Volume 11.19 | May 24

Cell Therapy News 11.19, May 24, 2010.
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First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell
Researchers published results describing the successful construction of the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell. The team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. [Press release from J. Craig Venter Institute discussing online prepublication in Science]

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

by STEMCELL Technologies


Combination Therapy Targets Stubborn Leukemia Stem Cells
New research discovers a combination of drugs that may prove to be a more effective treatment for a lethal form of leukemia. [Press release from Science Centric discussing online prepublication in Cancer Cell]

Technique Might Boost Women's Fertility
Scientists have found a way to awaken dormant ovarian follicles, possibly making more eggs available for reproduction during a woman's lifespan. [Press release from Health Day discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Oncolytic Viruses Mediating Anti-Tumor Immunity in Human Cancer Patients Published by Oncos Therapeutics and University of Helsinki
Oncos Therapeutics published initial results from its Advanced Therapy Access Program. The results demonstrate anti-tumor immunity of oncolytic viruses — published for the first time in humans — and indicate strong efficacy of the next generation viruses against solid tumor cancers. [Press release from Oncos Therapeutics discussing online prepublication in Cancer Research]

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Gene They Believe Is Key to Kidney Cancer
Researchers have discovered a key gene that, when turned off, promotes the development of common kidney cancer. Their findings suggest that a combination of agents now being tested in other cancers may turn the gene back on, providing a much-needed therapy for the difficult-to-treat cancer. [Press release from the Mayo Clinic discussing online prepublication in Oncogene]

Spanish Researchers Reprogram Adult Stem Cells to Help Cardiac Muscle Regeneration
Spanish researchers have employed for the first time adult cells extracted from a human heart to turn stem cells from adipose tissue into cardiac myocytes. [Press release from The Medical News discussing online prepublication in Cytotherapy]

Progress in Exploring New Avenues for Brain Repair
Researchers showed how astroglia can be directly converted into the two main classes of cortical neurons. [Press release from Ludwig-Maximilians University discussing online prepublication in PLoS Biology]

Cellmedicine Stem Cell Clinic Case Report of Successful Treatment of Heart Failure Patient Published
The Cellmedicine Institutes reported publication of a heart failure patient who underwent profound recovery after receiving adult stem cell therapy. [Press release from Medical News Today discussing online prepublication in the International Archives of Medicine]

Process of Cancer Cell Self-Digestion Is Target of New Cancer Therapies
In an effort to improve current anticancer treatments, investigators have been targeting autophagy. While preclinical studies have shown that inhibition of autophagy sensitizes tumor cells to treatment, researchers recently have had an opportunity to observe these effects in early-stage clinical trials involving a drug commonly used to treat malaria. [Press release from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey discussing research presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology]

Estrogen-Lowering Drugs Minimize Surgery in Breast Cancer Patients
A nationwide study has confirmed the benefit of giving estrogen-lowering drugs before surgery to breast cancer patients. The treatment increased the likelihood that women could undergo breast-conservation surgery, also called lumpectomy, instead of mastectomy.  [Press release from Washington University in St. Louis discussing research presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology]

CA-125 Change Over Time Shows Promise as Screening Tool for Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer
Evaluating its change over time, CA-125, the protein long-recognized for predicting ovarian cancer recurrence, now shows promise as a screening tool for early-stage disease. [Press release from University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center discussing research presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology]

Geron Announces Positive Study Data on GRNCM1
Geron Corporation reported positive preclinical study data showing that GRNCM1, Geron's cardiomyocyte product derived from human embryonic stem cells, does not cause cardiac arrhythmias after transplantation into a model of chronic heart damage designed to test this potential safety concern.  [Press release from Geron Corporation]

Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics Reports Promising Data from Cholesterol Lowering Gene Therapy Study
Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics reported positive preclinical data from a study using an adeno-associated virus gene therapy product to lower cholesterol. [Press release from Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics]

Jennerex Reports Positive Phase 1 Results for JX-594 Administered Intravenously
Jennerex, Inc. reported positive results from its Phase 1 dose escalation study evaluating the intravenous (IV) administration of JX-594 to patients with metastatic cancer. [Press release from Jennerex, Inc.]

Celgene's Revlimid Positive in Maintenance Trials
According to preliminary data patients who took Revlimid on a continuous basis following a stem cell transplant kept their disease in check longer than those who took a placebo. [Press release from Reuters]

CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome
Researchers report the design, synthesis, and assembly of the 1.08-Mbp Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 genome starting from digitized genome sequence information and its transplantation into a Mycoplasma capricolum recipient cell to create new Mycoplasma mycoides cells that are controlled only by the synthetic chromosome. [Science]

Effective Targeting of Quiescent Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Stem Cells by Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors in Combination with Imatinib Mesylate
Treatment with HDAC inhibitors combined with imatinib mesylate (IM) effectively induced apoptosis in quiescent chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) progenitors resistant to elimination by IM alone, and eliminated CML stem cells capable of engrafting immunodeficient mice. [Cancer Cell]

Sonic Hedgehog Is a Critical Mediator of Erythropoietin-Induced Cardiac Protection in Mice
These results suggest that erythropoietin protects the heart after myocardial infarction by inducing angiogenesis through sonic hedgehog signaling. [J Clin Invest]

Activation of Dormant Ovarian Follicles to Generate Mature Eggs
Short-term in vitro activation of dormant ovarian follicles after stimulation of the PI3K-Akt pathway allows the generation of a large supply of mature female germ cells for future treatment of infertile women with a diminishing ovarian reserve and for cancer patients with cryo-preserved ovaries. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Oncolytic Adenovirus Coding for Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor Induces Antitumoral Immunity in Cancer Patients
An oncolytic adenovirus coding for granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF) was engineered and shown to induce tumor-specific immunity in an immunocompetent syngeneic hamster model. Subsequently, 20 patients with advanced solid tumors refractory to standard therapies were treated with Ad5-D24-GMCSF. [Cancer Res]

Directing Astroglia from the Cerebral Cortex into Subtype Specific Functional Neurons
Researchers show that strong and persistent expression of neurogenic fate determinants driven by silencing-resistant retroviral vectors instructs astroglia from the postnatal cortex in vitro to mature into fully functional, synapse-forming neurons. [PLoS Biology]



Cancer Center Marks Signing of Act on Screenings for Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer
The new measure gives statutory authority for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening programs to the Alabama Department of Public Health. [Alabama Department of Public Health, United States]

House Nixes More Research Spending in COMPETES Bill
Catching the Democratic leadership by surprise, members voted 292 to 126 to block passage of a 5-year authorization bill that would have provided healthy increases in the research and education budgets of the National Science Foundation and research programs at the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce. [House of Representatives, United States]

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and NIH Director Francis Collins Regarding the President’s Intent to Appoint Dr. Harold Varmus as Director of the National Institute of Cancer at the National Institutes of Health [Department of Health and Human Services, United States]

Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for Which Public Health Service Funding Is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors; Proposed Rule [Docket Number: NIH-2010-0001] [Department of Health and Human Services, United States]

STEMSOFT Software Inc  
Detailed Product Tracking…Electronically.


AstraZeneca Reaches US Agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals Regarding Entocort EC Capsules
AstraZeneca announced that it has entered into an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. to settle patent litigation regarding Teva’s proposed generic version of AstraZeneca’s Entocort EC (budesonide) capsules.  [AstraZeneca Press Release]

HemaCare Announces First Commercial Cell Therapy Collection Agreement
HemaCare Corporation announced an agreement with Dendreon Corporation to provide cellular collection services in Los Angeles and Maine for their new autologous cellular immunotherapy, PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T). [HemaCare Corporation Press Release]

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Announces 42 Projects for Funding
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has completed its evaluation of the 141 applications in response to its three official Requests for Applications during the FY 2010 funding cycle. [Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Press Release]

HHMI Awards $79 Million for Science Education to Research Universities, Top Scientists
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced new grants totaling $79 million that will help universities strengthen undergraduate and precollege science education nationwide. [Howard Hughes Medical Institute Press Release]

United States FDA Clears Phase 2 Trial for Cervical Spinal Fusion
Australia's regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast Limited, announced that it has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin Phase 2 clinical trials of its “off-the-shelf” or allogeneic stem cell product NeoFuse™ for fusion of the cervical spine in the neck. [Mesoblast Limited Press Release]

Pfizer to Cut 6,000 Jobs, Close Eight Plants
Pfizer Inc. plans to eliminate 6,000 manufacturing jobs over the next 18 months to five years as it closes eight plants and reduces operations at six others. [St. Louis Business Journal]


NIH Wants More (Not Total) Disclosure of Financial Conflicts
The federal government proposed an overhaul of regulations covering financial conflicts of interest in biomedical research. The rules would expand the amount of information that researchers must report to their institutions, make some of it public, and require that more details than in the past be submitted privately to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NIH Human Microbiome Project Researchers Publish First Genomic Collection of Human Microbes
The Human Microbiome Project published an analysis of 178 genomes from microbes that live in or on the human body. The researchers discovered novel genes and proteins that serve functions in human health and disease, adding a new level of understanding to what is known about the complexity and diversity of these organisms.

NIH Requests Comments on the Proposed Rule Applicable to Regulations on the Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which Public Health Service Funding is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors (NOT-OD-10-099)

Notice of Format Clarification and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): RFA-HL-11-006, Next Generation Genetic Association Studies (U01) (NOT-HL-10-110) 

Notice of Intent to Publish a New Funding Opportunity that will Reconfigure and Consolidate The Millennium Promise Awards: Non-communicable Chronic Diseases Research Training Program (NCoD) (NOT-TW-10-457)



Charter of the Blood Products Advisory Committee (Update)



FDA Transparency Initiative: Draft Proposals for Public Comment Regarding Disclosure Policies of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Availability [Docket No. FDA-2009-N-0247]


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

London Research Institute Stem Cell Club Meeting
May 31, 2010
London, United Kingdom

Stem Cell Investor & Executive Networking Conference Event (S.C.I.E.N.C.E.)
June 1, 2010
New York, United States

Second Annual Consumer Genetics Conference
June 2-4, 2010
Boston, United States

The Future of Molecular Epidemiology: New Tools, Biomarkers, and Opportunities
June 6-9, 2010
Miami, United States

Regenerative Medicine in 21st Century: Managing Uncertainty at the Global Level Conference
June 9-10, 2010
Madison, United States

8th International Conference on Cell and Stem Cell Engineering
June 11-12, 2010
Dublin, Ireland

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

Accelerating Anticancer Agent Development and Validation
June 23-25, 2010
North Bethesda, 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

Translational Cancer Medicine 2010 – USA
July 11-14, 2010
San Francisco, United States

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) 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

CHI's 5th Annual Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Summit (ImVacS)
August 17-19, 2010
Cambridge, United States

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

International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) – Europe 2nd Regional Meeting
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

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

Joint Metastasis Research Society – American Association of Cancer Research Conference on Metastasis and the Tumor Microenvironment
September 12-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – Asia Pacific 2010
September 15-17, 2010
Sydney, Australia

4th American Association of Cancer Research International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development
September 27-30, 2010
Denver, United States

Third America Association of Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved
September 30-October 3, 2010
Miami, United States

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 States

Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists
October 17-22, 2010
Boston, United States

3rd Annual Dubai Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine (DCAAAM)
October 26-27, 2010
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress Asia 2010
October 26-29, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2010: Translating Science to Therapy
November 2-3, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

Select Biosciences 2nd Annual RNAi Asia Conference
November 15-16, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

Stem Cell Network 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Canada

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – North America 2010 Annual 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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