Volume 13.27 | Jul 16

Issue 13.27 July 16, 2012
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TOP STORY
Robust Tumor Immunity to Melanoma Mediated by Interleukin-9-Producing T Cells
Adoptive transfer of tumor-antigen-specific T helper type 9 cells into both wild-type and Rag1-/- mice suppressed melanoma growth; this effect was abrogated by treatment with neutralizing antibodies to interleukin-9. [Nat Med] Abstract | Press Release

Learn more about the new smartphone app for human blood cell frequencies


PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Combination Delivery of TGF-β Inhibitor and IL-2 by Nanoscale Liposomal Polymeric Gels Enhances Tumor Immunotherapy
Nanoscale liposomal polymeric gels releasing transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) inhibitor and interleukin-2 (IL-2) significantly delayed tumor growth, increased survival of tumor-bearing mice, and increased the activity of natural killer cells and of intratumoral-activated CD8+ T-cell infiltration. [Nat Mater]
Abstract | Press Release

Maximizing the Potency of siRNA Lipid Nanoparticles for Hepatic Gene Silencing In Vivo
Through systematic structural modifications to the hydrophilic head group researchers have modulated the apparent acid dissociation constant (pKa) of the ionizable amino lipids present in the lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) and investigated the relationship between the pKa value and activity, that is, the ability of the LNPs to deliver functionally active small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) into hepatocytes for eliciting gene silencing in vivo. [Angew Chem Int Edit] Full Article | Press Release

Transplantation of Side Population Cells Restores the Function of Damaged Exocrine Glands Through Clusterin
To examine therapeutic potential of side population (SP) cells in hypofunction of exocrine glands, SP cells isolated from mouse exocrine glands were transplanted into mice with irradiation-induced hypofunction of the respective glands. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Paracrine Signaling Events in Embryonic Stem Cell Renewal Mediated by Affinity Targeted Nanoparticles
Researchers illustrated the use of affinity targeted biodegradable nanoparticles to mediate paracrine stimulation as an alternative approach to sustain the growth and pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells. [Biomaterials] Abstract | Press Release

Low Doses of Anti-CD3, Ciclosporin A and the Vitamin D Analogue, TX527, Synergize to Delay Recurrence of Autoimmune Diabetes in an Islet-Transplanted NOD Mouse Model of Diabetes
Combining the immunomodulatory actions of anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies with ciclosporin A and TX527 delivers therapeutic efficacy in an islet-transplanted NOD mouse model of diabetes. [Diabetologia] Abstract

In Vivo Mononuclear Cell Tracking Using Superparamagnetic Particles of Iron Oxide: Feasibility and Safety in Humans
Researchers aimed to develop a Good Manufacturing Practice compliant method of labeling competent peripheral blood mononuclear cells with superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide, and to evaluate its potential for magnetic resonance cell tracking in humans. [Circ Cardiovasc Imaging] Abstract | Press Release

Recognition of Glioma Stem Cells by Genetically Modified T Cells Targeting EGFRvIII and Development of Adoptive Cell Therapy for Glioma
Researchers concentrated development on a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) produced from human monoclonal antibody 139. Using the 139-based CAR, T cells from glioblastoma patients were genetically engineered to recognize epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) expressing tumors and were expanded ex vivo to large numbers, and maintained their anti-tumor activity. [Hum Gene Ther] Abstract

Synergistic Effects of Genetically Engineered Stem Cells Expressing Cytosine Deaminase and Interferon-β via Their Tumor Tropism to Selectively Target Human Hepatocarcinoma Cells
Investigators evaluated whether genetically engineered stem cells are capable of migrating to hepatocarcinoma cells and examined the potential therapeutic efficacy of gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy against liver cancer cells in cellular and animal models. [Cancer Gene Ther] Abstract

Complete Eradication of Hepatomas Using an Oncolytic Adenovirus Containing AFP Promoter Controlling E1A and an E1B Deletion to Drive IL-24 Expression
Interleukin (IL)-24 was inserted into an oncolytic adenovirus in which the E1A gene is driven by an enhanced, short α-fetoprotein (AFP) promoter and the E1B gene is completely deleted to form Ad.enAFP-E1A-ΔE1B-IL-24. This construct has a potent antitumor effect on liver cancer cell lines in vitro, but little or no effect on normal cell lines, such as L-02 and QSG-7701. [Cancer Gene Ther] Abstract

Systemic Administration of a Novel Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Population Accelerates the Resolution of Acute Liver Injury
Researchers aimed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells from human umbilical cord in the CCl4-induced acute liver injury model. [BMC Gastroenterol] Abstract | Full Article

[Free Webinar] ALDH+ Cancer Precursor Cells in Drug Response Prediction - Watch Now.



SCIENCE NEWS

Sanofi Biosurgery Product MACI® Demonstrates Statistically Significant Clinical Outcomes Compared to Microfracture
Sanofi US announced that its product MACI® (matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implant) met its co-primary endpoint in a two-year, randomized, controlled clinical trial compared to microfracture, a surgical procedure designed to stimulate the growth of new cartilage. MACI uses a patient’s own cultured cartilage cells to repair articular cartilage defects in the knee joint. [Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC.] Press Release

Alnylam Presents New Pre-Clinical Data with its RNAi Therapeutic Program in Hemophilia
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has presented new pre-clinical data with its RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of hemophilia. [Press release from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing research presented at the World Federation of Hemophilia World Congress, Paris] Press Release

ACT Announces First Stargardt Patient Treated with Higher Dosage of Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced treatment of the fourth patient, the first in the second patient cohort, in its U.S. clinical trial for Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy. The patient was injected with 100,000 human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells, as compared with the 50,000 cell dose used in the three patients of the first cohort. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.] Press Release

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POLICY

Drastic Cuts at Italian Institutes Infuriate Researchers
Italian scientists are up in arms over proposed budget cuts at over a dozen national research institutes as part of a spending review that will strike €26 billion from the national government’s budget. [Italian Government, Italy] Press Release

Italian Scientists Fight Tightened Rules on Animal Testing
Italy may soon become the European country with the most restrictive legislation on animal experimentation, if a draft law due for discussion in the Senate is approved in its current form. The Italian government says that it considers the draft “a good balance point”, but scientists fear that the restrictions would hamper biomedical research and damage the country’s pharmaceutical industry. [Italian Government, Italy] Press Release

Scientists Protest Cuts to Canadian Science
Scientists organized a “death of evidence” rally to protest proposed cuts made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to Canadian science and environmental programs. [Death of Evidence, Canada]
Press Release

Egypt’s President ‘to Link Science to Society’
Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, has ambitious plans for science and is committed to linking research to local needs and boosting private sector science funding, officials say. [Egyptian President, Egypt] Press Release

UK Funders Seek Integrity Upgrade
The major science funders in the United Kingdom are to introduce a set of principles on research integrity as a condition for receiving their grants. [Universities UK, United Kingdom] Press Release

Developing More Predictive In Vitro Models - 3rd Annual Summit



BUSINESS

Alnylam and Ascletis Form Strategic Collaboration to Develop ALN-VSP, an RNAi Therapeutic for the Treatment of Liver Cancers
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Ascletis Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. announced that they have formed a strategic collaboration for the development of ALN-VSP, a first-in-class, systemically delivered RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of liver cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma. [Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.]
Press Release

GSK to Acquire Human Genome Sciences for US $14.25 per Share in Cash
GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and Human Genome Sciences (HGS) announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which GSK will acquire HGS for US$14.25 per share in cash. [GlaxoSmithKline plc] Press Release

Juventas Therapeutics Raises $22.2 Million Series B Financing
Juventas Therapeutics announced that it has closed a $22.2 million Series B financing that was co-led by Triathlon Medical Venture Partners and New Science Ventures. The proceeds will fund completion of ongoing Phase II clinical trials investigating the use of JVS-100 in treating patients with chronic heart failure or critical limb ischemia. [PR Newswire] Press Release

TiGenix Enrolls First Patients in Pivotal Phase III Trial with Lead Product Cx601 in Perianal Fistulas
TiGenix announced the enrolment of the first patients in the ADMIRE-CD trial, its pivotal Phase III clinical trial with Cx601 in perianal fistulas in Crohn´s disease patients. Cx601 is an adipose derived allogeneic stem cell therapy. [TiGenix NV] Press Release

Medistem Launches Critical Limb Ischemia Clinical Trial
Medistem Inc. and the Chinese Conglomerate, Shanghai Jia Fu Medical Apparatus Inc, announced successful administration of Medistem’s Endometrial Regenerative Cell universal donor stem cell product in two patients with critical limb ischemia as part of a 15 patient study. [Marketwire, Incorporated] Press Release

Quest PharmaTech Updates Progress of Phase II Oregovomab Front-Line Chemo-Immunotherapy Clinical Trial in Italy
Quest PharmaTech Inc. announced that it has hosted and completed a clinical investigators meeting with all of the Italian investigators participating in the ongoing, international Phase II oregovomab clinical trial for advanced ovarian cancer patients. [Quest PharmaTech Inc.] Press Release

Regeneus Validates Therapeutic Benefits of Stem Cell Secretions Platform
Regeneus has completed a successful trial validating the efficacy of the company’s adipose-derived stem cell secretion therapy using a well-established mouse model for rheumatoid arthritis. [Regeneus Ltd] Press Release

Athersys Receives Orphan Drug Designation for MultiStem in Hurler’s Syndrome
Athersys, Inc. announced that MultiStem®, Athersys’ proprietary cell therapy, has been granted orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Hurler’s Syndrome, also known as mucopolysaccharidosis type I or MPS-I. [Athersys, Inc.] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics’ Brain Cancer Technology Receives Important Japanese Patent Allowance
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced the allowance of a Japanese patent relating to a technology for the treatment of brain cancer for which the Company holds an exclusive, worldwide license. The patent covers the treatment of brain cancer with a combination of a dendritic cell based vaccine combined either before or concurrently with the administration of chemotherapy. [Business Wire] Press Release

Biomedical Engineering Degree First in Western Canada
The University of Victoria is launching a new undergraduate biomedical engineering degree, the first of its kind west of Ontario. The Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering integrates engineering and biology and focuses on providing careers in one of the fastest growing areas in the health care field. [University of Victoria]
Press Release

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NIH

Clinically Relevant Genetic Variants Resource: A Unified Approach for Identifying Genetic Variants for Clinical Use (U01) (RFA-HG-12-016)

Stem Cells and Alcohol-Induced Tissue Injuries (R21) (PA-12-232)

Stem Cells and Alcohol-Induced Tissue Injuries (R01) (PA-12-233)

Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Impact of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education at the Clinical Center on Physician Careers in Academia and Clinical Research (FR Doc No: 2012-17120)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2012-16684)

Prospective Grant of Co-Exclusive License: The Development of Human Anti-CD22 Monoclonal Antibodies for the Treatment of Human Cancers and Autoimmune Disease (FR Doc No: 2012-17218)



REGULATORY

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

European Medicines Agency Appoints Head of International and European Cooperation
The European Medicines Agency has appointed Emer Cooke as Head of International and European Cooperation. Press Release


Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request: Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Class II Special Controls Guidance Document; Automated Blood Cell Separator Device Operating by Centrifugal or Filtration Separation Principle (FR Doc No: 2012-17080)



EVENTS

NEW The Jackson Laboratory: Modeling Human Malignancy with Patient-Derived Xenograft Cancer Models
July 26, 1:00PM (ET in US)
Webinar

NEW StemCore & CRA iPS Cell Training Workshop
August 27-31, 2012
Brisbane, Australia

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 – hPSC Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

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

Research Associate – Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Associate – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientific Communications & Publishing Coordinator (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Quality Control Operations Coordinator (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Technologist – Contract Assay Services (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Technologist – Media Development (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

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

Postdoctoral Research Position for Minority Candidate (New York Obesity Research Center)

Clinical Coordinator (New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center)

Postdoctoral Research Position (University Lille 2 France)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cells (Children’s Hospital of Chicago Research Center)


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