Volume 12.45 | Nov 14

Issue 12.45 November 14, 2011
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TOP STORY
Lab-Grown Gland Helps Mice, May Spur Cure for Hormone Disorders
Mouse stem cells were fashioned into a fully functioning pituitary gland for the first time, raising hope that a dozen disorders caused by a defective organ may one day be cured. [Press release from Bloomberg Businessweek discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Cardiac Stem Cells in Patients with Ischemic Cardiomyopathy (SCIPIO): Initial Results of a Randomized Phase I Trial
Researchers undertook a phase I trial (Stem Cell Infusion in Patients with Ischemic cardiOmyopathy [SCIPIO]) of autologous cardiac stem cells for the treatment of heart failure resulting from ischemic heart disease. [Lancet] Abstract | Press Release

A Network of Broadly Expressed HLH Genes Regulates Tissue-Specific Cell Fates
Spatial and temporal expression of specific basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors defines many types of cellular differentiation. Researchers find that a distinct mechanism regulates the much broader expression of the heterodimer partners of these specific factors and impinges on differentiation. [Cell] Abstract | Press Release

Interconversion Between Intestinal Stem Cell Populations in Distinct Niches
Researchers demonstrate that Hopx, an atypical homeobox protein, is a novel and specific marker of +4 cells. [Science] Abstract | Press Release

Effect of Intracoronary Delivery of Autologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells 2 to 3 Weeks following Acute Myocardial Infarction on Left Ventricular Function
The objective of the study was to determine if intracoronary delivery of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells improves global and regional left ventricular function when delivered 2 to 3 weeks following first myocardial infarction. [JAMA]
Abstract | Press Release

Highly Efficient Derivation of Ventricular Cardiomyocytes from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with a Distinct Epigenetic Signature
Here, scientists demonstrate that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be derived from murine ventricular myocytes (VMs), and consistent with other reports of iPSCs derived from various somatic cell types, VM-derived iPSCs exhibit a markedly higher propensity to spontaneously differentiate into beating cardiomyocytes as compared to genetically matched embryonic stem cells or iPSCs derived from tail-tip fibroblasts. [Cell Res] Abstract

The Metabolome of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Reveals Metabolic Changes Occurring in Somatic Cell Reprogramming
Researchers report, using an untargeted metabolomics approach, that human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share a pluripotent metabolomic signature with embryonic stem cells that is distinct from their parental cells, and that is characterized by changes in metabolites involved in cellular respiration. [Cell Res] Abstract

Direct Reprogramming of Sertoli Cells into Multipotent Neural Stem Cells by Defined Factors
Investigators demonstrate that sertoli cells derived from mesoderm can be directly converted into a multipotent state that possesses neural stem/progenitor cell properties. [Cell Res] Abstract

Derivation of New Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Reveals Rapid Epigenetic Progression In Vitro that Can Be Prevented by Chemical Modification of Chromatin
Data demonstrate that self-renewal and survival of class I nuclei are compatible with normoxic human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derivation, and that chemical supplementation after derivation provides a strategy to prevent epigenetic progression and retain nuclei with two active X chromosomes in the self renewing state. [Hum Mol Genet] Abstract

A Pilot Study of MUC-1/CEA/TRICOM Poxviral-Based Vaccine in Patients with Metastatic Breast and Ovarian Cancer
PANVAC is a recombinant poxviral vaccine that contains transgenes for MUC-1, CEA, and 3 T-cell costimulatory molecules (TRICOM). This study was conducted to obtain preliminary evidence of clinical response in metastatic breast and ovarian cancer patients. [Clin Cancer Res] Abstract | Press Release

Efficient Generation of Functional Hepatocytes from Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by HNF4α Transduction
Although investigators recently reported that hepatic commitment is promoted by transduction of SOX17 and HEX into human embryonic stem cell- and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cells, these hepatocyte-like cells were not sufficiently mature for drug screening. To promote hepatic maturation, they utilized transduction of the hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) gene, which is known as a master regulator of liver-specific gene expression. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Cross-Presentation of Tumor Antigens by Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived CD141+XCR1+ Dendritic Cells
Scientists have succeeded in differentiating dendritic cells from human leukocyte antigen-A*0201+ induced pluripotent stem cells, using protocols compliant with their subsequent clinical application. [Gene Ther]
Abstract | Press Release

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SCIENCE NEWS

Self-Assembling Biomimetic Nanostructures
Researchers have designed a new class of ultrasmall peptides capable of self-assembling into a variety of structures such as membranes, micelles, tubules and gels that are suitable for application in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. [Agency for Science, Technology and Research] Press Release

Novel Monoclonal Antibody Offers Potential Treatment for Tumors Resistant to VEGF Therapy
Despite the widespread use of current antiangiogenic cancer therapies, many tumors escape this blockade. Now, researchers suggest that targeting a novel antiangiogenic receptor may help patients whose cancer does not respond to existing agents. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing research presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference: Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, San Francisco] Press Release

Enzon Presents Clinical and Preclinical Data on mRNA Antagonists
Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the presentation of clinical and preclinical data from three messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) product candidates based on the Company’s locked nucleic acid technology platform. [Press release from Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing research presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference: Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, San Francisco] Press Release

Mesoblast Reports Positive Results Using Intravenously Injected Adult Stem Cells for Type 2 Diabetes
Mesoblast Limited announced that a single intravenous injection of its proprietary adult stem cells resulted in significant lowering of blood sugar levels for up to eight weeks in a controlled, randomized preclinical trial in non-human primates with Type 2 diabetes. [Mesoblast Limited] Press Release

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POLICY
Palestinian Membership Puts UN Projects at Risk
Concern is growing that United Nations bodies could face budget crises after the United Nation (UN) agency responsible for science suffered a drastic cut in contributions following a vote in which it admitted the Palestinian Authority as a member. [United Nations, France] Press Release

New NSF Program Sidesteps External Peer Review
U.S. researchers with an unorthodox idea in two or more scientific fields now have the chance to bypass the normal peer-review process at the National Science Foundation (NSF). [National Science Foundation, United States] Press Release


BUSINESS
Lentigen and UH Case Medical Center Initiate Phase I Trial Using Gene Therapy and Bone Marrow Stem Cells in the Treatment of Brain Cancer
University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Lentigen Corporation announced the initiation of a novel Phase I clinical trial of LG631 gene therapy for the protection of hematopoietic stem cells from the dose limiting toxicity of chemotherapy with Temodar. [University Hospitals] Press Release

Access Pharmaceuticals Signs Agreement for CobaCyte® and CobOral® in RNAi Therapeutic Delivery
Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced it has entered into an agreement with a major player in RNAi industry to exploit its CobaCyte® and CobOral® technology for the targeted delivery of RNAi therapeutics. [Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News] Press Release

New York Genome Center Launches Unprecedented Collaboration of 11 Leading Medical/Research Institutions
The New York Genome Center officially launched what will become one of the largest genomic facilities in North America, establishing an unprecedented, large-scale collaborative venture in genomic medicine. [New York Genome Center] Press Release

Tufts University Researcher Develops Living Tissue
A new approach to studying tissue development has earned Catherine K. Kuo, Ph.D. the Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes Foundation. [EurekAlert!] Press Release

$100 Million Gift Establishes Belfer Research Building at Weill Cornell Medical College
In the presence of U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Weill Cornell Medical College dedicated the Belfer Research Building, a state-of-the-art facility that will more than double the Medical College’s existing research space and position Weill Cornell at the vanguard of new medical research and discoveries. [Weill Cornell Medical College] Press Release

Ireland’s Genable Technologies Completes €5M Series B Financing
Genable Technologies announced that is has successfully completed a new financing round for €5m led by new investors Fountain Healthcare Partners alongside existing investors Delta Partners. This funding will support the on-going development of Genable’s suppression/replacement gene therapy technology and specifically progress Genable’s lead product GT038 for Retinitis Pigmentosa forward into clinical evaluation in man. [Delta Partners Limited] Press Release

Getting on Your Nerves: $1.4 Million NIH Grant to Study the Regeneration of Nerves
With a new $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Deanna Thompson, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will investigate a promising new method to heal traumatic nerve damage, using electrical stimulation to prime and pump neuronal growth. [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute] Press Release

Intellect Neurosciences Obtains Two New Patents in Japan for Its Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Programs
Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. announces that the Japanese Patent Office has granted the company two new patents for its Alzheimer’s immunotherapy programs. [Intellect Neurosciences, Inc.] Press Release

Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium Appoints New Leadership
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), Inc. announced that James P. Allison, Ph.D., chair of the immunology program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Axel Hoos, M.D., Ph.D., medical lead in immunology/oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, have been named directors of the CRI Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium. [Cancer Research Institute] Press Release

Researchers Honored at the SITC 26th Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) honored the late Ralph M. Steinman, MD for his outstanding research, work and achievements in cancer therapy, with the Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award at the SITC 26th Annual Meeting & Associated Programs Awards Ceremony. [Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer] Press Release


NIH
Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-29307)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-28958)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-28959)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-28962)

National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-28963)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-29311)

Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-29138)

Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Application for Collaboration With the NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics (NCTT) (FR Doc No: 2011-28965)


CBER
Public Workshop: Hemoglobin Standards and Maintaining Adequate Iron Stores in Blood Donors


REGULATORY
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

FDA Approves First Cord Blood Product
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved HEMACORD, the first licensed hematopoietic progenitor cells-cord cell therapy.
Press Release

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; State Enforcement Notifications [FR Doc No: 2011-29058]

Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; 510(k) Device Modifications: Deciding When To Submit a 510(k) for a Change to an Existing Device; Availability; Reopening of Comment Period [FR Doc No: 2011-28875]


EVENTS
NEW Keystone Symposia: Nucleic Acid Therapeutics: From Base Pairs to Bedsides
January 10-15, 2012
Santa Fe, 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)

Lab Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research Technologist, Manufacturing Sciences (STEMCELL Technologies)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Adult Neurogenesis and Neural Signaling (University of Kentucky)

Postdoctoral Position (The Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research)

Research Associate II/III (Louisiana State University)

Associate Professor, Biology and Medicine in Maternal, Perinatal and Child Health (Wayne State University)

Transplant Research Specialist (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Postgraduate Students (Masaryk University)

Postdoctoral Position – Center for Human Genetics (VIB Research Institute)

Senior Development Associate (Genzyme Corporation)

Research Associate – Cell Culture (Stemgent, Inc.)

Scientist – Differentiation Segment (Stemgent, Inc.)

Scientist II, Innovation – Cell Processing Technologies (Lonza Walkersville, Inc.)

Senior Manager, Innovation – Cell Processing Technologies (Lonza Walkersville, Inc.)


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