Volume 16.37 | Oct 5

Issue 16.37 October 5, 2015
Cell Therapy News - Your Industry in an Instant
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Publications | Reviews | Science | Policy | Business | NIH | Regulatory | Events | Jobs
 
TOP STORY
Antibody Treatment Efficacious in Psoriasis
An experimental, biologic treatment, brodalumab, achieved 100 percent reduction in psoriasis symptoms in twice as many patients as a second, commonly used treatment, according to the results of a multicenter clinical trial. [Press release from the Mount Sinai Hospital (EurekAlert) discussing online prepublication in the New England Journal of Medicine] Press Release | Abstract
Isolate particle-free human CD4+CD127lowCD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in less than one hour. Request a sample today.
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
PAX4 Gene Transfer Induces α-to-β Cell Phenotypic Conversion and Confers Therapeutic Benefits for Diabetes Treatment
Investigators explored whether Pax4 gene transfer into α-cells could convert them into functional β-cells, and thus provide therapeutic benefits for insulin-deficient diabetes. When injected into streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, Pax4-treated αTC1.9 cells significantly reduced blood glucose, and the mice showed better glucose tolerance, supporting that Pax4 gene transfer into αTC1.9 cells resulted in the formation of functional β-cells. [Mol Ther] Abstract

A RANKL Mutant Used as an Inter-Species Vaccine for Efficient Immunotherapy of Osteoporosis
Researchers proposed a strategy using the inter-species cytokine as immunogen for active immunization to induce anti-cytokine antibody. As a proof of concept, an inter-species cytokine RANKL was successfully used as immunogen to induce anti-RANKL immune response. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Differential Plasma-Cell Evolution Is Linked with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus Immunotherapy Response
Scientists analyzed the effects of immunotherapy on different B and plasma-cell subpopulations and whether these changes correlated with the clinical response to the treatment. Although no changes were found in B-cell subpopulations, responder patients showed increased levels of memory B-cells even before the beginning of treatment. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Postautologous Stem Cell Transplantation Long-Term Outcomes in 26 HIV-Positive Patients Affected by Relapsed/Refractory Lymphoma
Scientists described survival data, CD4+ T-cell long-term dynamics and the correlation between dynamics and events occurrence in 26 HIV-positive patients with refractory lymphoma in complete response after autologous stem cell transplantation. [AIDS] Abstract

Simultaneous Targeting of FcγRs and FcαRI Enhances Tumor Cell Killing
Investigators studied killing of tumor cells coexpressing EGFR and HER2 by the IgG monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) cetuximab and trastuzumab and their IgA variants. In the presence of a heterogeneous population of effector cells, the combination of IgG and IgA mAbs to two different tumor targets led to enhanced cytotoxicity compared with each isotype alone. [Cancer Immunol Res] Abstract

Reinfusion of Highly Purified CD133+ Bone Marrow-Derived Stem/Progenitor Cells in Patients with End-Stage Liver Disease: A Phase I Clinical Trial
The authors evaluated the feasibility and safety of the mobilization and reinfusion of CD133+ stem/progenitor cells in patients with end-stage liver disease. Autologous CD133+ stem/progenitor cells, mobilized with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, were collected by leukapheresis and reinfused at increasing doses through the hepatic artery. [Dig Liver Dis] Abstract

CD25 Expression on Residual Leukemic Blasts at the Time of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Predicts Relapse in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia without Complete Remission
Recent studies have shown that CD25 expression at the time of diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may be associated with an unfavorable outcome. Researchers focused on AML patients without complete remission and examined the clinical correlation between surface CD25 expression at the time of transplantation and subsequent transplant outcomes. [Leuk Lymphoma] Abstract

Adenoviral Vector Carrying Glial Cell-Derived Neurotrophic Factor for Direct Gene Therapy in Comparison with Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cell-Mediated Therapy of Spinal Cord Injury in Rat
The authors evaluated the treatment of spinal cord injury with glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) delivered using an adenoviral vector in comparison with treatment performed using human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells-transduced with an adenoviral vector carrying the GDNF gene in rat. [Spinal Cord] Abstract

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REVIEWS
Improving Cell-Based Therapies by Nanomodification
In this review, some novel cell surface engineering and intracellular nanoconjugation strategies are summarized. Their potential applications are also discussed, including cell protection, cell labeling, targeted delivery and in situ regulation. [J Control Release] Abstract

Potential of GABA-ergic Cell Therapy for Schizophrenia, Neuropathic Pain, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases
The authors discuss the premise, scope and advancement of gamma-amino butyric acid positive (GABA)-ergic cell therapy for easing neurological deficits in preclinical models of schizophrenia, chronic neuropathic pain, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. [Brain Res] Abstract

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

Free Wallchart from Nature Reviews Neuroscience on Modeling Neurological Disease with iPS Cells
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Genentech’s Ocrelizumab First Investigational Medicine to Show Efficacy in People with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in Large Phase III Study
Genentech announced positive results from a pivotal Phase III study that evaluated the investigational medicine ocrelizumab in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. [Press release from Genentech discussing research to be presented at the 31st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), Barcelona] Press Release

Merck Presents Details on Immuno-Oncology Program Including First-in-Man Milestone with Investigational Bi-Functional Immunotherapy
Merck announced that it started investigating a novel, potential first-in-class bi-functional immunotherapy in clinical trials with the potential to offer an alternative therapy to anti-PD-1/anti-PD-L1 and other immunotherapies. [Press release from Merck KGaA discussing research presented at the 2015 European Cancer Congress (ECC), Vienna] Press Release

Commence Bio to Present at 2015 Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa
Commence Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of MSC1 and MSC2 cellular immunotherapy platforms for cancer and inflammatory diseases, announced that Thomas Isett, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, will present a corporate overview. [Press release from Commence Bio discussing research presented at the 2015 Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa (SCMOM), La Jolla] Press Release

Caladrius to Present Data Elucidating CLBS20 Mechanism of Action
Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. announced that the company will present new clinical data elucidating the mechanism of action for its lead product candidate, CLBS20. The data suggest correlations between a distinct immune response triggered by CLBS20 and overall survival of melanoma patients. [Press release from Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. discussing research presented at the 2015 Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa (SCMOM), La Jolla] Press Release

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POLICY
Treat All People Living with HIV, Offer Antiretrovirals as Additional Prevention Choice for People at “Substantial” Risk
Anyone infected with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible. With its “treat-all” recommendation, WHO removes all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV; all populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment. [World Health Organization (WHO)] Editorial

US Plan to Assess Risky Disease Research Takes Shape
Manipulating a virus to make it more deadly or transmissible can help scientists to answer important questions about how the microbe evolved or how to kill it. But it is tricky to determine when the risk of accidentally releasing such a pathogen outweighs the benefits of this ‘gain-of-function’ research. Analysts hired by the US government revealed how they will model these risks mathematically. [Nature News] Editorial

More than $100 Million in New BRAIN Funds
As part of President Barack Obama’s high-profile initiative to study the brain, the Kavli Foundation and several university partners announced $100 million in new funding for neuroscience research, including three new institutes at universities in Maryland, New York, and California. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
 
BUSINESS
CARsgen Enters into Partnership Agreement with Shanghai Cancer Institute and to Develop Novel CAR-T Technology
CARsgen Therapeutics provided a business and clinical update on its immunotherapy programs. CARsgen and Shanghai Cancer Institute entered into a five year research and development agreement for the advancement of CARsgen’s CAR-T cancer immunotherapeutics. [CARsgen Therapeutics] Press Release

Aelan Cell Technologies Collaborates with the Gladstone Institutes to Conduct Comparative Study on Rejuvenated Stem Cells
Aelan Cell Technologies announced they have entered into an agreement with the Gladstone Institutes to further its studies on stem cell rejuvenation. Aelan Cell Technologies will be conducting a comparative study that will involve characterization of Aelan’s stem cell product against the “gold standard,” induced pluripotent stem cells genetically reprogrammed by four factors discovered by Nobel Prize winner Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of the Gladstone Institutes. [Aelan Cell Technologies (Marketwired L.P.)] Press Release

Yale Professors Awarded White House BRAIN Initiative Grant
Two Yale School of Medicine professors have received a federal grant supported by President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. In 2014, the White House announced over $300 million in new investments to support public and private efforts that would “revolutionize” understanding of the brain and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and autism, among others. [Yale University] Press Release

Canadian Researchers Pioneer Next-Generation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
A team of scientists and clinicians is developing a treatment for prostate cancer using viruses that destroy cancer cells and boost the anti-cancer immune response, yet leave normal cells unharmed. The team has received $5 million from Prostate Cancer Canada and the Movember Foundation. [McMaster University] Press Release

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Commits $28.6 Million to New Cancer Research Funding
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society announced it has committed $28.6 million in new research investment to advance the most promising blood cancer science at leading academic and medical institutions around the world, including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College and MD Anderson Cancer Center. [Leukemia & Lymphoma Society] Press Release

Grants Support Baylor Researchers’ Work on Immunotherapy for Leukemia
Two Baylor College of Medicine researchers have received Translational Research Grants from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for projects that use immunotherapy approaches to treat leukemia. [Baylor College of Medicine] Press Release

Ergomed Increases Its Co-Development Contribution up to $12,000,000 in CEL-SCI’s Phase III Head and Neck Cancer Trial
Ergomed plc announced that they have expanded their co-development agreement with increased activities to be undertaken by Ergomed. Ergomed’s contribution to the Phase III study will increase from $10 million to $12 million. The companies are undertaking the Phase III trial of CEL-SCI’s investigational immunotherapy Multikine in patients with advanced primary head and neck cancer. [Ergomed plc] Press Release

Merck and DNAtrix Announce Phase II Immuno-Oncology Collaboration in Patients with Aggressive Form of Brain Cancer
Merck and DNAtrix announced they have entered into an oncology clinical study collaboration to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DNX-2401, DNAtrix’s oncolytic immunotherapy, in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in a Phase II, multi-centered study of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. [Merck & Co., Inc.] Press Release

SanBio Inc. Begins Recruiting Patients to Test Regenerative Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury
SanBio Inc. announced that it has opened patient recruitment for its Phase II clinical trial study to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of its proprietary cell therapy following traumatic brain injury. [SanBio Inc. (Business Wire)] Press Release

Protalex Announces Regulatory Approval to Initiate Phase Ib Trial of PRTX-100 to Treat Immune Thrombocytopenia in France
Protalex, Inc. announced that the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products has approved the company’s clinical trial application to begin a Phase Ib study of PRTX-100 in adult patients with persistent/chronic immune thrombocytopenia. [Protalex, Inc.] Press Release

SITC Celebrates U.S. Food & Drug Administration Approval of First Combination Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Cancer
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab) for the treatment of advanced melanoma. [Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer] Press Release

MSK’s Lorenz Studer Named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow
Memorial Sloan Kettering developmental biologist Lorenz Studer has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. [Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences] Press Release

Postdoctoral Fellow Albert Kim Receives First Hearst Fellowship for Stem Cell Research
How do you turn stem cells into nephrons, the functional unit of the kidney? Albert D. Kim, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Andy McMahon, is exploring this question with support from a Hearst Fellowship, an award recognizing an exceptional junior postdoctoral fellow pursuing stem cell research at USC. [Keck School of Medicine of USC] Press Release

MD Anderson’s Allison Wins American Cancer Society Medal of Honor
A career-long fascination with discovering the ins and outs of T cells, our immune system’s tailor-made destroyers of infections and dysfunctional cells, has earned Jim Allison, Ph.D., the American Cancer Society’s 2015 Medal of Honor for Basic Research. [The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center] Press Release
 
NIH
Prospective Grant of a Start-Up Exclusive Commercial License Agreement: Development of MHC Class II Restricted T Cell Epitopes from the Cancer Antigen, NY ESO-1, for the Treatment of Human Cancers (FR Doc. No: 2015-24982)

Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Development of a ME-TARP Based Immunotherapy (FR Doc. No: 2015-24989)

Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Development of Non-Viral Adoptive Cell Transfer-Based Immunotherapies (ACT) for the Treatment and Prophylaxis of Patients with Metastatic Cancer (FR Doc. No: 2015-24990)
 
REGULATORY
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Public Health Service Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in Xenotransplantation (FR Doc. No: 2015-25155)
 
EVENTS
NEW CAR-T Summit 2015
November 12-13, 2015
Boston, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Faculty Positions – Stem Cell Biology (University of Notre Dame)

NEW Research Technician II III – TCR Gene Therapy (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

NEW Research Technician II – Stem Cell and Gene Therapy (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor – Biomedical Engineering (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Assistant Professor – Stem Cell Biology (University of South Carolina)

Senior Stem Cell Scientist (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Epigenetic Modifiers (Van Andel Research Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunotherapy/T Cell Biology (California Institute for Biomedical Research)

Postdoctoral Position – Spinal Cord Injury Research (Indiana University-Purdue University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – HMGA Chromatin Remodeling Proteins in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)


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