Volume 17.15 | Apr 18

Issue 17.15 April 18, 2016
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Troublesome T Cells Have a Healing Side
Immune system cells linked to allergies also turn out to direct healing of mouse muscle wounds when paired with biologic “scaffolding” to support them, researchers report. The finding adds to evidence that the immune system is key not just to fighting infectious and other diseases but also to kick-starting healing after an injury. [Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine discussing online publication in Science] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Vaccination During Myeloid Cell Depletion by Cancer Chemotherapy Fosters Robust T Cell Responses
Researchers explored whether human papillomavirus type 16 synthetic long peptides (HPV16-SLPs) vaccination can be combined with standard carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy to improve immunity and which time point would be optimal for vaccination. This was studied in the HPV16 E6/E7–positive TC-1 mouse tumor model and in patients with advanced cervical cancer. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract

Prostacyclin-Producing Human Mesenchymal Cells Target H19 lncRNA to Augment Endogenous Progenitor Function in Hindlimb Ischemia
The authors developed an innovative strategy to enhance the paracrine effects of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC). In a mouse hindlimb ischemia model, they examined the effects of hMSCs in which a novel triple-catalytic enzyme is introduced to stably produce prostacyclin. [Nat Commun] Full Article

Genipin Cross-Linked Decellularized Tracheal Tubular Matrix for Tracheal Tissue Engineering Applications
Researchers investigated the mechanical, pro-angiogenic and in vivo biocompatibility properties of decellularized airway matrices cross-linked with genipin. New Zealand rabbit tracheae were decellularized and cross-linked with genipin, a naturally derived agent. [Sci Rep] Full Article

A Novel Open-Porous Magnesium Scaffold with Controllable Microstructures and Properties for Bone Regeneration
Investigators created two open-porous magnesium scaffolds with different pore size but in the nearly same porosity are successfully fabricated with high-purity Mg ingots through the titanium wire space holder method. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Activated Human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Suppress Metastatic Features of MDA-MB-231 Cells by Secreting IFN-β
Investigators demonstrated that activated human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hMSCs) not only induced apoptosis of triple-negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231 (MDA) cells but also reduced metastatic features in MDA cells. These activated hMSC-exposed MDA cells showed reduced tumorigenicity and suppressed formation of lung metastasis when implanted in the mammary fat pad. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Preconditioning Mesenchymal Stem Cells with the Mood Stabilizers Lithium and Valproic Acid Enhances Therapeutic Efficacy in a Mouse Model of Huntington’s Disease
Investigators hypothesized that preconditioning bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells with lithium and valproic acid prior to intranasal delivery to the brain would enhance their therapeutic efficacy, and thereby facilitate functional recovery in N171-82Q HD transgenic mice. [Exp Neurol] Abstract

A Phase II, Single-Arm, Prospective Study of Bendamustine plus Melphalan Conditioning for Second Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in De Novo Multiple Myeloma Patients Through a Tandem Transplant Strategy
A Phase II trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of bendamustine plus high-dose melphalan as a conditioning regimen before the second autologous stem cell transplantation in previously untreated multiple myeloma patients. [Bone Marrow Transplant] Abstract

Development of an AAV9 Coding for a 3XFLAG-TALEfrat#8-VP64 Able to Increase In Vivo the Human Frataxin in YG8R Mice
Scientists produced an AAV9 coding for a transcription activator-like effector (TALE)frat#8 containing 13 repeat-variable di-residues able to bind to the proximal promoter of human frataxin gene. This TALEfrat#8 was fused with a 3XFLAG at its N-terminal and a VP64 transcription activation domain at its C-terminal and driven by a CAG promoter. This AAV9_3XFLAG-TALEfrat#8-VP64 was injected intra-peritoneally to nine days old and four months old YG8R mice. [Gene Ther] Full Article

Enhanced Antitumor Effect of Combining TRAIL and MnSOD Mediated by CEA-Controlled Oncolytic Adenovirus in Lung Cancer
Researchers constructed a tumor-specific oncolytic adenovirus, CD55-TRAIL-IETD-MnSOD. The virus had the fusion protein complementary DNAs for tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and for manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) complementary DNA linked through a 4-amino acid caspase-8 cleavage site (IETD), and it used a carcinoembryonic antigen promoter to control virus E1A express. Its targeting and anticancer capacity was evaluated by in vitro and in vivo experiments. [Cancer Gene Ther] Abstract

Regional CAR-T Cell Infusions for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis Are Superior to Systemic Delivery
Scientists studied intraperitoneal (IP) delivery of chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-Ts) for peritoneal carcinomatosis. Regional IP infusion of CAR-T resulted in superior protection against carcinoembryonic antigen peritoneal tumors, when compared with systemically infused CAR-Ts. [Cancer Gene Ther] Abstract

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Gene Therapy as a Potential Tool for Treating Neuroblastoma – A Focused Review
A few gene-therapy-based treatment strategies have been tested in limited clinical trials yielding some positive results. The authors provide an overview of the available options of gene therapy to treat neuroblastoma. [Cancer Gene Ther] Abstract

Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy for Solid Tumors
The authors discuss some of the key hurdles encountered by chimeric antigen receptor T cells in the solid tumor microenvironment. [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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Crown Bioscience to Showcase Scientific Expertise at American Association of Cancer Research
CrownBio will present data on the establishment of new in vivo models with reconstituted human immunity to test the efficacy of human biologic agents; and models with fully functional murine immunity to evaluate pharmacodynamics and combination approaches; as well as a HuTrial™ case study and the establishment of a panel of pancreatic PDX models, among others. [Press release from CrownBio discussing research to be presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) 2016 Annual Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

Viking Therapeutics Presents Positive Phase Ib Clinical Data on VK2809 in Hypercholesterolemic Subjects
Viking Therapeutics, Inc. highlighted positive data from a Phase Ib clinical trial of VK2809 in subjects with mild hypercholesterolemia. The results demonstrated substantial and clinically meaningful reductions in subjects’ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and atherogenic proteins lipoprotein-a and apolipoprotein B following 14 days of treatment. [Press release from Viking Therapeutics, Inc. discussing research presented at the 65th Annual Scientific Session & Expo of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), New Orleans] Press Release

Ludwig Scientists Share New Findings on Immunotherapy, Drug Resistance and Tumor Evolution
Research conducted by more than 70 Ludwig scientists will be presented in symposiums, plenaries and poster sessions, and Ludwig researchers will participate in several workshops and meet-the-expert sessions over the course of the meeting. [Press release from Ludwig Cancer Research discussing research to be presented at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

Tocagen to Present Data from Clinical Trials and Preclinical Programs
Tocagen Inc. announced that new results from the clinical investigation of Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec) & Toca FC (extended-release 5-fluorocytosine) for the treatment of recurrent high grade glioma. [Press release from Tocagen Inc. discussing research to be presented at the 84th American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

Bayer to Present New Data on Advancing Oncology Portfolio
Bayer will present latest preclinical data on oncology compounds, which are currently in preclinical or early clinical development stage. They comprise compounds with new mechanisms of action including several potent and selective small molecule inhibitors, as well as different types of biologic compounds, including an antibody, two antibody-drug conjugates and targeted thorium conjugates. [Press release from Bayer Corporation discussing research to be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 107th Annual Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

Premier Biomedical, Inc. Cancer Immunotherapy Research Highlights to Be Presented
Premier Biomedical, Inc. announced additional details regarding the presentation of the results of their cancer immunotherapy research, along with additional research results by their UTEP scientist partners. [Press release from Premier Biomedical, Inc. discussing research to be presented at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

Immunovaccine to Present New Pre-Clinical Data
Immunovaccine Inc. announced that new pre-clinical data on DepoVax™-based cancer vaccines will be presented. [Press release from Immunovaccine Inc. discussing research to be presented at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

Register for Cord Blood Symposium 2016
No Pressure: NSF Test Finds Eliminating Deadlines Halves Number of Grant Proposals
Annual or semiannual grant deadlines lead to enormous spikes in submissions, which in turn cause headaches for the program managers who have to organize merit review panels. Now, one piece of the agency has found a potentially powerful new tool to flatten the spikes and cut the number of proposals: It can simply eliminate deadlines. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Multibillion-Euro Innovation Hub Slammed by Auditors
An ambitious initiative to fuel innovation in the European Union has swallowed up enormous amounts of money, but has little to show for the investment, its auditors say. [Nature News] Editorial

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University of Pennsylvania to Join First-of-Its-Kind Research Collaboration to Fight Cancer with New Immunotherapies
The University of Pennsylvania has joined an unprecedented cancer research effort, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which unites six of the nation’s top medical schools and cancer centers around a shared aim of accelerating breakthrough immunotherapy research that will turn more cancers into a curable disease. The venture is backed by a $250 million gift from the Parker Foundation, making it the largest single contribution ever made to the field of immunotherapy. [University of Pennsylvania] Press Release

UCLA Joins Collaboration to Advance Cancer Immunotherapy Research
UCLA has joined forces with five of the nation’s other leading cancer centers and The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to maximize the potential of cancer immunotherapy research. [UCLA] Press Release

UAB Awarded $19.5 Million Grant for New Xenotransplantation Program
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Transplant Institute has been awarded a five-year, $19.5 million grant from biotechnology magnate United Therapeutics Corporation to launch a pioneering UAB Xenotransplantation Program that both groups hope will lead to genetically modified kidney transplants from pig models to humans by 2021. [University of Alabama at Birmingham] Press Release

Profusa Awarded $1.75M NIH Grant to Further Develop Tissue-Integrated Biosensors for Continuous Oxygen Monitoring in PAD Patients
Profusa, Inc. announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded it a $1.75 million grant under the Small Business Innovation Research program. The funding will support fast-tracked Phase I and Phase II studies of the company’s Lumee™ tissue-integrated biosensors for continuous monitoring of oxygen toward improving the clinical outcomes of patients suffering from peripheral artery disease. [Profusa, Inc.] Press Release

Therapeutic Solutions International’s Subsidiary MolecuVax, Inc. to Initiate Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Aimed at Eradicating Cancer Stem Cells Using MVAX-001
Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc. announced the signing of an agreement between its subsidiary, MolecuVax, Inc., and the Pan Am Cancer Treatment Center covering production and clinical implementation of a novel cancer immunotherapy based around MVAX’s proprietary Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites peptide/exosome technology. [Therapeutic Solutions International, Inc.] Press Release

Kadimastem Is Granted a Patent in Japan for Diabetes Treatment
Kadimastem announced it was granted a patent from the Japanese Patent Office for its technology in the field of diabetes treatment. The patent is for a method of producing insulin-secreting cells from stem cells, and it is likely to constitute the foundation for the company’s products in the field of stem-cell based treatment of diabetes. [Kadimastem] Press Release

Oramed Receives Patent Term Adjustment Extending the Term of Its U.S. Patent
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Patent Term Adjustment extending the patent term by 18 months for its patent No. 9,259,456, titled, “Methods and Compositions for Oral Administration of Proteins”. The patent addresses Oramed’s platform technology which underlies its products, including ORMD-0801, an orally ingestible insulin capsule. [Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (PR Newswire Association LLC.)] Press Release

Tobira Therapeutics and Dong-A ST Enter into License Agreements for Evogliptin and Cenicriviroc
Tobira Therapeutics, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co., Ltd. announced that the companies have entered into two separate licensing agreements. Tobira has acquired exclusive rights to develop and market evogliptin in combination with cenicriviroc and as a single agent in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia for all therapeutic indications. Dong-A has received an exclusive license to develop and market CVC, as both a single agent and in combination with evogliptin in the Republic of Korea for all therapeutic indications. [Tobira Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

Oncternal Therapeutics Awarded Exclusive Worldwide License to ROR1 Antibody and Related Programs from UC San Diego
Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has received an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize antibodies and antibody-related binding agents recognizing receptor-tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1) from University of California San Diego. [Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. (PR Newswire Association LLC.)] Press Release

CeQur Initiates Significant Facility Expansion in Marlborough
CeQur® announced that the company is doubling the size of its Marlborough facilities in preparation for the launch of PAQ®, the company’s simple, three-day insulin infusion device. [CeQur®] Press Release
Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) Opportunity for Development of an Assay To Detect Genetic Markers Related to Elevated Serum Tryptase in Familial Tryptasemia and Mast Cell Activation Disorders (FR Doc. No: 2016-08100)
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Medical Device User Fee Cover Sheet, Form FDA 3601
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Donor Screening Recommendations To Reduce the Risk of Transmission of Zika Virus by Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products; Guidance for Industry; Availability; Correction (FR Doc. No: 2016-08330)
NEW Mouse Development, Stem Cells & Cancer
July 8-28, 2016
Cold Spring Harbor, United States

NEW 24th Biennial European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) Congress
July 9-16, 2016
Manchester, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
NEW PhD Studentship – Stem Cell Biology (Masaryk University)

NEW Assistant Professor – Cell Factory Design (Chalmers University of Technology)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Non-Viral Gene Delivery (Nanyang Technological University)

Scientist – Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

Project Lead – Engineering (Cytonome)

Faculty Position – Tumor Immunology (John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center)

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)

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)

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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