Volume 12.39 | Oct 3

Cell Therapy News 12.39, October 3, 2011
     In this issue: Publications | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY

Research Reveals How Dynamic Changes in Methylation Can Determine Cell Fate
Scientists have uncovered intriguing new evidence helping to explain one of the ways in which a stem cell’s fate can be determined. [Press release from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory discussing online prepublication in Molecular Cell] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Tumor-Infiltrating Myeloid Cells Induce Tumor Cell Resistance to Cytotoxic T Cells in Mice
Scientists set out to investigate one possible explanation for the failure of CTLs to eliminate tumors, specifically, the concept that this failure is not dependent on inhibition of T cell function. [J Clin Invest] Abstract | Press Release

Successful Isolation of Liver Progenitor Cells by Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity from Naïve Mice
Researchers demonstrate that a subset of non-parenchymal mouse liver cells displays high levels of aldehyde dehydrogenase activity, enabling the isolation of these cells by fluorescence activated cell sorting. [Hepatology] Abstract


Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Investigators report the results of a prospective, randomized phase III trial evaluating the use of autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation vs. intensive consolidation chemotherapy in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia patients in complete remission. [Blood] Abstract

Abcg2 Labels Multiple Cell Types in Skeletal Muscle and Participates in Muscle Regeneration
Scientists show that cells expressing Abcg2 increased upon injury and that muscle regeneration was impaired in Abcg2-null mice, resulting in fewer centrally nucleated myofibers, reduced myofiber size, and fewer satellite cells. [J Cell Biol] Abstract

A Protein Therapeutic Modality Founded on Molecular Regulation
Here, investigators describe a synthetic biology strategy for designing protein therapeutics that autonomously activate a therapeutic function in response to a specific cancer marker of choice. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

Grafted Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem-Cell–Derived Neurospheres Promote Motor Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in Mice
Here, researchers investigated the therapeutic potential of transplanting human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurospheres into nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient mice to treat spinal cord injury. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract


Dermis Isolated Adult Stem Cells for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
In this study, chondroinducible dermis cells’ multilineage differentiation capacity is determined, and methods of expanding and tissue engineering these cells are investigated. [Biomaterials] Abstract


Two-Phase Analysis of Molecular Pathways Underlying iPS Cell Induction
Here investigators have synchronized the reprogramming process by a two-phase induction: an initial stable intermediate phase following transduction with Oct4, Klf4, and c-Myc, and a final induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell phase following overexpression of Sox2. [Stem Cells] Abstract


Changes in Glycosphingolipid Composition During Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Ectodermal or Endodermal Lineages
In the present study, to further clarify if alterations in glycosphingolipid (GSL) patterns are correlated with lineage-specific differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), scientists analyzed changes in GSLs as hESCs differentiated into neural progenitors or endodermal cells by MALDI-MS and MS/MS analyses. [Stem Cells] Abstract


Systemic Administration of Combinatorial Dicer Substrate siRNAs via Nanoparticles Efficiently Suppresses HIV-1 Infection in Humanized Mice
Researchers evaluated the in vivo efficacy of structurally flexible, cationic PAMAM dendrimers as a small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery system in a Rag2-/-γc-/- humanized mouse model for HIV-1 infection. [Mol Ther] Abstract


Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization for Gene Therapy of Adult Patients with Severe ß-Thalassemia: Results of Clinical Trials Using G-CSF or Plerixafor in Splenectomized and Nonsplenectomized Subjects
The safety and efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell mobilization was investigated in adult splenectomized (SPL) and non-SPL patients with thalassemia major, in two clinical trials, using different mobilization modes: granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-alone, G-CSF following pretreatment with hydroxyurea, plerixafor-alone. [Mol Ther] Abstract


Rational Design of Therapeutic siRNAs: Minimizing Off-Targeting Potential to Improve the Safety of RNA Interference Therapy for Huntington’s Disease
Here, in designing small inhibitory RNAs (siRNAs) to treat Huntington’s disease investigators prioritized selection of sequences with minimal off-targeting potentials (i.e., those with a scarcity of seed complements within all known human 3′-UTRs). [Mol Ther] Abstract


High Levels of Circulating CD34+ Cells at Autologous Stem Cell Collection Are Associated with Favorable Prognosis in Multiple Myeloma
Scientists hypothesized that varying levels of mobilized CD34+ cells confer prognostic information in myeloma patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy. [Br J Cancer] Abstract | Press Release

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POLICY

Connecticut Offers $291 Million to Land Jackson Lab Branch
Connecticut is proposing to pony up $291 million to help open a new offshoot of The Jackson Laboratory. [The Jackson Laboratory, United States] Press Release

Twelve Researchers Take Home Top Medals
President Barack Obama named seven recipients of the National Medal of Science, and five winners of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, hailing their “fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge.” [President Barack Obama, United States] Press Release


White House Touts NSF’s New Family-Friendly Policies
The National Science Foundation (NSF) hopes that a new set of family-friendly policies will reduce the number of young women who abandon scientific careers because of responsibilities outside of the workplace. [National Science Foundation, United States] Press Release

President Obama Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists
President Obama named 94 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. [President Barack Obama, United States] Press Release


Draft Guidelines for Nanomedicine Unveiled
A research team has proposed what it calls the first comprehensive recommendations for the oversight of nanomedicine. [University of Minnesota, United States] Press Release

International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Leads Roundtable with Major US Payors, Healthcare Providers and Industry to Initiate a Collaboration to Address Cell Therapy Product Reimbursement
In keeping with its mission to drive the commercialization of cell therapy products and advance global patient access, ISCT hosted its second event this year in its Commercial Development Series, this time focusing on the timely issue of reimbursement for cell therapy and regenerative medicine products in the US market. [International Society for Cellular Therapy, United States] Press Release


The Consortium That Will Launch 5000 Mice
A global consortium of mouse genetics centers kicked off a project that aims to create and test 5000 strains of knockout mice over the next 5 years. [International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, United Kingdom] Press Release

German Ethics Council Weighs In On Human-Animal Chimeras
Mice carrying human genes are ethically acceptable, but German scientists who want to make transgenic monkeys with human genes should get permission from a national ethics panel, according to recommendations issued by the German Ethics Council. [German Ethics Council, Germany] Press Release


Responsibilities of Scientists Underlined by Scientific Community
The General Assembly of the International Council for Science reaffirmed the universal values that should guide the conduct of science. [The General Assembly of the International Council for Science, France] Press Release


France Hangs On To Generous Research Tax Credit
Despite its increasingly dire financial situation, the French government has decided to keep its controversial Research Tax Credit. [French Government, France] Press Release


Japan to Boost Science Spending, Reduce Support for Nuclear Power
Japan’s ministry of education wants to boost overall science-related spending next year by 5.8%, to $14.7 billion. [Japan’s Ministry of Education, Japan] Press Release

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BUSINESS

Pioneering Immunology Trio, Including One Who Died Days Ago, Shares Medicine Nobel
Three scientists who studied how the immune system kicks into action share this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. [ScienceNOW] Press Release

EGEN, Inc. Collaborates with Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory on Brain Cancer Therapy
EGEN, Inc. is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory to accelerate human clinical testing of a nanotechnology-based gene therapy for brain cancer. [PR Newswire] Press Release

$9 Million Grant Fuels Sickle Cell Study
The Boston University team recently received a five-year, $9 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to grow induced pluripotent stem cells as well as generate a living library of genetic variations of sickle cell disease. [Boston University] Press Release

NCI Renews UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center’s $27.5 Million Core Grant
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a five-year, $27.5 million Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to renew support for its cancer research program through 2016. [University of Alabama] Press Release


$12 Million Collaborative Grant Seeks to Improve Cord Blood Transplantation for Cancer Patients
A $12 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute will help researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and The Methodist Hospital improve outcomes of cord blood transplantation in children and adults with cancer. [Baylor College of Medicine] Press Release


VistaGen Therapeutics Expands Key Stem Cell Technology Patent Estate Supporting Its Drug Rescue and Cell Therapy Programs
VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. announces the issuance of two additional United States patents supporting its therapeutic and drug discovery programs. [VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release


The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM): CCRM Announces Its Inaugural Board of Directors
The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) is proud to announce its inaugural Board of Directors. [Reuters] Press Release


Prominent Stem Cell Scientist to Relocate to UCSB from Britain
Pete Coffey will begin work as a full-time researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in November. [University of California, Santa Barbara] Press Release


NIH

NIH to Make a Mightier Mouse Resource for Understanding Disease
Over the next five years, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded researchers will extensively test and generate data about mice with disrupted genes to gain clues about human diseases. Press Release

NIH’s 2012 Budget Would Get 3.3% Boost in House Bill
A House of Representatives panel released a 2012 draft spending bill with surprisingly good news for the National Institutes of Health (NIH): The agency’s budget would rise $1 billion to $31.7 billion, a 3.3% increase compared with this year’s level. Press Release

A Multi-Billion Dollar Injection: Stimulus—Response
The United States’ 2009 financial stimulus bill has provided research with breathing space, rather than the sharp shot in the arm that many anticipated. Press Release

NIH Program Allows Junior Investigators to Bypass Traditional Post-Doc Training
A program designed to accelerate the entry of outstanding junior investigators into independent researcher positions immediately following completion of their graduate research degree or clinical residency has announced its first recipients. Press Release

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-24841)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-24940)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-25153)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-24948)

Revised Policy: Managing Conflict of Interest in the Initial Peer Review of NIH Grant and Cooperative Agreement Applications (NOT-OD-11-120)

Revised Multiple Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) Policy to Allow Change with Prior Approval (NOT-OD-11-118)


CBER

User Fee Billable Biologic Products and Potencies Approved Under Section 351 of the PHS Act

September 20, 2011: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting Transcript

CBER’s International Program


REGULATORY

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

FDA: New Transparency Report Outlines Proposals for Enforcement Data, for Public Comment
The U.S Food and Drug Administration released 8 new draft proposals in a report titled “Food and Drug Administration Transparency Initiative: Draft Proposals for Public Comment to Increase Transparency By Promoting Greater Access to the Agency’s Compliance and Enforcement Data.” Press Release


Request for Notification From Industry Organizations Interested in Participating in the Selection Process and Request for Nominations for a Nonvoting Industry Representative on the Vaccines and Biological Products Advisory Committee [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0002]


Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; De Novo Classification Process (Evaluation of Automatic Class III Designation); Availability [FR Doc No: 2011-25367]


EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY (European Union)

Expressions of Interest Invited for Membership of European Medicines Agency Committees and Management Board
The European Commission has launched a call for expressions of interest for members of the European Medicines Agency’s new Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee, as well as its Management Board, Committee for Advanced Therapies and Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products. Press Release


European Medicines Agency Launches New Database of European Experts
Coinciding with the entry into force of new rules on how to handle conflicts of interests of scientific experts, the European Medicines Agency launched its new experts database. Press Release


EVENTS

NEW Modeling Neuromuscular Diseases in Mice: Phenotype-Driven Approaches
October 6, 2011
Webinar

NEW
World RadioImmunoConjugate Summit
February 1-2, 2012
Washington, United States

NEW
Miami 2012 Winter Symposium: Nanotechnology in Biomedicine
February 26-29, 2012
Miami, United States

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)

Lab Technologist Position (Michigan State University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Islet Cell Electrophysiology (Vanderbilt University)

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

Postdoctoral Scholar (University of California, Irvine)

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