Volume 17.13 | Apr 4

Issue 17.13 April 4, 2016
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Spinal Cord Regeneration Might Actually Be Helped by Glial Scar Tissue, Contrary to Conventional Wisdom
In a study using mice, scientists found that the glial scar tissue that forms after spinal cord damage might actually favor nerve cell regeneration. The research could ultimately lead to new approaches to repair catastrophic spinal cord injury. [Press release from the University of California, Los Angeles discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Ang-2/VEGF Bispecific Antibody Reprograms Macrophages and Resident Microglia to Anti-Tumor Phenotype and Prolongs Glioblastoma Survival
The authors investigated whether dual angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2)/vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition could overcome resistance to anti-VEGF treatment. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Full Article | Press Release

Vaccination with Necroptotic Cancer Cells Induces Efficient Anti-Tumor Immunity
Scientists report that necroptotic cancer cells release damage-associated molecular patterns and promote maturation of dendritic cells, the cross-priming of cytotoxic T cells, and the production of IFN-γ in response to tumor antigen stimulation. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Press Release | Graphical Abstract

Predegenerated Schwann Cells – A Novel Prospect for Cell Therapy for Glaucoma: Neuroprotection, Neuroregeneration and Neuroplasticity
The novel therapy proposed in the researchers’ study creates conditions to eliminate some of the identified barriers described for precursor cells transplantation and allows them to observe direct neuroprotective and pro-regenerative effects in ongoing optic neuropathy without additional modifications to the transplanted cells. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Transplantation of Defined Populations of Differentiated Human Neural Stem Cell Progeny
Investigators demonstrated a procedure for differentiating human neural precursor cells (hNPCs) in vitro, followed by isolation of the neuronal progeny. They transplanted undifferentiated hNPCs or a defined concentration of hNPC-derived neurons into mice, then compared these two groups with regard to their survival, proliferation and phenotypic fate. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Immunostimulatory AdCD40L Gene Therapy Combined with Low-Dose Cyclophosphamide in Metastatic Melanoma Patients
In this Phase I/IIa study, local AdCD40L immunostimulatory gene therapy was evaluated in patients with metastatic malignant melanoma. [Br J Cancer] Abstract

Bioengineering a 3D Integumentary Organ System from iPS Cells Using an In Vivo Transplantation Model
Scientists developed a novel in vivo transplantation model designated as a clustering-dependent embryoid body transplantation method and generated a bioengineered three-dimensional (3D) integumentary organ system, including appendage organs such as hair follicles and sebaceous glands, from induced pluripotent stem cells. [Sci Adv] Abstract | Press Release

A Targeted Controlled Force Injection of Genetic Material In Vivo
Investigators transferred the principle of hydrodynamic injection to a device, where a small injection volume can be delivered to a targeted tissue volume, termed in vivo intracellular injection (IVIN). They showed that the IVIN technology reproducibly improved plasmid uptake and expression and the immunogenicity. [Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev] Full Article

LV305, a Dendritic Cell-Targeting Integration-Deficient ZVexTM-Based Lentiviral Vector Encoding NY-ESO-1, Induces Potent Anti-Tumor Immune Response
Researchers have engineered an integration-deficient lentiviral vector, LV305, to deliver the tumor antigen NY-ESO-1 to human dendritic cells in vivo through pseudotyping with a modified Sindbis virus envelop protein. [Mol Ther Oncolytics] Full Article

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In Utero Stem Cell Transplantation and Gene Therapy: Rationale, History, and Recent Advances toward Clinical Application
The authors review the fields of in utero transplantation (IUTx) and in utero gene therapy and discuss the biological hurdles that have thus far restricted success of IUTx to patients with immunodeficiencies. [Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev] Full Article

High-Content Molecular Profiling of T-Cell Therapy in Oncology
Investigators discuss molecular approaches, platforms, and strategies that enable a broader interrogation of the activity of agents that modulate the activity of tumor-specific T cells, to more comprehensively understand how and why the agents succeed and fail, as well as examples of data sets generated in clinical trials that have provided important insights into the biological activity of T-cell therapies and that support further rational development of this exciting treatment modality. [Mol Ther Oncolytics] Full Article

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

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ImmunTraCkeR® Results on Prediction of Response to Cancer Immunotherapy Selected for Presentation
ImmunID announces that a collaborative work on prediction of response to the antiPD1 and anti-CTLA-4 immune checkpoint inhibitors in melanoma using ImmunTraCkeR® has been selected for a poster presentation. [Press release from ImmunID discussing research to be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

SELLAS Life Sciences to Present Phase II Clinical Results for WT1 Cancer Vaccine
SELLAS Life Sciences Group announced that results from a Phase II trial of the company’s WT1 cancer vaccine in patients with AML have been selected for an oral presentation. [Press release from SELLAS Life Sciences Group discussing research to be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

Samumed Presents at the 2016 World Congress of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International
Samumed presented clinical and preclinical results from its osteoarthritis program using SM04690—a novel small molecule inhibitor of the Wnt pathway administered via intra-articular injection. [Press release from Samumed, LLC discussing research presented at the 2016 World Congress on Osteoarthritis, Amsterdam] Press Release

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Are Stem-Cell Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease Ready for Clinical Trials?
As stem cell-based therapies are moving rapidly towards clinical trials, treatments for Parkinson’s Disease, an incurable condition, may be on the horizon. A recent announcement of a Phase I/IIa clinical trial involving transplantation of stem cells into the first human subjects has raised hope among patients and sparked discussions in the research community. [IOS Press] Editorial

Groups Protest House Demands for Names of Fetal Tissue Researchers
A special investigative panel in the U.S. House of Representatives this week intensified its probe into the use of fetal tissue in biomedical research with a dozen new subpoenas aimed at researchers and abortion providers. [Science Insider] Editorial

Scientific Advisers Tapped to Guide Biden’s Cancer Moonshot
The National Cancer Institute named a blue ribbon panel of scientists and other experts to help guide Vice President Joe Biden’s ambitious $1 billion moonshot to cure cancer. [Science Insider] Editorial

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Aduro Biotech Helps Launch New Immunotherapy, Vaccine Effort
UC Berkeley cancer immunologists are teaming up with colleagues working on infectious disease to create a new Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative, fueled by $7.5 million in funding from Aduro Biotech Inc. [University of California, Berkeley] Press Release

Intrexon Forms Collaboration to Develop Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes
Intrexon Corporation announced the formation of Intrexon T1D Partners, LLC, a joint venture with a select group of external investors led by White Rock Capital Partners, LP, to develop ActoBiotics® based antigen-specific immunotherapy to treat type 1 diabetes in humans. [Intrexon Corporation] Press Release

Johns Hopkins Launches Cancer Research Center with $125 Million from Bloomberg, Kimmel, Others
Johns Hopkins will launch an institute devoted to the study of a new and promising approach to cancer treatment, embracing the Obama administration’s “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer. The Bloomberg–Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy was founded with two $50 million gifts. [Johns Hopkins University] Press Release

CHOP Oncologist Receives $1 Million Hyundai Quantum Grant to Improve Leukemia Treatment
A physician-researcher at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has received a $1 million Hyundai Quantum Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels to advance treatment for a high-risk form of childhood leukemia. [The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia] Press Release

Griffith Uses 3D Tissue Engineering to Revolutionize Dental Disease
The discomfort and stigma of loose or missing teeth could be a thing of the past as Griffith University researchers pioneer the use of 3D bioprinting to replace missing teeth and bone. The three-year study, which has been granted a National Health and Medical Research Council Grant of $650,000, is being undertaken by periodontist Professor Saso Ivanovski from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland. [Griffith University] Press Release

BioLineRx Announces Initiation of Phase II Trial for BL-8040 as Novel Stem Cell Mobilization Treatment
BioLineRx Ltd. announced the initiation of a Phase II trial for BL-8040 as a novel approach for the mobilization and collection of bone marrow stem cells from the peripheral blood circulation. [BioLineRx Ltd.] Press Release

Celimmune Commences Screening in Phase II Clinical Study in Refractory Celiac Disease Type II
Celimmune LLC announced that it has commenced screening patients in its Phase II clinical study for AMG 714, an investigational anti-IL-15 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of refractory celiac disease Type II. [Celimmune LLC (PR Newswire Association LLC)] Press Release

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to Initiate Clinical Trial for Kids with Treatment-Resistant Leukemia
A new trial was initiated in conjunction with Santa Monica-based biopharmaceutical company Kite Pharma, Inc. The study, referred to as ZUMA 4, tests a novel therapy called KTE-C19, which uses a patient’s own T cells to target the antigen CD19, a protein expressed on the cell surface in most cases of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. [The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles] Press Release

Merrimack Announces Inclusion of ONIVYDE® (irinotecan liposome injection) as a Category 1 Treatment Option in the 2016 NCCN Guidelines for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has included ONIVYDE® in combination with fluorouracil and leucovorin in its 2016 Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. [Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release
Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Development of 5T4 Antibodies in Human Cancer Therapeutics and Diagnostics (FR Doc. No: 2016-07556)
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Investigational New Drug Applications for Biological Products; Bioequivalence Regulations; Technical Amendment (FR Doc. No: 2016-N-0011)
NEW Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy
June 26-29, 2016
Halifax, Canada

NEW International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 50th Anniversary Conference
July 7-10, 2016
Lyon, France

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
NEW Faculty Position – Tumor Immunology (John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center)

NEW PhD Studentship – Shuttling of Proteins in Stem Cells (St. Anne’s University Hospital)

Scientist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Neural Differentiation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Non-Coding RNAs in Malignant Progression (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

Postdoctoral Associate – Stem Cell Biology (University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Associate – Genetic Medicine (Cornell University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Retinal Disease Genomics and Gene Therapy (Ocular Genomics Institute, Mass Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Fellow – T Cell Reconstitution (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Self Organization of the Pluripotent Lineage (Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine)

Associate Scientist – Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology (Editas Medicine)

Research Associate – Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology (Editas Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Adeno-Associated Virus Gene Therapy (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Hematology/Oncology (Boston Children’s Hospital)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Stem Cells, Oligodendrogenesis and Remyelination (UC Davis)

PhD Positions – Cancer, Microbiology and Stem Cell Engineering (Virginia Commonwealth University)

PhD Positions – Tendon Repair and Regeneration (NUI Galway)

Postdoctoral Position – Hematology/Oncology (Penn State College of Medicine)

Staff Scientist – Cell Therapy Process Development (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

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

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