Volume 16.46 | Dec 14

Issue 16.46 December 14, 2015
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Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Identifies Cells with Enhanced Stemness for Cellular Therapy
Transfer of low-mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) T cells was associated with superior long-term in vivo persistence and an enhanced capacity to eradicate established tumors compared with high-ΔΨm cells. [Cell Metab] Abstract | Graphical Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
BRD4 Is a Novel Therapeutic Target for Liver Fibrosis
The authors showed that JQ1 is not only protective, but can reverse the fibrotic response in carbon tetrachloride-induced fibrosis in mouse models. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

STB-HO, a Novel Mica Fine Particle, Inhibits the Teratoma-Forming Ability of Human Embryonic Stem Sells after In Vivo Transplantation
STB-HO-pretreated differentiating human embryonic stem cells did not give rise to teratomas following in vivo stem cell transplantation. [Oncotarget] Full Article

Suppression of Established Hepatocarcinoma in Adjuvant Only Immunotherapy: Alum Triggers Anti-Tumor CD8+ T Cell Response
Scientists report an unexpected finding that injection of alum, the most widely used human adjuvant, into mice carrying H22 hepatocarcinoma resulted in a significant reduction of tumor growth with extended animal survival. This effect was associated with an increased specific CD8+ T cell activation and an inflammatory environment, yet with minimal overt side effects. [Sci Rep] Full Article

A Novel Single-Chain Antibody Redirects Adenovirus to IL13Rα2-Expressing Brain Tumors
To demonstrate the potential therapeutic applicability of scFv47, researchers engineered an adenovirus by incorporating scFv47 as the targeting moiety in the viral fiber and characterized its properties in vitro and in vivo. [Sci Rep] Full Article

A Phase I/IIa Study of Adjuvant Immunotherapy with Tumor Antigen-Pulsed Dendritic Cells in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma
In this prospective Phase I/IIa study, researchers evaluated the safety and efficacy of adjuvant dendritic cell therapy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who received primary treatment for HCC. [Br J Cancer] Abstract

Intradermal Injection of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Accelerates Skin Wound Healing in Nude Mice
Investigators evaluated the potential effect of adipose tissue or adipose-derived stem cells on the healing of 12 mm diameter-excisional wounds in nude mice. [Stem Cell Res Ther] Full Article

Effect of Fetal Membrane-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Rats With Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis was induced by intraductal injection of 4% taurocholate, and rat fetal membrane-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rFM-MSCs) were transplanted intravenously. The inflammatory reaction of macrophages induced by lipopolysaccharide and trypsin was significantly suppressed by rFM-MSC coculture. [Pancreas] Abstract

Enhancement of the In Vivo Persistence and Antitumor Efficacy of CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells through the Delivery of Modified TERT mRNA
Scientists showed that the transient delivery of modified mRNA encoding telomerase reverse transcriptase to human chimeric antigen receptor T cells targeting the CD19 antigen would transiently elevate the telomerase activity in these cells, leading to increased proliferation and delayed replicative senescence without risk of insertion mutagenesis or immortalization. [Cell Discov] Full Article

Long-Term Outcome of a Phase II Trial Using Immunomodulatory In Situ Gene Therapy in Combination with Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy with or without Hormonal Therapy in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Investigators report the long-term outcome of a Phase II trial of immune-modulatory in situ gene therapy in combination with intensity-modulated radiotherapy with or without hormonal therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. [J Radiat Oncol] Abstract | Press Release

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Preclinical Modeling of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Advantages and Limitations
The authors review the present status of the field of graft-versus-host disease research. They discuss and summarize the preclinical models currently in use, as well as their advantages and limitations. [FEBS J] Abstract

Strategies for Improving the Efficacy of Donor Lymphocyte Infusion following Stem Cell Transplantation
A brief overview of the existing methods of donor lymphocyte infusion administration is the topic of this article. T cells transduced with genes encoding for T-cell receptors with reactivity against minor histocompatibility antigens or leukemia-associated antigens is a promising option. [Immunotherapy] Abstract

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Webinar: New Tools for the Ex Vivo Expansion of Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells
Bellicum Announces Oral Presentation Showing Improved Potency and Control with CIDeCAR T-Cell Therapies
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. presented preclinical data from studies of its CIDeCAR™ CAR T-cell technology, including product candidate BPX-401, in an oral presentation. [Press release from Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing research presented at the 57th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, Orlando] Press Release

Bio-Path Holdings’ Data from Phase I and Safety Segment of Phase II Clinical Trials in Blood Cancers Presented
Bio-Path Holdings, Inc. announced that data from the Phase I and safety segment of the Phase II clinical trials of its lead product candidate BP-100-1.01 in the treatment of blood cancers were presented. [Press release from Bio-Path Holdings, Inc. discussing research presented at the 57th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, Orlando] Press Release

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NIH Drops Special 10% Set-Aside for AIDS Research
In a major shakeup for the HIV/AIDS research community, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it will no longer support setting aside a fixed 10% of its budget—or $3 billion this year—to fund research on the disease. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Fetal Tissue Research under Threat
When a journalist invites scientists to discuss their work in the pages of Nature, it is rare to encounter a resounding silence. But that was the case when Nature‘s reporter reached out to biologists in the United States this autumn to ask about the value and applications of their research with human fetal tissue. Just two of the 18 scientists contacted were willing to go on the record with details of their work. [Nature News] Editorial

Stem the Tide
Japan has been working feverishly to stay at the cutting edge of research and clinical applications in regenerative medicine. It has invested billions of yen in induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells — made by reprogramming an individual’s adult cells so that they can develop into any body tissue — and has overhauled its drug regulations to create a fast track to bring regenerative therapies to market. [Nature News] Editorial

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Nohla Therapeutics Launches with Major US Cancer Research Institute Deal, Substantial Investment Round, and Key Appointments
Nohla Therapeutics Inc. announced the signing of an exclusive licensing and collaboration agreement with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. [Nohla Therapeutics Inc. (Business Wire)] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Establishes Agreement with The Canadian Brain Tumor Consortium for ICT-107 Phase III Registrational Trial in Glioblastoma
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced the establishment of an agreement with a major Canadian cancer cooperative group, The Canadian Brain Tumour Consortium, for the Phase III registrational trial of its cancer immunotherapy ICT-107 in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer Initiate Two Phase III Studies of Investigational Immunotherapy Avelumab in Advanced Gastric and Gastro-Esophageal Junction Cancers
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer announced the initiation of two Phase III studies of avelumab, an investigational, fully human anti-PD-L1 IgG1 monoclonal antibody, in treating advanced or metastatic gastric/gastro-esophageal junction cancers, which are aggressive cancers with poor survival rates. [Pfizer Inc.] Press Release

BioLineRx Announces Regulatory Submission for Phase II Trial of BL-8040 as Novel Stem Cell Mobilization Treatment
BioLineRx Ltd., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, in-licensing and developing promising therapeutic candidates, announced the filing of regulatory submissions required to commence a Phase II trial for BL-8040 as a novel approach for mobilization and collection of bone marrow stem cells from the peripheral blood circulation. [BioLineRx Ltd.] Press Release

Unum Therapeutics Announces Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee’s (RAC) Unanimous Approval of Phase I Study Protocol to Evaluate ACTR Cell Therapy in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Unum Therapeutics, a company developing a universal cellular immunotherapy to treat multiple cancers, announced that it has received unanimous approval by the National Institute of Health’s RAC for its first U.S.-based clinical trial. [Unum Therapeutics] Press Release

Lilly and Merck Expand Immuno-Oncology Collaboration Adding Abemaciclib and KEYTRUDA® Combination Trial
Eli Lilly and Company and Merck announced another immuno-oncology collaboration that will evaluate abemaciclib, Lilly’s cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 inhibitor, and Merck’s KEYTRUDA® in a Phase I study across multiple tumor types. [Eli Lilly and Company] Press Release

Bellicum and Astellas Announce License Agreement for Cancer Target PSCA in Cell and Gene Therapy
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Astellas Pharma Inc. announced that Agensys, Inc. and Bellicum have entered into a global license agreement, granting Bellicum rights to develop and commercialize adoptive cell therapies, including CAR-T cells, for tumors expressing prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) using PSCA technology, both in-licensed and developed at Agensys. [Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

Kadimastem Reached Agreements with the FDA Regarding the Framework of the Clinical Trials in Humans for the Treatment of ALS
Kadimastem announced that following a meeting it held in November with the FDA there is agreement with the FDA regarding the framework of the company’s future plans. The meeting with the FDA concerned the company’s cell-based product for the treatment of ALS. [Kadimastem] Press Release

FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Teva’s Asthma Biologic Reslizumab
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee recommended approval of reslizumab, a humanized anti-interleukin-5 IgG4K monoclonal antibody, in adult patients aged 18 years and older. [Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.] Press Release

Amarantus Retains WallachBeth Capital to Evaluate Strategic Options for MANF Gene Therapy Program
Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. announced that it has retained WallachBeth Capital to evaluate strategic options for its MANF gene therapy program. [Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc.] Press Release
National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. No: 2015-31026)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. No: 2015-30520)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. No: 2015-30516)

National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. No: 2015-30517)
Federal Register Notice: Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues, or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products; Public Hearing; Request for Comments

Use of Nucleic Acid Tests to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of West Nile Virus from Living Donors of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps)
NEW Adoptive T-Cell Therapy Congress
March 15-16, 2016
London, United Kingdom

NEW Advances in Immuno-Oncology Congress 2016
May 12-13, 2016
London, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
NEW Postdoctoral Research – Fellow Tumor Cell Cluster Biology (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

NEW Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Cell Cycle Control and Tumorigenesis (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Professor – Regenerative Vision Research (University of Montreal)

Assistant Professor – Regenerative Kidney Research (University of Montreal)

PhD/MSc Position – Cancer Research and Wound Healing (Technion, Israel Institute of Technology)

Postdoctoral Position – Cell Mechanobiology (Washington University in St. Louis)

Open Scientist Positions – Gene and Cell Therapy (Autolus)

Research Technician – Preclinical and Translational Research (Qu Biologics Inc.)

Investigator – Cancer Biology (Wake Forest Baptist School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position – Scaffold Design & Drug/Gene Delivery for Neural Tissue Engineering (Nanyang Technological University)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Engineering Research (Nanyang Technological University)

Postdoctoral Position – hPSC-Derived Cardiomyocyte Grafts in Injured Hearts (University Health Network)

Group Leader Position – Cancer Research (Oslo University Hospital)

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

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

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