Volume 12.37 | Sep 19

Cell Therapy News 12.37, September 19, 2011
     In this issue: Publications | Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY

Team Finds Stable RNA Nano-Scaffold within Virus Core
With the discovery of a RNA nano-scaffold that remains unusually stable in the body, researchers have overcome another barrier to the development of therapeutic RNA nanotechnology. [Press release from the University of Cincinnati discussing online prepublication in Nature Nanotechnology] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS
(Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

An Alternative Splicing Switch Regulates Embryonic Stem Cell Pluripotency and Reprogramming
Here, researchers identify an evolutionarily conserved embryonic stem cell-specific alternative splicing event that changes the DNA-binding preference of the forkhead family transcription factor FOXP1. [Cell] Abstract | Press Release

Multi-Input RNAi-Based Logic Circuit for Identification of Specific Cancer Cells
Here, investigators show a scalable transcriptional/posttranscriptional synthetic regulatory circuit that senses expression levels of a customizable set of endogenous microRNAs and triggers a cellular response only if the expression levels match a predetermined profile of interest. [Science] Abstract | Press Release

BikDD Eliminates Breast Cancer Initiating Cells and Synergizes with Lapatinib for Breast Cancer Treatment
Here, scientists show that BIKDD, a constitutively active mutant form of proapoptotic gene, BIK, effectively induces apoptosis of breast cancer cells and synergizes with lapatinib. [Cancer Cell] Abstract | Press Release

The Determination of Stem Cell Fate by 3D Scaffold Structures through the Control of Cell Shape
Results indicate that cells are more sensitive to scaffold structure than previously appreciated and suggest that scaffold efficacy can be optimized by tailoring the scaffold structure to force cells into morphologies that direct them to differentiate down the desired lineage. [Biomaterials] Abstract | Press Release

Zfp281 Functions as a Transcriptional Repressor for Pluripotency of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers performed microarray profiling in combination with previously published datasets of Zfp281 global target gene occupancy, and found that Zfp281 mainly functions as a repressor to restrict expression of many stem cell pluripotency genes. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Efficient In Vivo Delivery of siRNA Into Brain Capillary Endothelial Cells Along with Endogenous Lipoprotein
Investigators examined gene silencing in brain capillary endothelial cells by using endogenous lipoprotein to introduce short-interfering RNA (siRNA) in vivo. [Mol Ther] Abstract | Press Release

AAV Serotype 2/1-Mediated Gene Delivery of Anti-Inflammatory Interleukin-10 Enhances Neurogenesis and Cognitive Function in APP+PS1 Mice
Here, scientists show that adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 2/1 hybrid-mediated neuronal expression of the mouse IL-10 gene ameliorates cognitive dysfunction in amyloid precursor protein+ presenilin-1 (APP+PS1) bigenic mice. [Gene Ther] Abstract

Mitochondrial Gene Replacement in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Progenitors
Here, researchers describe a novel approach that uses recombinant human mitochondrial transcription factor A protein to transfect and express a pathogenic mitochondrial genome carrying the G11778A mutation associated with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy disease, into dideoxycytidine-treated human pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitors. [Gene Ther] Abstract

Adult Spinal Cord Radial Glia Display a Unique Progenitor Phenotype
Radial glia are primarily embryonic neuroglial progenitors that express Brain Lipid Binding Protein (Blbp a.k.a. Fabp7) and Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (Gfap). Scientists used these transcripts to demarcate the distribution of spinal cord radial glia (SCRG) and screen for SCRG gene expression in the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas. [PLoS One] Abstract | Press Release

Gene Therapy for Leber Congenital Amaurosis Caused by RPE65 Mutations
The objective of this study is to determine the safety and efficacy of subretinal gene therapy in the RPE65 form of Leber congenital amaurosis using recombinant adeno-associated virus 2 carrying the RPE65 gene. [Arch Ophthalmol] Abstract | Press Release

Donor Myocardial Infarction Impairs the Therapeutic Potential of Bone Marrow Cells by an Interleukin-1–Mediated Inflammatory Response
Using bone marrow cells (BMCs) from donor mice after myocardial infarction (MI), researchers discovered that recent MI impaired BMC therapeutic efficacy. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

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SCIENCE NEWS

Blood Vessels from Your Printer?
Researchers are applying new techniques and materials to come up with artificial blood vessels in their BioRap project that will be able to supply necessary nutrients to artificial tissue and maybe even complex organs in the future. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing research being presented at the Biotechnica Fair, Hannover] Press Release


Bionor AIDS Injection Helps Patients Stay Off Pills in Study
Bionor Pharma ASA said the AIDS injection lowered viral levels in patients’ blood and helped some of them stay off daily pills for more than a year. [Press release from Bloomberg discussing research presented at the AIDS Vaccine 2011 Conference, Bangkok] Press Release

Clues Emerge to Explain First Successful HIV Vaccine Trial
Scientists reported molecular clues that help to explain the first-ever success of an HIV vaccine trial in humans. [Press release from NatureNews discussing research presented at the AIDS Vaccine 2011 Conference, Bangkok] Press Release

Sangamo BioSciences Announces Presentation of Groundbreaking Clinical Data from ZFN Therapeutic for HIV/AIDS at ICAAC 2011
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. announced that data from its Phase I clinical programs to develop SB-728-T, a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, were discussed in two presentations. [Press release from Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. discussing research presented at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) 2011, Chicago] Press Release


Virus Shows Promise for Imaging and Treating Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers are investigating a potential treatment and noninvasive imaging modality for pancreatic cancer that shows promise. [American Association for Cancer Research] Press Release

Research Promises Regenerative Potential
Researchers have developed a novel method to isolate sufficient numbers of autologous endothelial progenitor stem cells that can be used to renew damaged heart or muscle tissue. [PR Newswire] Press Release

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POLICY

Senate Plan Gives NSF a Choice on Facilities VS. Research
A Senate proposal that would reduce next year’s budget for the National Science Foundation (NSF) by $162 million includes unprecedented flexibility for the agency to decide how best to spend a portion of that shrinking pot of money. [U.S. Senate, United States] Press Release

Republicans Seek to Prioritize Stem Cell Research Programs
Republican Randy Forbes introduced legislation that seeks to focus federal stem cell research in areas that show “evidence of providing clinical benefit for human patients,” and promote research that does not involve the creation of or damage to human embryos. [Republicans, United States] Press Release

U.K. Masks Cuts to Science By Redefining ‘Science Budget’
Despite promises by the U.K. government last year that its science budget would stay level between 2010 and 2015, a new analysis concludes that the government has masked cuts by redefining what is and isn’t included in its science budget. [U.K. Government, United Kingdom] Press Release

U.K. Must Set Out Strategic Vision for Medical Research to Retain World-Class Competitive Edge
Cancer Research UK launched a report urging the Government to set out a clear vision for research and innovation, demonstrating how the U.K. will provide a stable environment for medical research to enable life sciences to be a key driver of economic growth. [Cancer Research UK, United Kingdom] Press Release

French Bioethics Law Addresses Embryonic Research
France passed a law on bioethics on July 7 called Loi du 7 juillet 2011. The law, which addresses several major areas of bioethics, above all confronts the question of what legal framework applies to research on human embryos and embryonic stem cells. [French Government, France] Press Release


Netherlands Pushes for Innovation
The Netherlands wants to become one of the world’s top five knowledge economies by 2020, according to a plan presented to Dutch parliament. The strategy, which focuses heavily on boosting private investment in research and innovation, has some Dutch scientists worried that fundamental research will lose out. [Dutch Parliament, Netherlands] Press Release

South Korea Sets Sights on Becoming Stem Cell Powerhouse, Again
South Korea’s president vowed on a series of regulatory reforms to help regain its place as a stem cell research powerhouse, trying to reclaim momentum five years after a cloning scandal. [South Korea’s President, South Korea] Press Release

Indian Scientists Blast Proposal to Improve Animal Welfare
Indian scientists are calling for a major rewrite of a proposed animal welfare law that they say could undermine research involving animals. [Indian National Science Academy, India] Press Release


BUSINESS

Warren Alpert Foundation Prize Honors Bioengineering Luminaries
The 2011 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize will be awarded to bioengineering pioneers Alain F. Carpentier and Robert S. Langer in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to medicine. [Harvard Medical, Dental and Public Health Schools] Press Release


Genetics Policy Institute Announces 2011 “Stem Cell Action” Award Winners and Honorees
The Genetics Policy Institute will honor individuals and organizations that have positively impacted the advancement of stem cell research at the 7th Annual Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner on October 4, 2011. [Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News] Press Release

Silence Therapeutics and InteRNA Technologies Sign Collaboration to Develop Novel MicroRNA Therapeutics
Silence Therapeutics plc and InteRNA Technologies B.V. announce that they have entered into an agreement to develop novel microRNA therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. [Silence Therapeutics plc] Press Release

The Centre for Drug Research and Development and the National Research Council Canada to Collaborate on New Cancer Therapeutics
The Centre for Drug Research and Development and the National Research Council Canada Biotechnology Research Institute announced that they have entered into a Preferred Collaboration Agreement to develop new antibody-based cancer therapeutics. [Centre for Drug Research and Development] Press Release

Aduro BioTech, Inc. Announces Three Grants
Aduro BioTech, Inc. announced the award of three grants that demonstrate the breadth of applications for the company’s proprietary vaccine platform based on Listeria monocytogenes. [BusinessWire] Press Release

Cellerant Therapeutics Awarded Additional $16.7 Million Under Existing US Government Contract to Fund Development of CLT-008 for Acute Radiation Syndrome
Cellerant Therapeutics Inc. announced that it has been awarded additional funding valued at $16.7 million by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response of the Department of Health and Human Services, for the advanced development of CLT-008. [MarketWatch] Press Release

University of Pittsburgh Receives $3.54 Million Grant
The Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh has received a $3.54 million grant from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. [University of Pittsburgh] Press Release

First Patient in Next Dose Cohort Successfully Treated with ReN001 Stem Cell Therapy
ReNeuron provides an update on progress with the PISCES Phase I clinical trial of its ReN001 stem cell therapy for disabled stroke patients. [ReNeuron Plc] Press Release


Thrasos Initiates Phase I Clinical Trial for THR-184 in Acute Kidney Injury
Thrasos Innovation, Inc. announced that it has initiated a Phase I clinical trial to study the safety and tolerability of THR-184, which the Company is developing for the treatment of Acute Kidney Injury post-surgery. [Thrasos Innovation, Inc.] Press Release

Human Gene Therapy Expands with Robust New Methods Journal Dedicated to Technological Advances in Gene Therapy
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. announces the launch of a journal expansion, Human Gene Therapy Methods, to complement the flagship publication Human Gene Therapy. [Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.] Press Release


NIH

NIH Launches Program to Facilitate Drug, Vaccine and Therapeutic License Agreements for Start-Up Companies
President Obama announced an initiative that will facilitate the ability of start-up companies to license inventions for groundbreaking medical technologies for drugs, vaccines and therapeutics developed by intramural scientists at NIH. Press Release


White House Boosts Translational Medicine, Drug Chip Project
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins’s controversial plan to launch a new center for translational biomedical research got a boost in a White House announcement on science initiatives. Press Release

National Center for Research Resources; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-23857)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-24031)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-23648)

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-24005)

Review of Grants Information for Fiscal Year 2011 (NOT-OD-11-117)


CBER

September 22-23, 2011: Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee Meeting Waiver

November 16, 2011: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement


REGULATORY
EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY (European Union)

EU Clinical Trials Register Recognized As ‘Primary Registry’ of WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the European Union (EU) Clinical Trials Register as one of the primary registries for its International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. Press Release

EVENTS

NEW VI Brazilian Congress on Stem Cells and Cell Therapy
September 28-October 1, 2011
Salvador, Brazil

NEW 2nd Annual “Cancer Immunotherapy: A Long-Awaited Reality” Conference
October 6, 2011
New York, United States

NEW 22nd Regional Congress of the ISBT
November 19-23, 2011
Taipei, Taiwan

NEW 32nd International Congress of the ISBT
July 7-12, 2012
Cancun, Mexico

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)

Contract Assay Service Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research Scientist (Vaccine/Bio-Process/Cell Therapy) (LG LIFE SCIENCE)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Stanford University)

Postdoctoral Scholar (University of California, Irvine)

Postdoctoral Position (Michigan State University)

Postdoctoral Scientists (North Carolina Central University)

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