Volume 10.14 | Apr 20

Cell Therapy News 10.14, April 20, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Stem Cells Reset Immune Systems in Diabetes: The majority of patients with Type 1 diabetes who underwent transplantation with their own stem cells to reset their immune systems became insulin free, several for more than three years.


Large Quantity of Stem Cells Produced From Small Number of Blood Stem Cells
A team from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer at the Universite de Montréal has succeeded in producing a large quantity of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow.

Platelet Derived Growth Factor Protection of Cardiac Mycardium
Investigators at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University have described a platelet-derived growth factor-AB-mediated communication between cardiac microvascular endothelial cells and neighboring cardiac myocytes.

Scientists Discover Way to Jumpstart Bone’s Healing Process
Astute observations led a team of clinicians and researchers to uncover how teriparatide, or Forteo can also boost our bodies’ bone stem cell production to the point that adults’ bones appear to have the ability to heal at a rate typically seen when they were young kids.

Creating Ideal Neural Cells for Clinical Use
Investigators at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have developed a protocol to rapidly differentiate human embryonic stem cells into neural progenitor cells that may be ideal for transplantation.

Emory Study Yields Clue to How Stem Cells Form
An Emory University study shows some of the first direct evidence of a process required for epigenetic reprogramming between generations.

Penn Scientists Use RNA to Reprogram One Cell Type into Another
By simply flooding one cell type, a nerve cell, with an abundance of a specific type of messenger RNA from another cell type, the investigators changed a neuron into an astrocyte-like cell.

Embryonic Stem Cells Used to Regenerate Hair on Mice
A university lecturer has succeeded in regenerating hair on mice using embryonic stem cells, an achievement that could pave the way for the development of treatments for conditions including hair loss, it has been learned.

Device Protects Transplanted Pancreatic Cells from the Immune System
Scientists at Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated in mice that transplanted pancreatic precursor cells are protected from the immune system when encapsulated in polytetrafluorethylene.

Gene Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy Shows Promise Beyond Safety
Researchers have cleared a safety hurdle in efforts to develop a gene therapy for a form of muscular dystrophy that disables patients by gradually weakening muscles near the hips and shoulders.

University of Texas Houston Enrolls First Patient in Stem Cell Study for Stroke
For the first time in the United States, a stroke patient has been intravenously injected with his own bone marrow stem cells as part of a research trial at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Equine Stem Cell Technique to be Trialed in Human Medicine
A pioneering equine stem cell technique, which is used to successfully return injured horses to top levels of performance, is to be trialed in human medicine.


C-Peptide Levels and Insulin Independence Following Autologous Nonmyeloablative Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Patients that underwent autologous nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who became insulin free with normal levels of glycated hemoglobin A1c was investigated.

Human Oligodendrocytes from Embryonic Stem Cells: Conserved SHH Signaling Networks and Divergent FGF Effects
Using oligodendrocyte differentiation as a model system, the researchers show that sonic hedgehog (SHH)-dependent sequential activation of the transcription factors OLIG2, NKX2.2 and SOX10 is required for sequential specification of ventral spinal OLIG2-expressing progenitors, pre-oligodendrocyte precursor cells and OPCs from hESC-derived neuroepithelia.

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Georgia House to Withhold Stem Cell Bill, Legislators Weigh In
The Georgia House of Representatives plans to withhold a bill that would make it unlawful to create human embryos for any purpose besides clinical fertilization.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Vote to Ban Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Lawmakers in the state Senate have passed legislation that would ban embryonic stem cell research in Oklahoma.


iZumi Bio and Kyoto University Form Collaboration to Advance Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology
iZumi Bio, Inc., and Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, recently announced a collaboration to promote the basic research, development and application of induced pluripotent stem cell technology.

Scottish and Chinese Stem Cell Experts Sign Landmark Deal
Representatives from the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and China’s National Centre for International Research in Stem Cells gathered in Beijing to seal the “landmark” deal to increase collaboration on stem cell treatments.

China Looks to Expand Stake in Stem Cell Technology
China will build Asia’s biggest base to develop uses for stem cell medical technology, which the health minister described as having huge potential for development.

NeoStem, Inc. Announces Agreement with Progenitor Cell Therapy, LLC
NeoStem, Inc. recently announced that it will be moving its commercial adult stem cells processing and storage operations and utilizing exclusively Progenitor Cell Therapy, LLC.

Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository Adopts BioLife Solutions CryoStor as Standard Biopreservation Media
BioLife Solutions Inc. recently announced that the Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository has adopted the Company’s CryoStor as the exclusive cryopreservation media for its transformed lymphocyte cell lines.

Genentech Executives Leave as Roche, Soriot Arrive
Genentech Inc., the biotechnology company bought by Roche Holding AG for $46.8 billion, lost its chief financial officer, head of product development and compliance manager after the Swiss drug maker named a new chief executive officer for the unit.

Gene Network Sciences Announces Brain Cancer Collaboration with M.D. Anderson
Gene Network Sciences, Inc. recently announced that it has entered into research collaboration with The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center aimed at the rapid translation of DNA sequence and clinical data from patients with glioblastoma.

StemCells, Inc. Announces License Agreement with Major Pharmaceutical Company Covering Gene Insertion Technology
StemCells, Inc. announced recently that a major international pharmaceutical company has taken a non-exclusive license to the Company’s recently acquired Internal Ribosome Entry Site technology.

Advanced Cell Technology Inc. Advances Filings, Looks to Get Back on Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board
Advanced Cell Technology Inc. reports that it is moving closer to being relisted on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, now that it has updated the status of its filings for quarterly and annual reports for certain periods of calendar 2008.

Stem Cell Consortium $43 Million Richer
The state Pooled Money Investment Board this week approved putting $43 million in an escrow account for San Diego’s stem cell consortium.

Parfet’s $1 Million Donation Promotes Stem Cell Research
The owner of MPI Research donated $1 million last year to a group that supported a ballot proposal to ease restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research in Michigan.


NIH Offers Rules for Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Scientists seeking taxpayer money for embryonic stem cell research under President Barack Obama’s new plan must use cells originally culled from fertility clinic embryos that otherwise would be thrown away.

Implementation of Executive Order on Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells (NOT-OD-09-085)

NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03) (PA-09-163)

NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21) (PA-09-164)

New NIH Recovery Act Opportunity Seeks to Fund High Impact, Large-Scale, Accelerated Research


Fast Track Designation Request Performance



Return to FDA: Senate Staffer Dorsey Takes Senior Counselor Position to Sharfstein
Top Senate Health Committee FDA staffer David Dorsey will return to the agency as Senior Counselor to Acting FDA Commissioner, Sharfstein and a “senior member” of the agency’s leadership.

Preparation for International Conference on Harmonisation Meetings in Yokohama, Japan; Public Meeting

Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Related Regulations for Blood and Blood Components; and Requirements for Donor Testing, Donor Notification, and “Lookback”

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