Volume 10.18 | May 18

Cell Therapy News 10.18, May 18, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Co-transplantation Prevents Embryonic Stem Cell Transplant-associated Tumors: A team of Japanese researchers describe their study that demonstrates a way to eliminate the problem of tumor growth by co-transplanting bone marrow stem cells along with embryonic stem cells.


New Tissue Scaffold Regrows Cartilage and Bone
MIT engineers have built a new tissue scaffold that can stimulate bone and cartilage growth when transplanted into the knees and other joints.

Stem Cell Transplant in Mouse Embryo Yields Heart Protection in Adulthood
Stem cells play a role in heart muscle rejuvenation by attracting cells from the body that develop into heart muscle cells.

Study Points Toward Relationship Between Cancer Stem Cells and Prognosis in Primary Breast Cancer
Breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy prior to surgery had heightened levels of cancer-initiating stem cells in their bone marrow, and the level of such cells correlated to a tumor’s lymph node involvement, according to new research.

For Different Species, Different Functions for Embryonic MicroRNAs
Researchers looked at the role of a family of microRNAs in the African clawed frog embryo and human embryonic stem cells, comparing their findings with earlier ones in fish, and found that although the genes for these microRNAs were identical across the three species, their function was not.

Pig-to-Monkey Transplant Treats Diabetes
Using embryonic tissue for interspecies organ transplants offers a way to evade the host’s immune system, say scientists who used the method to treat type 1 diabetes in primates.

Encouraging Early Data Reported in Severe Heart Failure Patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. announced recently that the National Principal Investigator of the Company’s U.S. Phase II IMPACT-DCM clinical trial presented initial trial data evaluating Aastrom’s Cardiac Repair Cells (CRCs) for the treatment of patients suffering from both ischemic and non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Heart Muscle Function Improved Significantly After Single, Lowest-dose Injection of “Off-The-Shelf” Stem Cells in Patients with Heart Failure
Mesoblast Limited recently announced positive three-month interim efficacy results from the first 20 patients enrolled in the Phase 2 heart failure trial of the proprietary allogeneic, or “off-the-shelf”, adult stem cell product Revascor(TM).


Capsid Antigen Presentation Flags Human Hepatocytes for Destruction After Transduction by Adeno-associated Viral Vectors
The capacity of hepatocytes to present adeno-associated virus capsid–derived antigens has not been formally demonstrated, nor whether transduction by AAV sensitizes hepatocytes for CTL-mediated destruction.

Novel Culture System of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Human Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue
This study demonstrates that human adipose tissue–derived stromal cells were able to expand efficiently in media containing 2% serum and fibroblast growth factor-2.

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Bush Bioethics Advisors Take Potshot at Obama Stem Cell Platform
Prestigious Hastings Center bioethics think tank publishes comments by more than half of President Bush’s bioethics council.


Connexon Creative Launches Mammary Cell News
Mammary Cell News is a weekly e-newsletter that keeps members of the mammary cell community informed by providing the latest news from all areas of the field, including its science, research and business.

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STEMSOFT(R) Software Inc. Licenses StemLab(R) Software to Carter BloodCare
STEMSOFT Software Inc (“STEMSOFT”), the leading provider software solutions for cell therapy transplant, is pleased to announce the licensing of StemLab, the leading cell therapy and cord blood banking laboratory software, to Carter BloodCare’s Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory in Bedford, TX.

Roche Partners with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals to Advance RNAi Product Candidates
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced recently that it has entered into a product development agreement with Roche to advance Roche’s first two RNA interference product candidates into human clinical testing.

ExcellGene and Kuhner Achieved Milestone in Development of Novel 250 Liter Mammalian Cell Culture Bioreactors
As part of a long-term partnership the two companies disclosed recently the successful conclusion of the technically challenging task of growing mammalian cells for the production of recombinant proteins in an orbitally shaken bioreactor.

Advanced Cell Technology Provides Single Blastomere Technology To CHA Bio & Diostech Co., Ltd.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. and CHA Bio & Diostech Co., Ltd. announced recently that the parties have entered into a licensing agreement under which Advanced Cell will license its proprietary “single blastomere technology,” to CHA Bio for development and commercialization exclusively in Korea.

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Announces 59 Projects for Funding
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has completed its evaluation of the 147 applications in response to its three official Requests for Applications.

Lonza Expands Cell Therapy Business with New Facility in Singapore
Lonza Group Ltd is expanding its Cell Therapy business with the construction of a new facility in Singapore.

China to Invest $9.2 Bln in New Technology
China will spend 62.8 billion yuan ($9.2 billion) this year and the next on new technology as part of its efforts to stimulate economic growth, the State Council said on Wednesday.

Fate Therapeutics Granted Exclusive License for Stem Cell Modulators by Children’s Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital
Fate Therapeutics, Inc. announced recently that it has acquired exclusive intellectual property rights jointly owned by Children’s Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital.

NeoStem Obtains Exclusive License to Innovative Stem Cell Procedure Treating Musculoskeletal Diseases
NeoStem, Inc. announced recently it has signed an exclusive royalty-bearing license agreement for the Asia territory to use an innovative process that rapidly grows a patient’s own adult stem cells to treat a variety of musculoskeletal diseases.

Stem Cell Patent Digests
The UKNSCN has embarked upon a pilot project to provide the community with regular digests of both published and granted patents in the stem cell field.

U.S. Patent Office Upholds StemCells’ Patents – Company Moves to Resume Patent Infringement Cases Against Neuralstem
StemCells, Inc. announced recently that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has upheld the validity of the remaining two neural stem cell patents which were subjected to reexamination proceedings commenced by Neuralstem, Inc.


Draft NIH Human Stem Cell Guidelines Comments Form: Deadline 11:00pm EST on May 26, 2009

Public Comments Sought on Regulations for Financial Conflicts of Interest in Federally-Funded Research

Reminder and Clarification of NIH Policies on Similar, Identical, or Essentially Identical Applications, Submission of Applications Following RFA Review, and Submission of Applications with a Changed Activity Code (NOT-OD-09-100)

Notice of Clarification to PAR-09-016, Innovation in Molecular Imaging Probes (R01) (NOT-EB-09-001)


Meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee – Cancelled



FDA Nominee Moves Closer to Confirmation
A U.S. Senate committee approved President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sending Dr. Margaret Hamburg’s nomination one step closer to final approval.

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