Volume 10.45 | Nov 16

Cell Therapy News 10.45, November 16, 2009
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
Cell Therapy News on Facebook  Cell Therapy News on Twitter

Top Stories

Stem Cells Restore Mobility in Neck-injured Rats: The first human embryonic stem cell treatment approved by the FDA for human testing has been shown to restore limb function in rats with neck spinal cord injuries. [University of California – Irvine, Irvine]


Faster Route to Stem-like Cells
Given the right conditions, any adult cell can be coaxed into becoming stem-cell like, according to a team of researchers, who were also able to speed up the process, cutting the time required for cells to become stem cell like by around half. [Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge]

A Step Forward in Cell Reprogramming
Investigators describe a reprogramming system through which B lymphocytes are converted into macrophages in 2 to 3 days. [The Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona]

Stem Cells Restore Cognitive Abilities Impaired by Brain Tumor Treatment
Human embryonic stem cells could help people with learning and memory deficits after radiation treatment for brain tumors. [UC Irvine, Irvine]

Laboratory-Grown Replacement of Penile Erectile Tissue in Animals Suggests Potential to Benefit Patients
Researchers report success using cells from rabbits to grow replacement penile erectile tissue for the animals in the laboratory. [Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem]

Scientists Successfully Reprogram Blood Cells
Researchers have transplanted genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells into mice so that their developing red blood cells produce a critical lysosomal enzyme –preventing or reducing organ and central nervous system damage from the often-fatal genetic disorder Hurler’s syndrome. [Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati]

Treatment for Neurodegenerative Diseases Shown to be More Effective than Other Current Potential Stem Cell Treatments
In a scientific paper recently published, the research demonstrated that in a rat model for Parkinson’s disease, the efficacy of NTF-SC was superior to that of mesenchymal stem cells in terms of behavioral, biochemical and histological indices. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., Petach Tikvah]

Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics Successful in Preclinical Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
The proof of concept studies demonstrated effectiveness in the heart as well as in skeletal muscles, for the treatment Duchenne muscular dystrophy in an animal model with its proprietary gene therapy. [Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics, Amsterdam]

Study Shows Neural Stem Cells in Mice Affected by Gene Associated with Longevity
A gene associated with longevity in roundworms and humans has been shown to affect the function of stem cells that generate new neurons in the adult brain. [Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford]

Gene Therapy Strengthens Muscles in Monkeys
A gene therapy treatment that stops the breakdown of muscle appeared safe in monkeys and may build up muscle, too, researchers recently reported. [Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus]

Antler Cells May Help Regenerate Limbs
A New Zealand scientist says stem cells cloned from the base of deer antlers are providing clues to regenerate severed human limbs. [AgResearch Invermay]

Aastrom to Initiate Second Phase II Clinical Trial for Treatment of Severe Chronic Heart Failure
Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. recently announced that the Company will initiate its second clinical trial using its catheter delivery of Cardiac Repair Cells for the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy. [Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., Ann Arbor]


Follistatin Gene Delivery Enhances Muscle Growth and Strength in Nonhuman Primates
To assess the effects of antagonists of myostatin, shown to have considerable promise for enhancing muscle mass and strength in rodent studies, the researchers tested an alternatively spliced form of human follistatin that affects skeletal muscle but that has only minimal effects on non-muscle cells. [Sci Transl Med]

Alternative Splicing in the Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells into Cardiac Precursors
To better define the role of alternative splicing in self-renewal, the researchers modified the H9 hESC line to allow selection of pluripotent hESCs by neomycin resistance and cardiac progenitors by puromycin resistance. [PLOS]

Capacity for Stochastic Self-renewal and Differentiation in Mammalian Spermatogonial Stem Cells
The basic question of whether spermatogonial stem cells have the potential to specify self-renewal and differentiation in a cell-autonomous manner is addressed in this paper. [J Cell Biol]


Europe to Decide Over Patenting of Human Embryo Research
A top German court passed a decision on to the European Court of Justice concerning whether or not a German scientist should be allowed to patent his embryonic stem cell research methods.

$1M Awarded to Innovative and Clinically Focused Australian Stem Cell Projects
Six projects have been selected for support from the Australian Stem Cell Centre’s Strategic Development Fund which aims to develop and accelerate stem cell projects towards a well-defined commercial, medical or academic goal.

UK Starts Study on Using Human DNA in Animals
British scientists begin a new study on Tuesday to consider how human DNA is used in animal experiments and to determine what the boundaries of such controversial science might be.

Nebraska University Regents Draft Stem Cell Resolution
Four members of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents have drafted a resolution that would limit embryonic stem-cell research at the university system’s facilities.


Sigma-Aldrich Enters Distribution Agreement with Stemgent, Inc. to Offer Lentivirus-Based Gene Delivery Products for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research
Sigma-Aldrich(R) recently announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement with Stemgent, Inc. to offer Stemgent’s portfolio of lentivirus-based delivery systems for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

Sanofi-aventis and Regeneron Expand Strategic Antibody Collaboration
Sanofi-aventis and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced recently that they have entered into agreements to expand and extend their existing global collaboration to discover, develop, and commercialize fully-human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

Big Pharma Still Hungry for Biotech Deals
Even amid aggressive cost-cutting, many big pharmaceuticals companies continue to seek biotech acquisitions in the hope of finding new drugs to replace those lost to generic competition.

Stemina Biomarker Discovery Raises $1M in Angel Funds
Stemina Biomarker Discovery said this week that it has raised $1 million in angel investments to further develop its product for assessing drug toxicity in the developing human embryo.


SCAW Winter Conference: December 7-8, 2009 in San Antonio, TX (NOT-OD-10-013)


November 16-17, 2009: Blood Products Advisory Committee Meeting Materials

SOPP 8007: DCC Binding Procedures for Regulatory Documents



Guidance for Industry: Recommendations for the Assessment of Blood Donor Suitability, Blood Product Safety, and Preservation of the Blood Supply in Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Virus

 Learn more about Cell Therapy News:  Archives  |  Events  |  Update Profile  |  Contact Us