique Mutation Signature Associated with Mitotic Gene Conversion
Observations suggest that increased double-strand break frequencies in oncogene-activated mammalian cells may also increase the probability of acquiring mutations required for transition to a cancerous state. [Science]

Human Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells Modified by Zinc-Finger Nucleases Targeted to CCR5 Control HIV-1 In Vivo
The demonstration that a minority of CCR5-/- hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells can populate an infected animal with HIV-1-resistant, CCR5-/- progeny supports the use of zinc-finger nuclease-modified autologous hematopoietic stem cells as a clinical approach to treating HIV-1. [Nat Biotechnol]

Musashi-2 Regulates Normal Hematopoiesis and Promotes Aggressive Myeloid Leukemia
Expression levels of MSI2 in human myeloid leukemia directly correlate with decreased survival in patients with the disease, thereby defining MSI2 expression as a new prognostic marker and as a new target for therapy in acute myeloid leukemia. [Nat Med]

Functional Genomics Reveals a BMP-Driven Mesenchymal-to-Epithelial Transition in the Initiation of Somatic Cell Reprogramming
Researchers explored somatic cell reprogramming by exploiting a secondary mouse embryonic fibroblast model that forms induced pluripotent stem cells with high efficiency upon inducible expression of Oct4, Klf4, c-Myc, and Sox2. [Cell Stem Cell]

Primary Tumor Genotype Is an Important Determinant in Identification of Lung Cancer Propagating Cells
Primary tumors that differ in genotype at just one locus can have tumor-propagating cell populations with distinct markers. [Cell Stem Cell]

Reprogramming of Human Peripheral Blood Cells to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from frozen human peripheral blood samples. Some of the iPSCs had rearrangements of the T cell receptor, indicating that T cells can be reprogrammed to pluripotency. [Cell Stem Cell]

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POLICY


Britain Delays Controversial Assessment Scheme for Research
Britain's new science minister made good a manifesto pledge today when he announced that the coalition government would delay for one year the implementation of the controversial Research Excellence Framework, a system of assessing university departments for the distribution of funding. [Ministry of Universities and Science, United Kingdom]

Spanish Science Spending Lockdown
Spain's science and innovation minister said that research funding will be “frozen or minimally reduced” as a result of government-wide austerity measures. [Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain]

Bioethics Council Hears Pleas for More Oversight of Synthetic Biology
A presidential bioethics commission took up a burning new issue in science: the risks and benefits of synthetic biology. [Bioethics Council, United States]

Berwick Appointed to Head CMS Without Senate Vote
Pediatrician Donald Berwick, MD, a leading advocate of patient safety and quality improvement in healthcare, became the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today without a bruising Senate confirmation process. [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, United States]

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Elects Margaret Conn Himelfarb as Chair
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission announced that it has elected Margaret Conn Himelfarb as chair and Bowen P. Weisheit, Jr. as vice chair. [Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission, United States]

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC); Notice of Meeting [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States]

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BUSINESS


GSK and Aptuit Finalize Agreement for Aptuit to Acquire GSK’s Research Operations in Italy
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Aptuit, Inc. announced that they have finalized an agreement for Aptuit to acquire operations at GSK’s Medicines Research Centre in Verona, Italy. [Aptuit, Inc. Press Release]

Roche and IBM Collaborate to Develop Nanopore-Based DNA Sequencing Technology
Roche and IBM announced an agreement to develop a nanopore-based sequencer that will directly read and decode human DNA quickly and efficiently. [Roche Press Release]

International Stem Cell Corporation and Sankara Nethralaya Launch Collaboration to Develop Stem Cell-Based Treatment for Corneal Vision Impairment
International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) and Sankara Nethralaya announced commencement of a collaboration to develop ISCO’s CytoCor™ stem cell-derived corneal tissue. [International Stem Cell Corporation Press Release]

Adimab Announces Fifth Major Pharmaceutical Partnership in First Year After Launch of Novel Antibody Discovery Platform
Adimab, Inc. announced the initiation of a research collaboration with Novartis. [Adimab, Inc. Press Release]

Phase III Meeting Scheduled with FDA Following Positive Results of Bone Marrow Regeneration Trial
Mesoblast Limited announced that based on positive results from its bone marrow transplant clinical trial, conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a formal meeting has been scheduled with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss a proposed Phase III clinical trial program. [PR Newswire]

iPierian Closes $22 Million Series B Financing Led By Google Ventures
iPierian, Inc. announced the closing of a $22 million Series B equity financing. [iPierian, Inc. Press Release]

Takeda Sets Aside 50 Billion Yen a Year for Product Acquisitions
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. will set aside 50 billion yen ($569 million) annually for the next three years to buy new products. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Awards Prestigious Fellowships to 18 Top Young Scientists
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation named 18 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its spring Fellowship Award Committee review.  The recipients of this prestigious, three-year award are outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators across the country. [Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Press Release]
 
USF Issued Patent for Technology to Improve Treatment for Neurodegenerative Diseases
The University of South Florida’s (USF) Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair has been granted a patent for a cell transplantation procedure combining human umbilical cord blood cells and mannitol that may make a big difference in treating life-threatening neurodegenerative diseases. [University of South Florida Press Release]

RegeneRx Awarded Australian Patent for New TB4 Applications
RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. announced it has received Notice of Acceptance from the Australian patent office for the use of Thymosin beta 4 (TB4), its analogues, isoforms and other derivatives in the treatment of infections and inflammatory disorders including colitis, ileitis, gastrointestinal ulcers and gingivitis, among others. [RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]


NIH


Request for Information (RFI) on the National Institutes of Health Plan to Develop the Genetic Testing Registry; Notice

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed Meeting

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed Meeting

Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation; Notice of Meeting

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CBER


July 26-27, 2010: Blood Products Advisory Committee Meeting Waivers for Conflicts of Interest

Roster of the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee

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REGULATORY


FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Genetic Testing Clamp Down
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has told five genetic test manufacturers that their products need the agency's blessing before they can be sold to consumers.

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Applications for Food and Drug Administration Approval to Market a New Drug: Patent Submission and Listing Requirements and Application of 30-Month Stays on Approval of Abbreviated New Drug Applications Certifying That a Patent Claiming a Drug Is Invalid or Will Not Be Infringed [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0174]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Focus Groups About Drug Products, as Used by the Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0122]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products: Establishment Registration and Listing; Form FDA 3356; Eligibility Determination for Donors; and Current Good Tissue Practice [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0101]

MEDICINES AND HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS REGULATORY AGENCY (United Kingdom)

MHRA Annual Report and Accounts 2009/10
The Annual Report and Accounts give a selective overview of the events that have had most impact on the Agency during the past year, highlighting the landmark events and the safety issues the Agency has had to deal with, including the rise and global spread of pandemic influenza H1N1.


EVENTS

SPECIAL FEATURE

ImVacS brings together international vaccine leaders to discuss challenges and current breakthroughs in the world of vaccines. The four vaccine-focused meetings address innovating strategies to meet current health threats, changing technology for vaccine manufacture, top challenges faced during pre-clinical development, and progress underway for adjuvants and novel delivery systems.

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

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

Select Biosciences 2nd Annual World Biobanking Summit
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Select Biosciences Inaugural Cellular Therapy Summit
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Viral Vectors in Gene Therapy: Applications and Novel Production Methods
August 26-September 4, 2010
Kuopio, Finland

Clinical Trials International Summit 2010
September 1-2, 2010
Shanghai, China

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

Select Biosciences 7th Annual RNAi & miRNA Europe
September 14-15, 2010
Dublin, Ireland

Select Biosciences Inaugural Epigenetics Europe Conference
September 14-15, 2010
Dublin, Ireland

Select Biosciences Inaugural Genomics Automation Europe Conference
September 14-15, 2010
Dublin, Ireland

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

International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy of Cancer (ISCGT) Congress
September 27-29, 2010
Doha, Qatar

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

Select Biosciences 6th Annual Ion Channel Targets Conference
September 28-29, 2010
Washington, DC, United States

Cytokines 2010: Cytokines in Infectious Diseases, Autoimmune Disorders and Cancer
October 3-7, 2010
Chicago, 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

17th Annual Meeting German Society for Gene Therapy (DG-GT e.V.)
October 6-9, 2010
Munich, Germany

COGEM Symposium: GM Viruses as Medicine: Panacea or Pandora's Box?
October 7, 2010
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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

European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) 18th Annual Congress
October 22-25, 2010
Milan, Italy

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

Select Biosciences 3rd Annual Molecular Diagnostics World Congress
October 28-29, 2010
San Diego, United States

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

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2010: Translating Science to Therapy
November 2-3, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

World Cord Blood Congress
November 4-7, 2010
Marseille, France

Select Biosciences 5th Annual European Biomarkers Summit
November 9-10, 2010
Florence, Italy

Select Biosciences International Forum on Stem Cells
November 12-13, 2010
Tianjin, China

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

9th Annual Gene Therapy Symposium for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases
November 17-19, 2010
Sonoma, United States

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

Phacilitate 7th Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Forum 2011
January 24-26, 2011
Washington DC, 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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