Volume 14.49 | Dec 16

Issue 14.49 December 16, 2013
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TOP STORY
Brittle-Bone Babies Helped by Fetal Stem Cell Grafts
Osteogeneis imperfecta is a congenital bone disease that causes stunted growth and repeated, painful fracturing. Ultrasound scans can reveal fractures already in the fetus, and now an international team of researchers from Sweden, Singapore and Taiwan have treated two babies in utero by injecting bone-forming stem cells. [Press release from the Karolinska Institutet discussing online prepublication in Stem Cells Translational Medicine]
Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Transplantation of Neural Stem Cells that Overexpress SOD1 Enhances Amelioration of Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Mice
Researchers investigated whether genetic manipulation to overexpress copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) enhances survival of grafted neural stem cells and accelerates amelioration of intracerebral hemorrhage. [J Cereb Blood Flow Metab] Abstract

Graft of a Tissue Engineered Neural Scaffold Serves as a Promising Strategy to Restore Myelination after Rat Spinal Cord Transection
The authors co-cultured Schwann cells and neural stem cells with overexpression of neurotrophin-3 and its high affinity receptor TrkC, respectively, in a gelatin sponge scaffold. This was aimed to generate a tissue engineered neural scaffold, and to investigate whether it could enhance myelination after a complete T10 spinal cord transection in adult rats. [Stem Cell Dev] Abstract

Recellularization of Well Preserved Acellular Kidney Scaffold Using Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers aimed to optimize the production of three-dimensional rat whole-kidney scaffolds by shortening the duration of organ decellularization process using detergents that avoid non-ionic compounds, to investigate integrity of extracellular matrix structure and to enhance the efficacy of scaffold cellularization using physiological perfusion method. [Tissue Eng Part A] Abstract

Treatment of Graft versus Host Disease with Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: A Phase I Study on 40 Adult and Pediatric Patients
This Phase I multicenter study was aimed at assessing the feasibility and safety of intravenous administration of third party-bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells expanded in platelet lysate in 40 patients (15 children, 25 adults), experiencing steroid-resistant grade II-IV GvHD. [Biol Blood Marrow Transplant] Abstract

CD34+-Selected Stem Cell Boost without Further Conditioning for Poor Graft Function after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Hematological Malignancies
Researchers retrospectively analyzed outcomes of a CD34+-selected stem cell boost (SCB) without prior conditioning in 32 patients with poor graft function. The median interval between stem cell transplantation and SCB was 5 months. [Biol Blood Marrow Transplant] Abstract

Atorvastatin Treatment of Rats with Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Improves Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Migration and Survival via the SDF-1α/CXCR-4 Axis
SDF-1α is a critical factor responsible for adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell (ASC) migration and survival. Atorvastatin is capable of up-regulating SDF-1α. Therefore, researchers investigated whether ASC migration and survival could be improved with atorvastatin. [PLoS One] Full Article

Intravenous Infusion of Nerve Growth Factor-Secreting Monocytes Supports the Survival of Cholinergic Neurons in the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert in Hypercholesterolemia Brown-Norway Rats
Researchers evaluated the effects of repeated intravenous infusion (via the dorsal penile vein) of primary monocytes on cognition, the cholinergic system, and cortical cytokine levels in hypercholesterolemia Brown-Norway rats. [J Neurosci Res] Abstract

Clinical Results and Second-Look Arthroscopic Findings after Treatment with Adipose-Derived Stem Cells for Knee Osteoarthritis
The clinical outcomes and second-look arthroscopic findings of intra-articular injection of stem cells with arthroscopic lavage for treatment of elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis were evaluated. [Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc] Abstract

Novel Therapy for Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus: Infusion of In Vitro-Generated Insulin-Secreting Cells
Investigators present their experience of treating insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus with co-infusion of in vitro autologous adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell-differentiated insulin-secreting cells with hematopoietic stem cells. [Clin Exp Med] Abstract

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REVIEWS
Neural Stem Cell Therapies for Enteric Nervous System Disorders
The authors discuss diseases that might be targets for stem cell therapies and the barriers that could limit treatment application. They explore various sources of stem cells and the proof of concept for their use. [Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol] Abstract

Ischemic Preconditioning for Cell-Based Therapy and Tissue Engineering
The non-genetic approach of ischemic/hypoxic preconditioning to enhance cell- and tissue-based therapies has received much attention in recent years due to its non-invasive drug-free application. The authors discuss the current development of hypoxic/ischemic preconditioning to enhance stem cell-based cardiac repair and regeneration. [Pharmacol Ther] 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
Novel Drug Regimen Can Improve Stem Cell Transplantation Outcomes
Adding bortezomib (Velcade) to standard preventive therapy for graft-versus-host-disease results in improved outcomes for patients receiving stem cell transplants from mismatched and unrelated donors, according to researchers. [Press release from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute discussing research presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, New Orleans]
Press Release

Multiplying Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord Blood Donations Increases Survival of Leukemia and Lymphoma Patients
Donated umbilical cord blood contains stem cells that can save the lives of patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. Now a study has found that growing cord blood stem cells in a laboratory before transplanting them into patients significantly improves survival. [Press release from Loyola University Health System discussing research presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, New Orleans] Press Release

Research Study of T Cell Immunotherapy Continues to Show Highly Promising Results in Children and Adults with Leukemia
Nearly 90 percent of children and adults with a highly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia showed no evidence of cancer after receiving a novel, personalized cell therapy that reprograms a patient’s immune system. [Press release from Loyola University Health System discussing research presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, New Orleans] Press Release

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POLICY
Medics Should Plan Ahead for Incidental Findings
Doctors, researchers and companies should expect to find information they were not looking for in genetic analyses, imaging scans and other tests, concludes a report from the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Moreover, medics and investigators should discuss with patients and research volunteers how these potentially serious findings will be handled before the tests are carried out. [Nature News] Editorial

US Budget Deal Would Ease Science Agencies’ Pain
The US Congress has announced that it is close to a deal on government spending that would, for the next two years, eliminate the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. The deal offers a respite from the partisan battles over government spending that culminated in October with a 16-day government shutdown, and it would give a budgetary boost to science agencies in 2014, rather than another set of cuts. [Nature News] Editorial

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BUSINESS
Medimmune and The Johns Hopkins University Announce Five-Year, $6.5 Million Collaboration to Drive Medical Research and Discovery
MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm, and The Johns Hopkins University announced they have entered into a five-year, $6.5 million research collaboration. The joint research projects will focus on MedImmune’s therapeutic areas of interest, including cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; infectious disease and neuroscience. [MedImmune, LLC]
Press Release

Stem Cell Agency Board Funds More than $61 Million in Cancer, Sickle Cell Disease and Vision Loss and Sets New Focus
Reflecting the progress being made in moving the most promising therapies out of the lab and into clinical trials, the state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, voted to approve $61 million in funding for its third round of Disease Team awards. This round of awards targets diseases like leukemia and other solid tumor cancers – such as breast and prostate – that have not responded to conventional treatment. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine] Press Release

Stem Cell Agency Funds UC Davis Tissue-Engineering Research
A University of Califronia (UC) Davis team has received a $4.4 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to develop a stem cell-derived airway transplant to cure a difficult, life-threatening problem known as severe airway stenosis. [UC Davis Medical Center] Press Release

BrainStorm Receives $800,000 Non-Dilutive Grant from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced that it was awarded an $800,000 non-dilutive grant from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist for the year 2014. The grant is intended to support BrainStorm’s clinical and product development for its stem cell therapy candidate NurOwn™. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.] Press Release

Cellular Biomedicine Group Announces Completion of Patient Treatment for Phase I Clinical Trial for Liver Cancer
Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc. announced that it has treated the final patient of its Phase I clinical trial which evaluates the safety and preliminary efficacy of tumor stem cell specific dendritic cell therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer. [Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc.] Press Release

UTHealth Researchers Study Stem Cell Treatments for Children with CP
A first-of-its-kind clinical trial studying two forms of stem cell treatments for children with cerebral palsy (CP) has begun at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. The double-blinded, placebo-controlled study’s purpose includes comparing the safety and effectiveness of banked cord blood to bone marrow stem cells. [The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston] Press Release

Researchers Evaluating Immunotherapy Approaches for Treating Metastatic Kidney, Prostate, Bladder Cancers
Researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Center for Immunotherapy are enrolling patients in three different clinical trials of novel immunotherapy approaches for treating genitourinary cancers. [Roswell Park Cancer Institute] Press Release

Fibrocell Science Chairman & CEO David Pernock Joins Board
Fibrocell Science, Inc. announced Chairman and CEO David Pernock has joined the board of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, a global advocacy organization whose diverse membership represents leading regenerative medicine companies and investors, university-based and non-profit research institutions, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies engaged in regenerative medicine research, and other organizations supporting regenerative medicine. [Fibrocell Science, Inc.] Press Release
 
NIH
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2013-29719)

 
CBER
2013 Biological License Application Approvals

 
EVENTS
NEW American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 17th Annual Meeting
May 21-24, 2014
Washington, United States


Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Stem Cell Manufacturing Scientist (Paramount Recruitment)

NEW PhD Student Fellowship – Biology Program (Clarkson University)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cells and Bioengineering (Queensland University of Technology/Translational Research Institute)

Clinical MD – Clinical Development Program for Oncology and Autoimmune Diseases (Immunomedics, Inc.)

Chief Medical Officer (Immunomedics, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Wound Healing (University of Connecticut Health Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering (Stanford University School of Medicine)

Faculty Positions – Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (Universidad de Los Andes)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Liver Tissue Engineering (Harvard Medical School)

Assistant Director – Regenerative Medicine Clinical Center (Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cell, Cancer Biology, Immunology and Bioengineering (UC Irvine)

Scientist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate/Scientist – Antibodies Group (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)


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