Volume 13.14 | Apr 16

Issue 13.14, April 16, 2012
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TOP STORY
Engineered Stem Cells Seek Out and Kill HIV in Living Organisms
Researchers demonstrated for the first time that engineering stem cells to form immune cells that target HIV is effective in suppressing the virus in living tissues in an animal model. [Press release from the University of California, Los Angeles discussing online prepublication in PLoS Pathogens] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Mitochondrial Transfer from Bone-Marrow-Derived Stromal Cells to Pulmonary Alveoli Protects Against Acute Lung Injury
Bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSCs) protect against acute lung injury. To determine the role of BMSC mitochondria in this protection, scientists airway-instilled mice first with lipopolysaccharide and then with either mouse BMSCs or human BMSCs. [Nat Med] Abstract

Small Molecules Enable Highly Efficient Neuronal Conversion of Human Fibroblasts
Scientists present a minimalist approach combining two-factor neuronal programming with small molecule-based inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3ß and SMAD signaling, which converts postnatal human fibroblasts into functional neuron-like cells with yields up to >200% and neuronal purities up to >80%. [Nat Methods]
Abstract | Press Release

Derivation of iPSCs in Stirred Suspension Bioreactors
Researchers report fast and efficient derivation of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in stirred suspension bioreactors, with and without the use of c-Myc. [Nat Methods] Abstract | Press Release

Cell Autonomous Role of TGFβ and IL-2 Receptor in CD4+ and CD8+ Inducible Regulatory T Cell Generation during Graft-versus-Host Disease
Experiments using various combinations of T cells from wildtype and FoxP3-deficient mice suggested that both pre-existing donor natural regulatory T cells (Tregs) and the generation of inducible Tregs in the recipient mice contribute to protection against graft-versus-host disease. [Blood] Abstract

Mitigating Age-Related Immune Dysfunction Heightens the Efficacy of Tumor Immunotherapy in Aged Mice
Researchers developed a melanoma-specific cancer immunotherapy that shows efficacy in aged but not young hosts by mitigating age-specific tumor-associated immune dysfunction. [Cancer Res]
Abstract | Press Release

Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells form Functional Neurons and Improve Recovery After Grafting in Stroke-Damaged Brain
Researchers transplanted long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial-like stem cells, generated from adult human fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, into the stroke-damaged mouse and rat striatum or cortex. [Stem Cells] Abstract

SCL/T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia 1 Regulates Hematopoietic Specification from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Investigators found that enforced expression of stem cell leukemia (SCL) in human embryonic stem cells accelerates the emergence of hematoendothelial progenitors and robustly promotes subsequent differentiation into primitive and total blood cells with higher clonogenic potential. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Effect of Immunotherapy with Bapineuzumab on Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarker Levels in Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer Disease
Researchers’ objective was to evaluate the effect of the anti-β-amyloid (Aβ) monoclonal antibody bapineuzumab on cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers reflecting Aβ homeostasis, neuronal degeneration, and tau-related pathology in patients with Alzheimer disease. [Arch Neurol] Abstract | Press Release

Microvesicles Derived from Endothelial Progenitor Cells Protect the Kidney from Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury by MicroRNA-Dependent Reprogramming of Resident Renal Cells
Investigators tested whether microvesicles released from endothelial progenitor cells prevent acute kidney injury in a rat model of ischemia-reperfusion injury. [Kidney Int] Abstract

Intracerebroventricularly-Transplanted Human Glial Precursor Cells Are Short-Lived Yet Exert Immunomodulatory Effects in Mice with EAE
To investigate whether transplanted human glial precursor cells (hGPs) can affect the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), researchers evaluated the therapeutic effects of transplanted hGPs together with the in vivo fate of these cells using magnetic resonance imaging and bioluminescence imaging. [Glia] Abstract

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy Prevents IFTA in a Rat Kidney Allograft Model
Scientists aimed to test whether a single dose of mesenchymal stem cells, injected at 11 weeks after kidney transplantation for the prevention of chronic mechanisms, enhanced regeneration and provided protection against the inflammatory and fibrotic processes that finally lead to the characteristic features of chronic allograft nephropathy. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Human Amniotic Fluid-Derived Stem Cells Expressing Cytosine Deaminase and Thymidine Kinase Inhibits the Growth of Breast Cancer Cells in Cellular and Xenograft Mouse Models
Investigators used human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells as vehicles for targeted delivery of therapeutic suicide genes to breast cancer cells. [Cancer Gene Ther] Abstract

High-Efficiency Transduction of Human Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells by Capsid-Modified Recombinant AAV2 Vectors
Researchers suggest that high-efficiency transduction of monocyte-derived dendritic cells by serine-modified AAV2 vectors is feasible, which supports the potential utility of these vectors for future human dendritic cell vaccine studies. [Vaccine] Abstract

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SCIENCE NEWS

ACT Announces Second Patient with Dry AMD Treated in U.S. Clinical Trial with RPE Cells Derived from Embryonic Stem Cells
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that the second patient was dosed in the Company’s Phase I/II trial for dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. The patient is recovering uneventfully. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.]
Press Release

Patients’ Own Stem Cells May Preserve Heart Muscle Function After a Heart Attack
Doctors are researching the use of stem cells from pelvic bone marrow to restore tissue and improve heart function after muscle damage from heart attacks. [Orlando Health] Press Release

[New Webinar] Discover How to Reduce Variability in Primary Neuron Cultures with NeuroCult SM


 
POLICY

China’s Stem-Cell Rules Go Unheeded
Three months after the Chinese health ministry ramped up its efforts to enforce a ban on the clinical use of unapproved stem-cell treatments, an investigation reveals that businesses around the country are still charging patients thousands of dollars for these unproven therapies. [Chinese Health Ministry, China] Press Release

Texas Passes Stem-Cell Regulations
The Texas Medical Board approved regulations that are claimed to ensure safe clinical use of stem cells and other “investigational agents”. The regulations, however, have been criticized as too permissive and opening the door for the sale of dubious treatments. [Texas Medical Board, United States] Press Release

World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2012



BUSINESS

China Cord Blood Corporation Announces Investment by KKR
China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC) and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) announced that they have entered into agreements under which KKR China Growth Fund L.P. is expected to invest $65 million into CCBC to support its further business expansion and to capitalize on China’s fast growing healthcare services industry. [China Cord Blood Corporation] Press Release

Arrowhead Research Corporation Acquires Alvos Therapeutics and Proprietary Library of Targeting Peptides
Arrowhead Research Corporation announced that it has acquired Alvos Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held company that licensed a large platform of proprietary human-derived homing peptides from MD Anderson Cancer Center and the method for their discovery. [Arrowhead Research Corporation] Press Release

BioRestorative Therapies Announces Closing of License Agreement for Adult Stem Cell Disc/Spine Procedure
BioRestorative Therapies, Inc. announced it has closed on the previously announced license agreement with Regenerative Sciences, LLC for the licensing of a technique used for the treatment of bulging and herniated discs. [BioRestorative Therapies, Inc.] Press Release

Shire Adds New Technology Platform and Phase II Product Candidate to Its Regenerative Medicine Business
Shire plc announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a substantial portion of the assets of Pervasis Therapeutics. [Shire plc] Press Release

$1 Million Gift Will Advance U-M Depression Center’s Stem Cell Research into Bipolar Disorder
With the help of a recent $1 million commitment, the University of Michigan (U-M) Comprehensive Depression Center will continue its mission to unravel the unknowns about bipolar disorder using stem cell lines developed from skin cells. [University of Michigan] Press Release

ImmunAid Secures Cornerstone Funding
Genetic Technologies Limited is pleased to announce that ImmunAid Pty. Ltd. has successfully obtained a $1 million in a private placement from US, European and Australian sophisticated investors. This financing provides sufficient resources to enable the company to advance its novel approach to cancer therapy by the timely reversal of immune system suppression via its unique “on/off” technology. [Genetic Technologies Limited]
Press Release

ThermoGenesis Announces Registration Approval for BioArchive in China
ThermoGenesis Corp. announced that China’s State Food and Drug Administration has approved the registration of the BioArchive® System (BioArchive), enabling its direct commercial sale by the Company into the People’s Republic of China. [ThermoGenesis Corp.] Press Release

Piramal Healthcare Announces Approval of Its First Innovative Product for Regenerative Medicine, BST-CarGel®
Piramal Healthcare Limited announced that it has received the European CE mark approval for its innovative bio-orthopedic product for cartilage repair, BST-CarGel®. [Piramal Healthcare Limited] Press Release

VistaGen Licenses Breakthrough Stem Cell Culture Technology to Speed Development of Drug Screening and Cell Therapy for Immune System Disorders
VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. has licensed breakthrough stem cell culture technology from the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine. VistaGen will be utilizing the licensed technology to develop hematopoietic precursor stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells, with the goal of developing drug screening and cell therapy applications for human blood system disorders. [VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

REGENX Biosciences Receives FDA Orphan Designation for Treatment of Familial Hypercholesterolemia Using NAVTM rAAV8 Vectors
REGENX BioSciences, LLC. announced that it has received orphan drug product designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its program for the treatment homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia using NAVTM rAAV8 vectors. [REGENX BioSciences, LLC.] Press Release

Christiana Care Health System Achieves Accreditation by FACT
Christiana Care Health System’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program was recently awarded accreditation by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). [PR Newswire] Press Release



NIH

Notice of Change in Participation of NIH Institutes and Centers in PAR-10-196 “Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Phase III: Transitional Centers [P30]” (NOT-OD-12-095)

Genomic Medicine Pilot Demonstration Projects (U01) (RFA-HG-12-006)

Genomic Medicine Pilot Demonstration Projects Coordinating Center (U01) (RFA-HG-12-007)

Notice of Change in Participation of NIH Institutes and Centers in PAR-11-229 “Limited Competition: Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR)[U54]” (NOT-OD-12-096)

Center for Scientific Review Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2012-8700)

Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Development of Oncolytic Viral Cancer Therapies (FR Doc No: 2012-8891)



REGULATORY

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Request for Notification from Industry Organizations Interested in Participating in the Selection Process for Nonvoting Industry Representative on the Blood Products Advisory Committee, and Request for Nominations for Nonvoting Industry Representatives on the Blood Products Advisory Committee (FR Doc No: 2012-8823)


European Medicines Agency (European Union)

European Medicines Agency Publishes New Document on Regulatory Procedural Advice on Similar Biological Medicines
The European Medicines Agency has published a new document on regulatory procedural advice on similar biological medicines. Press Release

Towards a Robust Global Framework for Conduct and Oversight of Clinical Trials
The European Medicines Agency published the final reflection paper on ethical and good clinical practice aspects of clinical trials of medicinal products for human use conducted outside of the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area and submitted in marketing authorization applications to the EU regulatory authorities. Press Release



EVENTS

NEW Society for Biological Engineering (SBE)’s 3rd International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering – Designing Cellular Therapies
April 29-May 2, 2012
Seattle, United States

NEW 3rd Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) World Congress 2012
September 5-8, 2012
Vienna, Austria

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



JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Scientist – Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Epithelial Cell Research (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Hematology (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – hPSC Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Antibody and Hybridoma Technology Platforms (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Endothelial Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software, Inc.)

Senior Development Associate (Genzyme Corporation)

Research Technologist III (Medical College of Wisconsin)

Postdoctoral Position in Stem Cell Biology/Neuroscience/Cancer (The Jackson Laboratory)

Associate Director, Cell Therapy (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)

iPSC Scientist Position – Laboratory of Translational Cell Biology (The Bassell Lab, Emory University)

Postdoctoral Position – Translational Breast Cancer Research (ISREC/EPFL)

Senior Scientist (Techshot, Inc.)


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