Volume 12.31 | Aug 8

Cell Therapy News 12.31, August 8, 2011
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory | Events
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TOP STORY
Human Skin Cells Converted Directly into Functional Neurons
Researchers have for the first time directly converted human skin cells into functional forebrain neurons, without the need for stem cells of any kind. [Press release from Columbia University Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Cell]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Sperm Made (Mostly) in a Dish Produce Normal Mice
A Kyoto University group has found a way to turn mouse embryonic stem cells into sperm precursor cells and to use the resulting sperm to produce normal mouse pups. [Press release from ScienceNOW discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Researchers Find Way to Help Donor Adult Blood Stem Cells Overcome Transplant Rejection
A study showed for the first time that adult blood stem cells can be regulated to overcome an immune response that leads to transplant rejection. [Press release from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Hormone Reduces Risk of Heart Failure from Chemotherapy
A new study utilizing a heart failure model is providing insight into one way to coax the cardiac stem cells into repairing the damaged heart. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

HED: Controlling Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Transformation: It’s in the Sugar
Providing new insight into the biomechanics of regenerative medicine, researchers have shown how cellular metabolism facilitates stem cell procurement from regular tissue. [Press release from Mayo Clinic Minnesota discussing online prepublication in Cell Metabolism]

Restoring Blood Flow
Researchers have developed a novel nanostructure that promotes the growth of new blood vessels and shows promise as a therapy for conditions where increased blood flow is needed to supply oxygen to tissue. [Press release from Northwestern University discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, United States]

Back, Neck Pain Sufferers Could Find Relief with Cornell-Developed Spinal Disc Implants
Engineers and doctors have created an artificial implant to replace intervertebral discs in the spinal column. [Press release from Cornell University discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, United States]

Regrowing Blood Vessels with a Potent Molecule
A professor has developed a minimally invasive method of delivering growth factor to regrow blood vessels. [Press release from the University of Pittsburgh discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, United States]

Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. Announces Publication of Preclinical Research on Synergistic Combination of Chemotherapy with Oncolytic Virotherapy
Oncolytics Biotech Inc. announced that an international team of researchers has reported on a study investigating the timing of chemotherapy delivery that optimizes the efficacy of systemic REOLYSIN®. [Press release from Oncolytics Biotech, Inc. discussing online prepublication in Molecular Therapy]

Positive Results for Phase IIB Trial of Unique Cell-Based Therapy in Venous Leg Ulcers
Healthpoint Biotherapeutics announced positive topline results for its Phase IIB clinical trial investigating the efficacy of HP802-247 in venous leg ulcers. HP802-247 is an investigational allogeneic living cell suspension containing keratinocytes and fibroblasts. [Healthpoint Biotherapeutics Press Release]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS
(Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Directed Conversion of Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Skin Fibroblasts into Functional Neurons
Scientists described the efficient generation of human-induced neuronal cells from adult skin fibroblasts of unaffected individuals and Alzheimer’s patients, using virally transduced transcription regulators and extrinsic support factors. [Cell]

Reconstitution of the Mouse Germ Cell Specification Pathway in Culture by Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers demonstrated here the generation of primordial germ cell-like cells in mice with robust capacity for spermatogenesis. [Cell]

Ex Vivo Expanded Hematopoietic Stem Cells Overcome the MHC Barrier in Allogeneic Transplantation
Investigators show that ex vivo expanded mouse hematopoietic stem cells efficiently overcame the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) barrier and repopulated allogeneic-recipient mice. [Cell Stem Cell]

Somatic Oxidative Bioenergetics Transitions into Pluripotency-Dependent Glycolysis to Facilitate Nuclear Reprogramming
Here, stemness factor-mediated nuclear reprogramming reverted mitochondrial networks into cristae-poor structures. [Cell Metab]

Supramolecular Nanostructures that Mimic VEGF as a Strategy for Ischemic Tissue Repair
Immunohistological evidence demonstrated an increase in the density of microcirculation in the ischemic hind limb, suggesting the mechanism of efficacy of this promising potential therapy is linked to the enhanced microcirculatory angiogenesis that results from treatment with these polyvalent VEGF-mimetic nanofibers. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Tissue-Engineered Intervertebral Discs Produce New Matrix, Maintain Disc Height, and Restore Biomechanical Function to the Rodent Spine
Scientists present the evaluation of a living, tissue-engineered intervertebral disc composed of a gelatinous nucleus pulposus surrounded by an aligned collagenous annulus fibrosus in the caudal spine of athymic rats for up to 6 months. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Injectable Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 Coacervate for Persistent Angiogenesis
Researchers set out to design and successfully achieved robust angiogenesis using an injectable polyvalent coacervate of a polycation, heparin, and fibroblast growth factor-2. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

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POLICY

Debt Ceiling Bill May Hurt Science
The debt ceiling proposal that passed the House of Representatives on Monday (August 1) will likely cause deep spending cuts for government scientific research if the Senate passes the bill. [Senate, United States]

A First Look at the Debt Agreement and U.S. Research
The legislation President Barack Obama signed to avert a government default offers few details on how the United States will achieve a now-mandated $917-billion cut to discretionary spending over the next decade. [Barack Obama Legislation, United States]

Divided Appeals Court Rules on BRCA Case
In a 2‐1 decision, a federal appeals court partially reversed a lower court’s ruling in the Association for Molecular Pathology’s case that challenges patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. [Federal Appeals Court, United States]

Researchers Welcome Promised U.K. Copyright Reform
The U.K. government has decided to make the country’s copyright laws more compatible with research practices in the internet age—bringing them “into line with reality,” as business secretary Vince Cable put it in a speech. [U.K. Government, United Kingdom]

Brazil Promises 75,000 Scholarships in Science and Technology
The Brazilian government has announced a plan to invest 3.16 billion real (R$; US$2.02 billion) in 75,000 science and technology scholarships by the end of 2014. [Brazilian Government, Brazil]

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BUSINESS

Starting Up the Gene Therapy Project in China
Takara Bio Inc. and Tianjin Medical University, Cancer Institute and Hospital have agreed to enter into a collaboration agreement as of July 27, 2011. [Takara Bio Inc. Press Release]

Amarantus BioSciences and Generex Biotechnology Collaborate on Cell Therapy for Late Stage Diabetes
Amarantus BioSciences and Generex Biotechnology Corporation are making public the details of their intended third joint diabetes research collaboration. [Generex Biotechnology Corporation Press Release]

Johns Hopkins Scientists Begin First-Of-Its-Kind Research to Create Blood Platelets from Stem Cells to Study Genetics of Blood Clotting Disorders
Johns Hopkins scientists have launched a pioneering research program to create, for the first time, human platelet cells from stem cells in order to study inherited blood clotting abnormalities ranging from clots that cause heart attacks and stroke to bleeding disorders. [Johns Hopkins Medicine Press Release]

Argos Therapeutics Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering
Argos Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock. [Argos Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]


NIH

Conflict Disclosure Plan Dropped
The NIH will not require universities to create websites detailing researchers’ financial ties.

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-19513)

Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing (FR Doc No: 2011-19378)

Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing (FR Doc No: 2011-19817)

Revised Instructions for Inclusion of Appendix Materials in Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (Parent T32 and T35) (NOT-OD-11-100)


CBER
CBER Strategic Plan FY 2012-2016

REGULATORY

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff: Investigational New Drug Applications for Minimally Manipulated, Unrelated Allogeneic Placental/Umbilical Cord Blood Intended for Hematopoietic Reconstitution for Specified Indications; Availability [Docket No. FDA-2009-D-0490]


EVENTS

NEW REGENER8 Annual Conference 2011 ‘Delivery of Regenerative Technologies on a Commercial Scale’
September 29, 2011
Manchester, United Kingdom

NEW Cryopreservation Techniques Webinar
August 11, 2011
Webinar

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.


JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist (iPSC) (STEMCELL Technologies)

Postdoctoral Position (Michigan State University)

Postdoctoral Scientists (North Carolina Central University)

Postdoctoral Position (Nanyang Technological University)

Medical Officer (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position (University of California, Davis)

Industrial Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Regenerative Medicine Cell Therapy) (Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics Inc.)

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