Volume 15.49 | Dec 15

Issue 15.49 December 15, 2014
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Injectable 3D Vaccines Could Fight Cancer and Infectious Diseases
Researchers show a non-surgical injection of programmable biomaterial that spontaneously assembles in vivo into a 3D structure could fight and even help prevent cancer and also infectious disease such as HIV. An experiment showed that the injectable 3D scaffold recruited and attracted millions of dendritic cells in a host mouse, before dispersing the cells to the lymph nodes and triggering a powerful immune response. [Press release from the Wyss Institute discussing online prepublication in Nature Biotechnology] Press Release | Abstract
Learn more about the new smartphone app for human blood cell frequencies
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Copy Number Gain of hsa-miR-569 at 3q26.2 Leads to Loss of TP53INP1 and Aggressiveness of Epithelial Cancers
Investigators demonstrate that hsa-miR-569 (miR569), which is overexpressed in a subset of ovarian and breast cancers, at least in part due to the 3q26.2 amplicon, alters cell survival and proliferation. Targeting miR569 sensitizes ovarian and breast cancer cells overexpressing miR569 to cisplatin by increasing cell death both in vitro and in vivo. [Cancer Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Protein-Releasing Polymeric Scaffolds Induce Fibrochondrocytic Differentiation of Endogenous Cells for Knee Meniscus Regeneration in Sheep
Investigators replaced sheep meniscus with anatomically correct, three-dimensional-printed scaffolds that incorporated spatially delivered connective tissue growth factor and transforming growth factor-β3. Endogenous cells regenerated the meniscus with zone-specific matrix phenotype. [Sci Transl Med]
Abstract | Press Release | Video

Human Limbal Biopsy-Derived Stromal Stem Cells Prevent Corneal Scarring
Mesenchymal cells were expanded from small superficial, clinically replicable limbal biopsies of human cadaveric corneo-scleral rims. When engrafted into mouse corneal wounds, limbal biopsy-derived stromal cells prevented formation of light-scattering scar tissue containing fibrotic matrix components. [Sci Transl Med]
Abstract | Press Release

Restoration of Visual Function by Expression of a Light-Gated Mammalian Ion Channel in Retinal Ganglion Cells or ON-Bipolar Cells
Scientists restored visual function to animal models of human blindness using a chemical compound that photosensitizes a mammalian ion channel. Virus-mediated expression of this light sensor in surviving retinal cells of blind mice restored light responses in vitro, reanimated innate light avoidance, and enabled learned visually guided behavior. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

Phase I/II Study Exploring ImMucin, a Pan-Major Histocompatibility Complex, Anti-MUC1 Signal Peptide Vaccine, in Multiple Myeloma Patients
This Phase I/II study assessed the safety, immunity and clinical response to six or 12 bi-weekly intradermal ImMucin vaccines, co-administered with human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor to 15 MUC1-positive multiple myeloma patients, with residual or biochemically progressive disease following autologous stem cell transplantation. [Br J Haematol] Abstract | Press Release

The Systemic Delivery of an Oncolytic Adenovirus Expressing Decorin Inhibits Bone Metastasis in a Mouse Model of Human Prostate Cancer
Scientists created Ad.dcn, a recombinant oncolytic adenovirus carrying the human decorin gene. Ad.dcn, in conjunction with control replicating and non-replicating vectors were injected via tail vein. The real-time monitoring of mice, once a week, by bioluminescence imaging and X-ray radiography showed that Ad.dcn produced significant inhibition of skeletal metastases. [Gene Ther] Abstract

Autologous Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy in Combination with Everolimus to Preserve Renal Structure and Function in Renal Transplant Recipients
Researchers tested the hypothesis that mesenchymal stromal cell treatment, in combination with the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor everolimus, facilitates tacrolimus withdrawal, reduces fibrosis and decreases the incidence of opportunistic infections compared to standard tacrolimus dose. [J Transl Med] Abstract | Full Article

Intravitreal Autologous Bone Marrow CD34+ Cell Therapy for Ischemic and Degenerative Retinal Disorders: Preliminary Phase I Clinical Trial Findings
After intravitreal CD34+ cell injection, serial ophthalmic examinations, microperimetry/perimetry, fluorescein angiography, electroretinography, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and adaptive optics-OCT were performed during the six-month follow-up. [Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci] Abstract

Your Free Copy of the Nature Neuroscience Poster "Neural Stem Cells" Awaits
Valproic Acid-Mediated Neuroprotection and Neurogenesis after Spinal Cord Injury: From Mechanism to Clinical Potential
The authors present the current status of valproic acid treatment for spinal cord injury (SCI), emphasizing interactions between enhanced neuroprotection and neurogenesis. Crucial issues are discussed to optimize its clinical potential as a safe and effective treatment for SCI. [Regen 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
bluebird bio Announces Data Demonstrating First Four Patients with β-Thalassemia Major Treated with LentiGlobin™ Are Transfusion-Free
bluebird bio, Inc. announced data from eight subjects treated with LentiGlobin BB305 drug product. In the first four subjects, each of whom had at least three months of follow up, treatment with LentiGlobin BB305 drug product resulted in sufficient hemoglobin production to reduce or eliminate the need for transfusion support among patients with beta-thalassemia major who would otherwise require chronic blood transfusions. [Press release from bluebird bio, Inc. discussing research presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), San Francisco] Press Release

Immunotherapy Shows Clinical Benefit in Relapsed Transplant Recipients
A multicenter Phase I trial of the immune checkpoint blocker ipilimumab found clinical benefit in nearly half of blood cancer patients who had relapsed following allogeneic stem cell transplantation. [Press release from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute discussing research presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), San Francisco] Press Release

Experimental Gene Therapy Successful in Certain Lymphomas and Leukemia
Study results of CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor therapy using the Sleeping Beauty non-viral transduction system to modify T cells has demonstrated further promise in patients with advanced hematologic malignancies. [Press release from MD Anderson Cancer Center discussing research presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), San Francisco] Press Release

Early Trial of New Drug Shows Promise for Patients with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
In patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer—a disease with no approved targeted therapies—infusion of pembrolizumab produced durable responses in almost one out of five patients enrolled in a Phase-Ib clinical trial. [Press release from University of Chicago Medical Center discussing research presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), San Antonio] Press Release

Data Investigating KEYTRUDA® (Pembrolizumab), Merck’s Anti-PD-1 Therapy, in Patients with Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Presented
Merck announced early study findings demonstrating an overall response rate of 18.5 percent with KEYTRUDA, the company’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in PD-L1 positive, advanced triple-negative breast cancer – one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. [Press release from Merck & Co., Inc. discussing research presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), San Antonio] Press Release

From our sponsor: Free wallchart from Nature Neuroscience – Neural Stem Cells. Request your copy.
California Stem Cell Agency to Launch New Speedy Funding Mechanism
California’s $3 billion stem cell funding agency has made a sweeping New Year’s resolution. The governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine approved a plan to overhaul the agency’s grant process, effective 1 January. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Within NIH’s Flat 2015 Budget, a Few Favorites
Although the massive 2015 spending agreement reached by Congress gives the National Institutes of Health a flat budget, it contains modest increases for a few programs within the agency. An accompanying report also contains several directives that biomedical research advocates are eying warily. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
ERC Starting Grants for Two Researchers of the MDC
Two researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch will receive more than three million euros in research funding from the European Research Council (ERC) in Strasbourg. Dr. Michela Di Virgilio and systems biologist Dr. Baris Tursun of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology of the MDC will receive an ERC Starting Grant endowed with 1.9 million euros and 1.5 million euros respectively. [Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine] Press Release

Heraeus Medical GmbH Signs Exclusive License and Development Agreement with Locate Therapeutics for Orthopedic Applications
Heraeus Medical GmbH announced an agreement with Locate Therapeutics to license the intellectual property surrounding the use of TAOS® in orthopedic applications and the inception of the first development program in this field. [Locate Therapeutics Limited] Press Release

FDA Expands Approved Use of Cyramza to Treat Aggressive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the approved use of Cyramza (ramucirumab) to treat patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] Press Release

Exelixis’ Collaborator Genentech Files New Drug Application for the Combination of Cobimetinib and Vemurafenib for the Treatment of Patients with BRAF V600 Mutation-Positive Advanced Melanoma
Exelixis, Inc. announced its collaborator Genentech has completed the filing of its New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cobimetinib, a specific MEK inhibitor discovered by Exelixis, in combination with vemurafenib for previously untreated patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic melanoma harboring a BRAF V600 mutation. [Exelixis, Inc.] Press Release

Batu Biologics Submits Investigational New Drug Application for Lung Cancer Anti-Angiogenic Immunotherapy with FDA
Batu Biologics announced the filing of an Investigational Drug Application (IND) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its lead immune therapy, ValloVax. Once the IND is approved, Batu Biologics will proceed with a Phase I/II clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer. [Batu Biologics (Business Wire)] Press Release

LCT Completes Patient Implants in Parkinson’s Trial
Living Cell Technologies Limited announced that the final patient has been successfully implanted in its Phase I/IIa clinical trial of regenerative cell therapy NTCELL® for Parkinson’s disease. [Living Cell Technologies Limited] Press Release

New Trial Initiated Evaluating Amgen’s Talimogene Laherparepvec in Combination with Merck’s Anti-PD-1 Therapy KEYTRUDA® (Pembrolizumab) for Advanced Melanoma
Amgen announced the initiation of a trial of talimogene laherparepvec, an investigational oncolytic immunotherapy, in combination with an investigational use of Merck’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA® in patients with regionally or distantly metastatic melanoma. [Amgen Inc.] Press Release

CBR’s President and CEO Named as Founding Member of New Cord Blood Banking Association
Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®) announced that Geoffrey Crouse, the company’s president and chief executive officer, is one of the 13 members of the founding board of The Cord Blood Association, a new trade and professional association organized for cord blood banking. [Cord Blood Registry] Press Release
National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. No: 2014-29161)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. No: 2014-29156)
Bacterial Detection Testing by Blood and Blood Collection Establishments and Transfusion Services to Enhance the Safety and Availability of Platelets for Transfusion: Draft Guidance for Industry
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; MedWatch: The Food and Drug Administration Medical Products Reporting Program (FR Doc. No: 2014-29064)

International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products; Guidance for Industry on Pharmacovigilance of Veterinary Medicinal Products: Electronic Standards for Transfer of Data; Availability (FR Doc. No: 2014-28830)
NEW Tissue Engineering & Bioprinting: Research to Commercialization
February 9-10, 2015
Boston, United States

NEW Stem Cells in Drug Discovery
June 2-3, 2015
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
NEW PhD Student – Experimental Leukemia Research (University Children’s Hospital Basel)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Gene Therapy (EB-House Austria)

NEW Manager – Cell Processing Facility (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Cell Therapy Senior Manager (taylorollinson Ltd.)

Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Laboratory Technician (California Cryobank)

Clinical Laboratory Scientist – Umbilical Cord Blood Processing (California Cryobank)

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

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

Scientist – Reprogramming and Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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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