Volume 10.15 | Apr 27

Cell Therapy News 10.15, April 27, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Generating Safer, Therapeutic Stem Cells from Adult Cells: A group of researchers have achieved a breakthrough in converting adult cells all the way back to the most primitive embryonic-like cells without using any genes or genetic manipulations at all.


Learn to Culture Neural Stem Cells with the Cell Experts(TM)

STEMCELL Technologies is offering a 2-day Neural Stem Cell Training Course that provides hands-on instruction in the dissection, culture, identification and enumeration of neural stem and progenitor cells.

May 22-23, 2009, Vancouver, Canada 

Study Finds Blood Cells Can Be Reprogrammed to Act as Embryonic Stem Cells
In a recent study, U.S. researchers have reprogrammed cells found in circulating blood into cells that are molecularly and functionally indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells.

Blind to be Cured with Stem Cells
British scientists have developed a treatment involving replacing a layer of degenerated cells with new ones created from embryonic stem cells.

Cystic Fibrosis To Be Treated By Gene Therapy Technology
Better treatment for cystic fibrosis by scientists involve plasmids, tiny circles of DNA that can carry healthy genes to where they can replace faulty CF genes in the lining of the lung.

On the Trail of Huntington Disease
Using gene therapy, University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology researchers have taken an important first step toward protecting against Huntington disease.

Magnetic Force to Ease Aching Bones
Keele University researchers are testing injectable stem cells that they can control with a magnet, which would mean that doctors may soon be able to repair damaged bones and joints anywhere in the body with a simple injection.

Human Stem Cells Promote Healing of Diabetic Ulcers
Scientists in Bristol have found that human foetal stem cells can effectively be used to treat back leg ischaemic ulcers in a model of type 1 diabetes.

New Method Developed by UC San Diego Bioengineers Gives Regenerative Medicine a Boost
Bioengineers at UC San Diego have developed a breakthrough method for sequencing-based methylation profiling, which could help fuel personalized regenerative medicine and even lead to more efficient and cost-effective methods for studying certain diseases.

University of British Columbia Research Finds Molecular “Key” to Successful Blood Stem Cell Transplants
Canadian researchers have identified a molecule called S1P that can tell the thymus to “open the gates” and accept more stem cells.

Stem Cells May Help Repair ACL Tears
A novel approach to repairing partially torn anterior cruciate ligaments in young athletes has shown promise, according to a group of orthopedic surgeons in Italy.

Osiris Completes Enrollment in Second Prochymal Phase III Trial for Graft vs. Host Disease
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced that it has successfully completed patient enrollment in its pivotal, Phase III trial evaluating Prochymal as a first-line treatment for acute graft vs. host disease.


Efficient Production of Mesencephalic Dopamine Neurons by Lmx1a Expression in Embryonic Stem Cells
This study shows that forced expression of Lmx1a, a transcription factor functioning as a determinant of mesDA neurons during embryogenesis, effectively can promote the generation of mesDA neurons from mouse and human ESCs.

Effectiveness of Haemodialysis Access with an Autologous Tissue-engineered Vascular Graft: a Multicentre Cohort Study
Application of a tissue-engineered vascular graft for small-diameter vascular reconstruction results after a minimum of 6 months of follow-up for the first ten patients implanted with a completely biological and autologous tissue-engineered vascular graft are reported.

Dedifferentiated, Programmable Stem Cells of Monocytic Origin, and Their Production and Use
The current patent covers the A process for the production of dedifferentiated, programmable cells of human monocytic origin.

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TriMark Point of Care Testing Conference 2009
May 11, 2009  |  San Diego, California
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Judge Upholds Stem Cell Ballot Language
A Cole County Circuit Court judge has dismissed parts of a lawsuit against Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and upheld ballot summary language for an initiative petition about prohibiting public money for certain abortion- or human cloning-related research and services.

Money is Running Low at Maryland’s Venture Fund
A state fund that invests in technology startups has recently put $450,000 into Maryland companies, but the future of the program is in flux because of a tight budget and sluggish market for investment returns.

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission: Public Meeting Notice

Override Attempt Defeated: Senate Short 6 Votes on Stem Cell-ban Measure
Governor Brad Henry’s veto of a measure that would have banned embryonic stem cell research withstood an override attempt Thursday in the state Legislature.

UK’s Strategic Investment Fund Announces 750M Pound High-tech Fund
The UK’s high-tech industrial sector will get an investment of 750 million pounds ($1.09 billion) through a fund focussing on advanced technology, the government said on Wednesday.

Japan Lagging U.S. in iPS Cell Research
Japan has been overtaken by the United States in terms of research into practical applications of induced pluripotent stem cells, first produced by Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University, for regenerative medicine.

China Ramps Up Stem Cell Efforts Just Weeks After US Research U-Turn
Construction of a new stem cell research and processing plant began recently in China’s Eastern Jiangsu province as part of a joint project between the Chinese government and Shenzen Beike Biotechnology.


University College London–Pfizer to Develop Pioneering Stem Cell Sight Therapies
UCL has entered into a collaboration with the biopharmaceutical group Pfizer to advance development of stem cell-based therapies for age-related macular degeneration.

University of Utah Cell Therapy Lab Collaborates with Q Therapeutics on Stem Cell Therapy to Fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease
With $5 million dollars in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the University of Utah’s Cell Therapy Facility and spin-out Q Therapeutics, Inc. have teamed up to bring the cell-based therapy to the point of human clinical trials to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent Launch Catalyst: A Unique Industry Program for First Access to the Most Advanced Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology
Fate Therapeutics, Inc. and Stemgent, Inc. announced recently the formation of Catalyst, a collaborative one-of-a-kind program to provide pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with an induced pluripotent stem cell technology platform for drug discovery and development.

Roche Madison Opens Facility in University Research Park
The Madison subsidiary is focused in the areas of RNA interference and gene therapy, which plans to hire more employees during the next six to 12 months, has opened a new facility Thursday in University Research Park.

Credit Crisis Puts Canadian Biotech at Risk
The global credit crisis threatens to put many of Canada’s biotech companies out of business and choke off the country’s role in a key sector of the future economy, a study says.

Alnylam Announces Allowance in Europe of New Fundamental Patent Broadly Covering RNAi Therapeutics
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals announced recently that the European Patent Office has issued a notification of intent to grant for a patent in the Tuschl I patent series covering the use of double stranded RNAs for RNAi.


Draft National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research

Public Comment Period Open for Draft Stem Cell Guidelines through May 26, 2009 (NOT-OD-09-086)

Error-Correction Window Extended for All Electronic Applications with Submission Deadlines through May 1, 2009 (NOT-OD-09-087)

Translation and/or Commercialization of Musculoskeletal and Skin Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Research SBIR [R43/R44] (RFA-AR-10-004)

National Cancer Institute’s Plan to Accelerate Cancer Research Announced
The National Cancer Institute recently announced major details, such as funding more grants, development of a platform for personalized cancer care, and an accelerated cancer genetics program, that will move cancer research forward in this new economic environment.


Fast Track Designation Performance Report – Update



Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Financial Disclosure by Clinical Investigators

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