Volume 15.45 | Nov 17

Issue 15.45 November 17, 2014
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TOP STORY
Novel Cancer Vaccine Approach for Brain Tumors
Researchers have been working on a cancer vaccine that would extend that survival by activating the patient’s immune system to fight the brain tumor. A study drilled down to the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the vaccine, paving the way for further development and refinement of this new experimental treatment. [Press release from the Thomas Jefferson University discussing online prepublication in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy] Press Release | Abstract
Free Nature Reviews Immunology Poster: The Immune Response to HIV
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Tsg-6 as a Biomarker to Predict Efficacy of Human Mesenchymal Stem/Progenitor Cells (hMSCs) in Modulating Sterile Inflammation In Vivo
Using a mouse model of chemical injury of the cornea, investigators found that bone-marrow-derived hMSCs isolated from different donors varied widely in their efficacy in modulating sterile inflammation. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Full Article

SYK Is a Candidate Kinase Target for the Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer
While SYK has not been implicated previously in prostate cancer, researchers found that its expression is upregulated in human prostate cancers and associated with malignant progression. RNAi-mediated silencing prevented invasive outgrowth in vitro and bone colonization in vivo, effects that were reversed by wild-type but not kinase-dead SYK expression. [Cancer Res] Abstract

Cyclooxygenase-2 Silencing for the Treatment of Colitis: A Combined In Vivo Strategy Based on RNA Interference and Engineered Escherichia coli
Investigators engineered nonpathogenic-invasive Escherichia coli strains for anti-cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) RNA interference, aiming to investigate the in vivo feasibility of a novel cyclooxygenase-2 silencing strategy in a murine model of colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Secretoneurin Gene Therapy Improves Hind Limb and Cardiac Ischemia in ApoE-/- Mice without Influencing Systemic Atherosclerosis
Since the authors found that secretoneurin (SN) is up-regulated in hypoxic skeletal muscle cells and exerts beneficial effects in myocardial and hind limb ischemia, they hypothesized that SN-therapy might improve neovascularization in hypercholesterolemic ApoE-/- mice suffering from an impaired vascular response. [Cardiovasc Res] Abstract

Patterning Vascular Networks In Vivo for Tissue Engineering Applications
The authors recently introduced an approach for patterning the formation of functional, spatially organized vascular architectures within engineered tissues in vivo. They now explore the design parameters of this approach and how they impact the vascularization of an engineered tissue construct after implantation. [Tissue Eng Part C Methods] Abstract

Integrin Antagonist Augments the Therapeutic Effect of Adenovirus-Mediated REIC/Dkk-3 Gene Therapy for Malignant Glioma
Researchers investigated the antiglioma effect of combination therapy using an adenovirus vector carrying reduced expression in immortalized cells/Dickkopf-3 (REIC/Dkk-3) and cRGD. [Gene Ther] Abstract

Prevention of Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Adoptive Allogeneic Immunotherapy Using Suicide Gene-Modified Lymphocytes: An In Vitro Proof-of-Concept
Scientists demonstrate that allogeneic suicide gene-modified lymphocytes could potently, dose- and time-dependently, inhibit viral replication. The effect occurs at effector:target cell ratios that exhibits no concomitant cytotoxicity toward virus-infected target cells. [Gene Ther] Abstract

β1 Integrin Mediates Colorectal Cancer Cell Proliferation and Migration through Regulation of the Hedgehog Pathway
Scientists constructed lentiviral vectors expressing β1 integrin (ITGB1) or ITGB1-specific RNA interference and an unrelated control vector. The influence of lentivirus infection on the tumor development capacity of HT29 cells in vivo was examined by xenografting the tumor cells. [Tumour Biol] Abstract

Combinatorial Immunotherapy of Sorafenib and Blockade of Programmed Death-Ligand 1 Induces Effective Natural Killer Cell Responses against Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Researchers report that the combinatorial therapy of sorafenib and anti-programmed death-ligand 1 monoclonal antibody can be implemented with good results for hepatocellular carcinoma. [Tumour Biol] Abstract

Your Free Copy of the Nature Neuroscience Poster "Neural Stem Cells" Awaits
 
REVIEWS
Mesoangioblast and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy: Progress, Challenges, and Future Directions
The author summarizes recent results, compares the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells and mesoangioblasts derived from different tissues in restoration of protein expression and/or improvement in muscle function, and discusses future directions for translating these discoveries to the clinic. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

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

Free Cell Stem Cell Poster: Directed Differentiation of ESCs/iPSCs
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Study Comparing Opdivo (Nivolumab) to Chemotherapy in Treatment Naïve Advanced Melanoma Patients Marks First PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor to Demonstrate a Survival Benefit in a Phase III Trial
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced results from CheckMate-066, a Phase III randomized double blind study, comparing Opdivo, an investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, to the chemotherapy dacarbazine in patients with treatment naïve BRAF wild-type advanced melanoma. [Press release from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company discussing research presented at the Society for Melanoma Research 2014 International Congress, Zurich] Press Release

Interim Update from Randomized Phase II ReACT Study of Rindopepimut in Recurrent Bevacizumab-Naive Glioblastoma Demonstrates Statistically Significant Survival Benefit
Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. announced an interim update from the Phase II ReACT study of rindopepimut in EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma. The ReACT results demonstrate clear signs of clinical activity in patients with recurrent glioblastoma, including groups both naïve and refractory to bevacizumab. [Press release from Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. discussing research presented at the 19th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, Miami] Press Release

New Autism Study Safety Data Presented
Cord Blood Registry® announced that Dr. Michael G. Chez will present data from the first ever FDA-registered study on the safety of autologous umbilical cord blood stem cells in treating autism. [Press release from Cord Blood Registry® discussing research presented at the Translational Neuroscience: Bridging the Gap Between Basic Research Discoveries and Clinical Applications Cell Symposium, Arlington] Press Release

From our sponsor: Free wallchart from Nature Neuroscience – Neural Stem Cells. Request your copy.
 
POLICY
Outcry over Lost E.U. Science Adviser Post
Statements of dismay poured in after Anne Glover, the first chief scientific adviser to the European Commission, confirmed that her post had “ceased to exist” along with the previous administration’s mandate. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

China Predicted to Outspend the US on Science by 2020
China is on track to overtake the United States in research and development spending by the end of the decade, according to a report on the global state of research spending. Other developing and middle-income countries are also narrowing their gap with the United States, Europe and Japan, the document finds. [Nature News] Editorial
 
BUSINESS
Pfizer Forms Global Strategic Alliance with Merck KGaA, Germany, to Jointly Develop and Commercialize Anti-PD-L1 to Accelerate Presence in Immuno-Oncology
Pfizer Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to jointly develop and commercialize MSB0010718C, an investigational anti-PD-L1 antibody currently in development by Merck KGaA as a potential treatment for multiple types of cancer. [Pfizer Inc.] Press Release

Advaxis Submits Investigational New Drug Application for Phase I/II Study of ADXS-HPV and MedImmune’s MEDI4736 for the Treatment of HPV-Associated Cervical and Head & Neck Cancer
Advaxis, Inc. announced that the Company has submitted an investigational new drug application to the United States Food and Drug Administration to conduct a Phase I/II study of ADXS-HPV alone or in combination with MedImmune’s investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, MEDI4736, for the treatment of advanced, recurrent or refractory human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cervical cancer and HPV-associated head and neck cancer. [Advaxis, Inc.] Press Release

Oncothyreon and Celldex Therapeutics Announce Initiation of Combination Immunotherapy Clinical Trial of ONT-10 and Varlilumab
Oncothyreon Inc. and Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. announced that they have initiated a combined clinical trial of ONT-10 and varlilumab. ONT-10 is a therapeutic vaccine targeting the tumor-associated antigen MUC1. Varlilumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets CD27, a critical molecule in the activation pathway of lymphocytes. [Oncothyreon Inc.] Press Release

Stellar Biotechnologies and Araclon Biotech Sign Exclusive KLH Supply Agreement for Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Active Immunotherapies
Stellar Biotechnologies, Inc. and Araclon Biotech SL announced that the companies have executed a definitive exclusive supply agreement to meet Araclon’s Phase II/III clinical trial requirements for Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH) used in Araclon’s active immunotherapies against Alzheimer’s disease. [Stellar Biotechnologies, Inc.] Press Release

Inovio Pharmaceuticals to Independently Develop Prostate Cancer Immunotherapy; Will Maintain Collaboration and License Agreement with Roche for Inovio’s Hepatitis B Immunotherapy
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the company and Roche have terminated their 2013 collaboration, option, and license agreement to co-develop INO-5150, Inovio’s DNA immunotherapy targeting prostate cancer, as well as their research collaboration in prostate cancer. [Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

Cell Source’s Megadose Drug Combination Receives Regulatory Approval in Italy to Commence Human Clinical Trials
Cell Source, Inc. announced its Megadose Drug Combination has been cleared for human clinical trials in Italy. Cell Source’s proprietary Megadose Drug Combination is expected to increase bone marrow transplantation success and survival. [Cell Source, Inc. (PR Newswire Association LLC)] Press Release

Ki-Bum Lee Patents Technology to Advance Stem Cell Therapeutics
Ki-Bum Lee has developed patent-pending technology that may overcome one of the critical barriers to harnessing the full therapeutic potential of stem cells. Lee and colleagues at Rutgers and Kyoto University in Japan have invented a platform they call NanoScript, an important breakthrough for researchers in the area of gene expression. [Rutgers University] Press Release

Pioneer Award Recipients Zelig Eshhar, PhD and Carl H. June, MD, PhD Honored for Their Research on T-Cell Engineering for Cancer Immunotherapy
Zelig Eshhar, PhD and Carl H. June, MD, PhD are co-recipients of the Pioneer Award, recognized for lentiviral gene therapy clinical trials and for their leadership and contributions in engineering T-cells capable of targeting tumors with antibody-like specificity through the development of chimeric antigen receptors. [Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.] Press Release
 
NIH
Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. No: 2014-26671)

Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing (FR Doc. No: 2014-27083)
 
CBER
Summary Basis for Regulatory Action – OBIZUR
 
REGULATORY
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Blood Products Advisory Committee; Amendment of Notice (FR Doc. No: 2014-26969)

Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Vouchers, Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability (FR Doc. No: 2014-27022)
 
EVENTS
NEW TERMIS America Annual Meeting 2014
December 13-16, 2014
Washington D.C., United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Research Scientist – Cancer and Inflammatory Diseases (Qu Biologics Inc.)

NEW Research Technician – Cancer and Inflammatory Diseases (Qu Biologics Inc.)

NEW Postdoctoral Researcher – Chromatin and Epigenetic Regulation (Van Andel Research Institute)

NEW Animal Surgery – Regenerative Medicine for Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Disease (Duke University)

Head of Cellular and Molecular Therapies Laboratory (NHS Blood & Transplant)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Developmental, Stem Cell, and/or Cancer Biology (North Carolina State University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Collaborative Training Program in Musculoskeletal Health Research (Western University)

Postdoctoral Position – Muscle Cell Therapy (I-Stem)

Graduate Student – Pediatric Cancers (University of Calgary)

Postdoctoral Position – Leukemic Stem Cells (BC Cancer Agency)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cell Media Development, High Throughput Screening (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Cell Culture Support Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Liver Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Immunology/Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)


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