Volume 11.10 | Mar 22

Cell Therapy News 11.10, March 22, 2010.
In this issue:  Science  |  Policy  |  Business  |  NIH  |  CBER  |  Regulatory  |  Events Unsubscribe


Stem Cells Used to Model Infant Birth Defect
Researchers recently discovered that infantile hemangiomas originate from stem cells, and have used these stem cells to better understand this tumor in the laboratory. [Press release from Children's Hospital Boston discussing the online prepublication in the New England Journal of Medicine]



One Gene Lost = One Limb Regained?
Researchers from The Wistar Institute demonstrate that mice that lack the p21 gene gain the ability to regenerate lost or damaged tissue. [Press release from The Wistar Institute discussing the online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Computational Feat Speeds Finding of Genes to Milliseconds Instead of Years
Research by Stanford computer scientist Debashis Sahoo opens a powerful, mathematical route for conducting stem cell research and shows the power of interdisciplinary collaborations in science. It also demonstrates that using computers to mine existing databases can radically accelerate research in the laboratory. [Press release from the Stanford School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Mechanism Guides Cells to Form Heart Tissue
Researchers have identified a key cellular mechanism that guides embryonic heart tissue formation. [Press release from the Keck School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Developmental Cell]

Stem Cells Build New Blood Vessels to Treat Peripheral Arterial Disease
Bone marrow stem cells suspended in X-ray-visible microbubbles dramatically improve the body's ability to build new blood vessels in the upper leg – providing a potential future treatment for those with peripheral arterial disease. [PR Newswire Press Release]

A Swiss Army Knife for Analyzing Three-Dimensional Images
The software package, called V3D, is being distributed free of charge to researchers worldwide and it promises to greatly speed up scientists’ ability to assemble and manipulate extremely detailed images, such as those of a fly’s brain. [Press release from The Howard Hughes Medical Institute discussing the online prepublication in Nature Biotechnology]

Chemists Influence Stem Cell Development with Geometry
Scientists have successfully used geometrically patterned surfaces to influence the development of stem cells. [Press release from The University of Chicago discussing the online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Using Stem Cells to Mend Damaged Hips
Researchers believe that introducing a patient’s own skeletal stem cells into the hip joint during bone grafting would encourage more successful regrowth and repair. [University of Southampton Press Release]

Caltech-Led Team Provides Proof in Humans of RNA Interference Using Targeted Nanoparticles
A California Institute of Technology (Caltech)-led team of researchers and clinicians has published the first proof that a targeted nanoparticle — used as an experimental therapeutic and injected directly into a patient’s bloodstream — can traffic into tumors, deliver double-stranded small interfering RNAs, and turn off an important cancer gene using a mechanism known as RNA interference. [Press release from the California Institute of Technology discussing the online prepublication in Nature]

Newly-Identified Growth Factor Promotes Stem Cell Growth, Regeneration
Scientists have identified a new growth factor that stimulates the expansion and regeneration of hematopoietic stem cells in culture and in laboratory animals. [Press release from the Duke University Medical Center discussing the online prepublication in Nature Medicine]

Stem Cells are Latest Weapon Against Asthma
Mice that developed the condition by being exposed to pollen were protected against attacks after the cells obtained from bone marrow were injected into them. [Press release from the Telegraph discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Alnylam and Collaborators Present New Pre-Clinical Research on RNAi Therapeutics Targeting PCSK9
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the presentation of new pre-clinical data from its hypercholesterolemia program, performed in collaboration with scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. [Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

International Stem Cell Corporation Begins Its Second Pre-Clinical Phase of Testing Retinal Pigment Epithelium Derived from Human Parthenogenetic Stem Cells for Treatment of Retinal Diseases
International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) announced recently that ISCO's Research and Therapeutic Development Group, together with a group of scientists from the University of California, Irvine, is starting a second phase of essential pre-clinical experiments to test retinal pigment epithelium derived from parthenogenetic stem cells. [International Stem Cell Corporation Press Release]

World First Transplant in Child
In a world first in children, British and Italian doctors have transplanted a new trachea into a child and used the child’s own stem cells, in the body, to rebuild it. [University College London Institute of Child Health Press Release]

Stem Cells Used to Treat Gum Disease Patients
A Japanese research team announced recently it has been successful in regenerating gum and parodontal tissue by using gum disease patients’ own stem cells that can develop into any type of body tissue. [Japan Today Press Release]


Corticosteroid Suppression of VEGF-A in Infantile Hemangioma-Derived Stem Cells
In a murine model, dexamethasone inhibited the vasculogenic potential of stem cells derived from human infantile hemangioma. The corticosteroid also inhibited the expression of VEGF-A by hemangioma-derived stem cells, and silencing of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) expression in these cells inhibited vasculogenesis in vivo. [N Engl J Med]

Evidence of RNAi in Humans from Systemically Administered siRNA via Targeted Nanoparticles
Data demonstrate that siRNA administered systemically to a human can produce a specific gene inhibition (reduction in mRNA and protein) by an RNAi mechanism of action. [Nature]

Functional Hierarchy and Reversibility Within the Murine Spermatogenic Stem Cell Compartment
Researchers evaluated whether a homogeneous stem cell population of single spermatogonia supports spermatogenesis, and whether differentiation, which is accompanied by the formation of connected cells (cysts) of increasing length, is linear and nonreversible. [Science]

Pleiotrophin Regulates the Expansion and Regeneration of Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Researchers show that pleiotrophin, a neurite outgrowth factor with no known function in hematopoiesis, efficiently promotes hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) expansion in vitro and HSC regeneration in vivo. [Nat Med]

Inhibition of Phagocytosis in HIV-1 Infected Macrophages Relies on Nef-Dependent Alteration of Focal Delivery of Recycling Compartments
HIV-1 impairs optimal phagosome formation through Nef-dependent perturbation of the endosomal remodeling relying on adaptor protein 1. [Blood]

MiDReG: A Method of Mining Developmentally Regulated Genes Using Boolean Implications
Researchers present a method termed mining developmentally regulated genes (MiDReG) to predict genes whose expression is either activated or repressed as precursor cells differentiate. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Lack of p21 Expression Links Cell Cycle Control and Appendage Regeneration in Mice
Because the p53/p21 axis plays a central role in the DNA damage response and cell cycle control, researchers directly tested the hypothesis that p21 down-regulation could functionally induce a regenerative response in an appendage of an otherwise nonregenerating mouse strain. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Spontaneous Reversal of the Developmental Aging of Normal Human Cells Following Transcriptional Reprogramming
Researchers set to determine whether transcriptional reprogramming is capable of reversing the developmental aging of normal human somatic cells to an embryonic state. [Regen Med]



Embryonic Stem Cell Research Stalled Despite Obama's Try at Lifting Restrictions
One year after President Obama announced he was lifting his predecessor's controversial restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, some scientists are complaining that so far the new policy is, ironically, more of a burden than a boon to their work. [Democratic Party, United States]

Japan Maps Out Big Science Plans
For the first time ever, Japanese scientists have produced a roadmap of where they see major research programs heading in the mid-term — about 10 years out — and a list of large-scale facilities they will need to get there. [Science Council of Japan, Japan]

Stem Cell Agency Draws Capitol Scrutiny – Again
Lawmakers are questioning the operations and culture of the state’s stem cell program, which was created by voters nearly six years ago in Proposition 71 and has placed California at the forefront of stem cell research and development. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, United States]

Animal Protein-Free
Feeder-Independent Maintenance Medium for hESCs & hiPSCs
by STEMCELL Technologies


ThermoGenesis Signs Asia Distribution Agreement with Fenwal for BioArchive and AXP Systems
Under the exclusive five-year agreement, Fenwal will market and distribute the ThermoGenesis AXP® AutoXpress™ (AXP) System and BioArchive® System for use in cord blood processing and storage in China, India and Japan. [ThermoGenesis Corp. Press Release]

Tekmira and Pfizer Initiate New Research Collaboration
Tekmira and Pfizer will collaborate on evaluating Tekmira’s stable nucleic acid-lipid particle technology to deliver small interfering RNA molecules provided by Pfizer. [Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation Press Release]

StemCells, Inc. Granted Broad Patent for Pluripotent Rat Stem Cells and Genetically Engineered Rats
StemCells, Inc. announced that the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office has granted patent number GB2451523 with broad claims covering true (germline competent) rat stem cells and genetically engineered rats derived from these cells. [StemCells, Inc. Press Release]

Regional Stem Cell Center Launched by University of Colorado School of Medicine 
A new center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine promises to expand one of the frontiers of medicine – stem cell research and treatment. [University of Colorado Denver Press Release]

Robertson Foundation Donates $10.2 Million for Duke Cell Therapy Center
A $10.2 million commitment from the Robertson Foundation to create a state-of-the-art Translational Cell Therapy Center will advance Duke Medicine’s pioneering cell therapy research and treatment programs for children and adults with cancer, cerebral palsy, stroke and brain injuries suffered at birth. [Duke University Press Release]

Organovo Names Marie Csete Executive Vice President of Research and Development
Organovo, Inc. announced the appointment of Marie Csete, M.D., Ph.D., as Executive Vice President of Research and Development. [Organovo, Inc. Press Release]


Instructions for Completion and Peer Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section in NIH Grant Applications and Cooperative Agreements (NOT-OD-10-027)

Recovery Act: Update on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Quarterly Reporting Requirements for Non-Competing Continuation Awards and Relinquished Projects; and Guidance to Avoid Common Errors (NOT-OD-10-065)

Recovery Act: Reminders on Annual Reporting Requirements and Notice of Revised Financial Closeout Requirements for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-Funded Administrative Supplements and Competitive Revisions (NOT-OD-10-066)

Recovery Act: Notice on the Proper Management of Recovery Act Spending to Promote Job Creation and Increase the Pace of Scientific Research; and Policy Limiting Second No-Cost Extensions to Recovery Act Grants (NOT-OD-10-067)

Request for Comments on Proposed NIH, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Center of Disease Control Process Change for Electronic Submission of Grant Applications (NOT-OD-10-068)

Amended NIH Policy on Submission of Late Grant Application Materials Prior to Initial Peer Review (NOT-OD-10-070)

Modification: This Notice modifies RFA-RM-10-001 (NOT-RM-10-005)

Modification to RFA-RM-09-019: Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54) (NOT-RM-10-006)


Tissue Reference Group: TRG Annual Report FY 2009 Update

April 12, 2010: Blood Products Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement



Blood Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0001]


12th Biennial Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group (CBMTG) Conference
April 7-10, 2010
Vancouver, Canada

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 101st Annual Meeting 2010
April 17-21, 2010
Washington, DC, United States

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Workshop: Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Reprogramming and Differentiation
April 21-23, 2010
St-Raphaël, France

Society for Biological Engineering's (SBE) 2nd International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering
May 2-5, 2010
Boston, United States

Select BioSciences' 4th Annual RNAi & miRNA World Congress
May 5-7, 2010
Boston, United States

World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
May 11-13, 2010
London, United Kingdom

16th Annual International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Meeting
May 23-26, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

ESTOOLS International Scientific Symposium: Stem Cells in Biology and Disease
May 26-28, 2010
Lisbon, Portugal

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – European Union 2010
June 13-17, 2010
Galway, Ireland

International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States

XXXIst International Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) in joint cooperation with the 43rd Congress of the German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology (DGTI)
June 26-July 1, 2010
Berlin, Germany

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) 3rd Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

2nd International Conference on Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (ICCMB2)
August 2-4, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

Select BioSciences' 3rd Annual Stem Cells Europe Conference
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

International Society of Cell Therapy (ISCT) Annual Meeting – Europe
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

Hydra VI: The European Summer School on Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
September 11-17, 2010
Hydra, Greece

2010 World Stem Cell Summit
October 4-6, 2010
Detroit, United States

5th World Congress on Preventive & Regenerative Medicine (WCRM)
October 5-7, 2010
Hannover, Germany

American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Annual Meeting & Cellular Therapy and Transfusion Medicine Expo (CTTXPO) 2010
October 9-12, 2010
Baltimore, United StatesDubai Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine (DCAAAM)
October 26-27, 2010
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – North American 2010 Conference
December 5-8, 2010
Orlando, United States

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.



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