Volume 9.47 | Dec 1

Cell Therapy News 9.47, December 1, 2008
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Scientists Achieve Robust Repair of Injured Heart Muscle in Laboratory Tests of Novel Stem Cells: Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have been able to effectively repair damaged heart muscle in an animal model using a novel population of stem cells they discovered that is derived from human skeletal muscle tissue.
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Science

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Adult Brain Neurons can Remodel Connections
Overturning a century of prevailing thought, scientists are finding that neurons in the adult brain can remodel their connections.
Article

Mammals can be Stimulated to Regrow Damaged Inner Retina Nerve Cells
The researchers pointed out the remarkable ability of cold-blooded vertebrates like fish to regenerate their retinas after damage. Birds, which are warm-blooded, have some limited ability to regenerate retinal nerve cells after exposure to nerve toxins.
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Not as Easy as it May Seem
Using adult stem cells to replace neurons lost because of brain damage and disease could be more difficult than previously thought because newly formed brain cells receive messages before they are capable of sending them.
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The Light Syringe
Scientists at the University of St Andrews have developed an innovative method allowing insoluble compounds such as genes and drugs to be injected into individual cells with the assistance of light.
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Seven Investigator-Initiated Clinical Studies Announced
Cytori announced today it has been informed that seven new investigator-initiated clinical studies in Japan using adipose-derived regenerative cells have been approved by local ethical committees.
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Ceregene Announces Clinical Data from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of CERE-120 for Parkinson’s Disease
Ceregene, Inc. recently reported clinical data from a double-blind, controlled Phase 2 trial of CERE-120 in 58 patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease.
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ABSTRACTS, REVIEWS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

IGF-1–Overexpressing Mesenchymal Stem Cells Accelerate Bone Marrow Stem Cell Mobilization via Paracrine Activation of SDF-1{alpha}/CXCR4 Signaling to Promote Myocardial Repair
The researchers hypothesized that mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing insulin-like growth factor-1 showed improved survival and engraftment in the infarcted heart and promoted stem cell recruitment through paracrine release of stromal cell–derived factor (SDF)-1{alpha}.
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Generation of Cardiomyocytes from New Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Derived from Poor-quality Blastocysts
This study shows that hES cell lines can be obtained from poor-quality blastocysts with the same efficiency as that obtained from good- or intermediate-quality blastocysts.
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Epithelial Stem/Progenitor Cells in Lung Postnatal Growth, Maintenance, and Repair
To address how repair of different epithelial cell types in the lung are mediated, the researchers have developed genetic lineage-labeling techniques in the mouse.
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The Conditioned Media of Adipose Stromal Cells Protect Against Hypoxia-Ischemia-Induced Brain Damage in Neonatal Rats
This paper directly tested the ability of media collected from cultured adipose-derived stem cells to protect neurons in a rat model of brain hypoxic-ischemic injury.
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The Wnt Modulator sFRP2 Enhances Mesenchymal Stem Cell Engraftment, Granulation Tissue Formation and Myocardial Repair
Cell-based therapies, using multipotent mesenchymal stem cells for organ regeneration were studied comparing mesenchymal stem cells isolated from MRL/MpJ mice, known to demonstrate enhanced regenerative capacity, to those from C57BL/6 mice.
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Policy

European Agency Rules Against Stem Cell Patents
European regulators on Thursday ruled against allowing a patent on developing human embryonic stem cells, a decision that could stifle research by stem cell companies for commercial purposes.
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UK Stem Cell Work Under Threat
The UK could lose its place among the world leaders in stem cell research unless adequate funding and legislation is assured.
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Obama’s Promise on Stem Cells Doesn’t Ensure New War on Disease
Some 37 years ago, President Richard Nixon launched a massive, government-led crusade against cancer. Many U.S. scientists are hoping Barack Obama’s new administration will similarly jump-start the nascent but controversial field of human-embryo research to develop treatments for deadly diseases.
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Business

Cellular Dynamics International Merges Companies, Closes on $18 Million Financing
Cellular Dynamics International announced recently the merger of sister companies Stem Cell Products Inc. and iPS Cells Inc. with Cellular Dynamics International.
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Sigma-Aldrich Enters into Research Collaboration Program with D-Finitive Cell Technologies, Inc., to Develop Research Tools for Regenerative Medicine
Sigma-Aldrich announced recently it has entered into a research collaboration program with D-Finitive Cell Technologies, Inc. to support the development and commercial offering of 14 products over a two-year span, with a planned launch of many of these products in 2009.
Article

Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems Complete Merger
Life Technologies Corporation recently announced the final results of elections made by Applied Biosystems stockholders regarding their preferences as to the form of merger consideration they will receive in connection with the acquisition of Applied Biosystems by Invitrogen.
Article

Neuralstem Enters Collaborative Stem Cell Agreement for Huntington’s Disease in Germany
Neuralstem, Inc. announced recently that it has entered into collaboration with Professor Guido Nikkah Ph.D, of Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany, to advance development of Neuralstem’s human neural stem cell therapies on Huntington’s disease.
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Roche Says Still Committed to Genentech Bid
Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG is still committed to a $43.7 billion bid to buy out U.S. biotech group Genentech Inc, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
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Argos Therapeutics Completes $35.2 Million Series C Financing
Argos Therapeutics today announced the closing of the second and final tranche of a $35.2 million Series C financing from a top-tier, international syndicate of new and existing investors.
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Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Names Novocell, Inc.’s Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D., as President and CEO
Dr. Lewis, who has more than 30 years of experience in biomedical research, comes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from Novocell, where he is currently President and Chief Executive Officer.
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t2cure Acquires Patent Family on In Vitro Potency Testing of Stem Cells for Cardiovascular Application
t2cure recently announced that it has acquired a family of patents and patent applications from Innovectis, the technology transfer arm of Frankfurt University.
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NIH

Requests for Applications – Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers (U42)
Link

CBER

Field Correction for Component Pack packaged with Mononine (Coagulation Factor IX, Human) (CSL Behring)
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Regulatory

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (United States)

Ailing FDA May Need a Major Overhaul, Officials and Groups Say
The Obama administration will inherit a Food and Drug Administration widely seen as struggling to protect Americans from unsafe medication, contaminated food and a flood of questionable imports from China and other countries.
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