Volume 14.29 | Jul 29

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TOP STORY
Purged Versus Non-Purged Peripheral Blood Stem-Cell Transplantation for High-Risk Neuroblastoma (COG A3973): A Randomized Phase III Trial
Myeloablative chemoradiotherapy and immunomagnetically purged autologous bone marrow transplantation has been shown to improve outcome for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. Currently, peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) are infused after myeloablative therapy, but the effect of purging is unknown. Researchers conducted a randomized study of tumor-selective PBSC purging in stem-cell transplantation for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. [Lancet Oncol] Abstract | Press Release
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
hESC-Derived Olig2+ Progenitors Generate a Subtype of Astroglia with Protective Effects against Ischaemic Brain Injury
Researchers used an Olig2-GFP human embryonic stem cell (hESC) reporter to demonstrate that hESC-derived Olig2+ progenitors generate a subtype of previously uncharacterized astroglia (Olig2PC-Astros). When grafted into brains subjected to global ischaemia, Olig2PC-Astros exhibit superior neuroprotective effects and improved behavioral outcome compared to Olig2-negative hESC-derived neural progenitor cells. [Nat Commun] Full Article | Press Release

Myeloid/Microglial Driven Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy Corrects a Neuronopathic Lysosomal Disease
The authors previously demonstrated improved neuropathology in Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA mice using lentiviral vectors (LVs) overexpressing N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase in wild-type hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants, achieved via donor monocyte/microglial engraftment in the brain. In the current study, to improve brain expression via monocyte/microglial specificity, LVs expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under ubiquitous phosphoglycerate kinase or myeloid-specific promoters were compared in transplanted HSCs. [Mol Ther] Full Article | Press Release

N-Acetylcysteine Amide (NACA) Augments the Therapeutic Effect of Neural Stem Cell-Based Anti-Glioma Oncolytic Virotherapy
Scientists assessed the role of a novel anti-oxidant thiol, NACA, to prevent oncolytic adenovirus-mediated toxicity towards neural stem cell (NSC) carriers in an orthotropic glioma xenograft mouse model. The results showed that the combination of NACA and CRAd-S-pk7 not only increases the viability of these cell carriers by preventing ROS-induced apoptosis of NSCs, but also improves the production of viral progeny in HB1.F3.CD NSCs. [Mol Ther] Abstract

TAT-Hsp70 Induces Neuroprotection against Stroke via Anti-Inflammatory Actions Providing Appropriate Cellular Microenvironment for Transplantation of Neural Precursor Cells
Transactivator of transcription (TAT)-heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) provided an appropriate extracellular milieu for delayed intravenous transplantation of adult neural precursor cells (NPCs). Thus, NPCs that were grafted 28 days poststroke induced long-term neuroprotection for at least 3 months, which was not due to integration of grafted cells but rather due to paracrine effects of transplanted NPCs. [J Cereb Blood Flow Metab] Abstract

Survival and Differentiation of Adenovirus-Generated Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Transplanted into the Rat Striatum
Researchers aimed to develop a new approach, using an adenovirus for reprogramming cells, to characterize induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro, and test their safety, survivability, and ability to differentiate into region-appropriate neurons following transplantation into the rat brain. [Cell Transplant] Abstract

Mesenchymal Stem Cells from iPS Cells Facilitate Periodontal Regeneration
Researchers generated mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-like cells that satisfied the International Society of Cellular Therapy’s minimal criteria for defining multipotent MSC, since they had plastic adherent properties, expressed key MSC-associated markers, and had the capacity to undergo tri-lineage differentiation. Importantly, the resulting induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-MSC-like cells also had the capacity, when implanted into periodontal defects, to significantly increase the amount of regeneration and newly formed mineralized tissue present. [J Dent Res] Abstract

CXCR4-Overexpressing Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improve Repair of Acute Kidney Injury
Researchers tested the hypothesis that CXCR4 overexpression improves the repair ability of marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and that this is related to increased release of cytokines. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression, cell death and expressions of cleaved Caspase-3 and Bcl-2 in co-cultured hypoxia/re-oxygenation pretreated renal tubular epithelial cells were measured. [Am J Physiol Renal Physiol] Abstract

Apoptotic Cell Administration Enhances Pancreatic Islet Engraftment by Induction of Regulatory T Cells and Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells
Scientists demonstrated that intravenous administration of donor apoptotic splenocytes can promote pancreatic islet engraftment by inducing generation of tolerogenic dendritic cells and expansion of CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells. [Cell Mol Immmunol] Abstract

In Situ Tissue Engineering with Synthetic Self-Assembling Peptide Nanofiber Scaffolds, PuraMatrix, for Mucosal Regeneration in the Rat Middle-Ear
Researchers aimed to assess the feasibility of transplantation of isolated mucosal cells encapsulated within synthetic self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffolds using PuraMatrix, which has been successfully used as scaffolding in tissue engineering, for the repair of damaged middle ear. [Int J Nanomedicine] Abstract

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REVIEWS
Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Joint Disease and Repair
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)-multipotent precursors of connective tissue cells that can be isolated from many adult tissues, including those of the diarthrodial joint-have emerged as a potential therapy for osteoarthritis. Several early-stage clinical trials, initiated or underway in 2013, are testing the delivery of MSCs as an intra-articular injection into the knee, but optimal dose and vehicle are yet to be established. [Nat Rev Rheumatol] Abstract

Cord Blood Transplantation for Cure of HIV Infections
HIV infection has not been cured by antiretroviral drugs or gene therapy, but it has been cured by a hematopoietic cell transplantation that was performed for a patient with acute myeloid leukemia and HIV infection using peripheral blood stem cells from an adult donor homozygous for CCR5-Δ32 (CCR5-Δ32/Δ32). However, this approach cannot be readily generalized because of the low prevalence of the CCR5-Δ32 allele and the need for a very close human leukocyte antigen (HLA) match between adult donors and recipients, as when bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplants are performed. In contrast, cord blood transplants require less stringent HLA matching. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the cell, gene and immunotherapy research field.

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SCIENCE NEWS
OncoSec Medical Presents Positive Immune Response Data from Phase II Study at the 8th World Congress
OncoSec Medical Inc., a company developing its advanced-stage ImmunoPulse DNA-based immunotherapy and NeoPulse therapy to treat solid tumors, announced interim immune response data from the company’s Phase II study of ImmunoPulse in patients with metastatic melanoma. [Press release from OncoSec Medical Inc. discussing research presented at the 8th World Congress of Melanoma, Hamburg] Press Release

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POLICY
Democratizing the Collection and Storage of Stem Cells
Cordsavings SA, newly housed at the BioArk site in Monthey, seeks to democratize the collection and storage of umbilical cord blood stem cells across Swiss territory. To achieve this, it is developing a totally new ethical and community-based bio-bank in Valais to serve families and the public health authorities. [Cordsavings SA] Press Release

BrainStorm’s NurOwn Cell Therapy Receives Orphan Drug Designation in the European Union for ALS
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that the European Commission has granted Orphan Drug Designation for NurOwn™, the Company’s stem cell therapy consisting of autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells secreting neurotrophic factors, for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. [European Commission, Europe] Press Release
 
BUSINESS
Stem Cell Agency’s Board Approves $70 Million Plan to Develop Innovative Alpha Clinics
A $70 million plan to create a new statewide network of sites that will act as a hub for stem cell clinical trials was approved by the governing Board of California’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The goal of the Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network is to support and accelerate clinical trials for programs funded by the agency, as well as those developed elsewhere by academic researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine] Press Release

Stem Cell Clinical Trials Expert to Lead Cardiology Division at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
Timothy D. Henry, MD, an expert known for his innovative work in developing stem cell treatments for advanced heart disease patients, has joined the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute as director of Cardiology. [Cedars-Sinai] Press Release

International Regenerative Medicine Expert Joins University
The University of Manchester has made a major new appointment in the field of Regenerative Medicine. Professor Giulio Cossu, a leading regenerative medicine expert and former Director of the Division of Regenerative Medicine at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute of Milan, joins the University of Manchester from University College London. He is famous world-wide for his work on cellular therapies for muscular dystrophy. [The University of Manchester] Press Release

SynGen Hires Former Pall Medical Executive as President of Cord Blood Business Unit
SynGen Inc. announced that it has appointed Frank Pascale, formerly Senior Vice President of Business Development for Pall Medical, to lead its Cord Blood Processing business unit. This appointment follows the 510K clearance of three integrated cord blood processing products provided by the FDA on July 10, 2013. [SynGen, Inc.] Press Release

Adaptimmune Announces Opening of Phase I/IIa Clinical Trial in Ovarian Cancer
Adaptimmune announced that it has opened a Phase I/IIa, multiple-site, two-cohort, open-label clinical trial in ovarian cancer at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. Researchers will investigate the safety, bioactivity and effectiveness of treating patients with their own T cells after genetically engineering the cells to enhance their antitumor properties. [Adaptimmune Ltd.] Press Release

Cellular Biomedicine Group Completes Enrollment in Phase I Clinical Trial for Knee Osteoarthritis
Cellular Biomedicine Group announced that it has completed the enrollment required for its Phase I trial to evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of the medical technology Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis. [Cellular Biomedicine Group] Press Release

Arrowhead Begins Phase I Trial of RNAi Therapeutic ARC-520 for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B Infection
Arrowhead Research Corporation announced that it has initiated dosing in a Phase I clinical trial of ARC-520, the Company’s candidate for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Trial initiation followed successful completion of the Clinical Trial Notification regulatory process in Australia. [Arrowhead Research Corporation] Press Release

LifeMap Sciences Announces Release of LifeMap Discovery™ Version 1.2 with Extensive Stem Cell Therapy Data
LifeMap Sciences, Inc. announced the release of LifeMap Discovery™ version 1.2. LifeMap Discovery™ is a state-of-the-art roadmap of embryonic development and stem cell biology. The product integrates embryonic development and stem cell biology, molecular, cellular, anatomical, and disease-related information, and provides data-mining capabilities and bioinformatics applications. [BusinessWire] Press Release
 
NIH
Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request: Application for the Postdoctoral Research Associate Program (FR Doc No: 2013-17645)

Submission for OMB Review; 30-day Comment Request: Financial Sustainability of Human Tissue Biobanking (FR Doc No: 2013-17642)
 
REGULATORY
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting (FR Doc No: 2013-17600)
 
EVENTS
NEW Compliance Made Easy for Cord Blood Banks
July 31, 11:00AM (CT in US)
Webinar


NEW 3rd Geneocell Summer School: Advanced Stem Cell Technologies & Therapies
September 9-15, 2013
Izmit, Turkey


NEW Cell Society Europe Congress
October 31-November 2, 2013
Marseille, France


Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Research Associate – Cardioprotection and Myocardium Repair by Gene or Cell Therapy (University of Louisville)

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Cell Encapsulation for Optimizing Angiogenic Cell Therapies (King’s College London)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Therapy and Epigenetics of Retina (University of Pittsburgh, Ophthalmology)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Tissue Engineering (School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Immunology (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry (Masaryk University)

Research Scientist/Senior Research Officer – Monoclonal Antibodies (Bioprocessing Technology Institute/A*STAR)

Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Scientist – Tissue Engineering (Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology)

Director of Cell Processing Facility (S L Collins Associates, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Hematopoietic Stem Cells (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)


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