Volume 12.23 | Jun 13

Cell Therapy News 12.23, June 13, 2011
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory | Events
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Cancer-Seeking ‘Smart Bombs’ Target Kidney Cancer Cells
Researchers are halting kidney cancer with a novel form of radioimmunotherapy that zeroes in on antigens associated with renal cell carcinoma. Patients with progressive kidney cancer receiving up to three doses of the therapy show dramatic slowing of cancer growth and stabilization of their disease. [ScienceDaily Press Release]



Article Implicates MicroRNAs in the Pathogenesis of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Data from a collaborative study demonstrated that antagonism of microRNA-103 and microRNA-107 (miR-103/107) with proprietary chemically modified anti-miR oligonucleotides could promote insulin signaling in both liver and adipose tissue. [Press release from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing online prepublication in Nature]

New Take On iPS Cells May Cut Cancer Risk
Researchers have developed a new way to make artificial stem cells that prevents them from turning against the body as cancer. [Press release from Nikkei discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Heart Has Built-In Repair Mechanism
Researchers have for the first time succeeded in transforming a new type of stem-like cell in the adult heart into heart muscle in mice. [Press release from the University College London discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Signaling Pathways Point to Vulnerability in Breast Cancer Stem Cells
Researchers have identified signals from breast epithelial cells that can induce those cells to transition to and maintain a mesenchymal and stem cell-like state that imbues both normal and cancer cells with a greater ability to migrate and self-renew. [Press release from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Scientists Boost Antitumor Effects of Dendritic Cell Therapy Using Inflammatory Virus
Scientists have found that infecting tumors in mice with an inflammatory virus prior to tumor-specific dendritic cell vaccination significantly boosts the immune system’s anticancer response. [Press release from Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation]

Removal of a Tiny Molecule Can Inhibit Cancer Growth
Researchers have found that removal of a tiny RNA molecule suppresses formation of cancerous tumors in mice. [Press release from the University of Louisville discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences United States]

New Genetic Technique Converts Skin Cells into Brain Cells
A research breakthrough has proven that it is possible to reprogram mature cells from human skin directly into brain cells, without passing through the stem cell stage. [Press release from Lund University discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences United States]

Silencing a Deadly Conversation in Breast Cancer
While it is already known that breast cancer cells create the conditions for their own survival by communicating their needs to the healthy cells that surround them, Australian researchers have identified a new way of turning off that cellular cross talk. [Press release from Garvan Institute discussing online prepublication in Cancer Research]

Turning Off Cancer’s Growth Signals
One hallmark of cancer cells is uncontrollable growth, provoked by inappropriate signals that instruct the cells to keep dividing. Researchers have now identified a new way to shut off one of the proteins that spreads those signals — a receptor known as HER3. [Press release from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry]

Engineering Excitable Cells for Studies of Bioelectricity and Cell Therapy
By altering the genetic makeup of normally “unexcitable” cells, Duke University bioengineers have turned them into cells capable of generating and passing electrical current. [Press release from Duke University discussing online prepublication in Nature Communications]

RXi Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive NeuVax™ (E75) Phase II Efficacy Results After 36 Months of Follow-Up
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced updated data from its Phase II clinical trial of NeuVax™. [Press release from RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation discussing research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting 2011]

US Trials Show Continued Promise for Two New Skin Cancer Treatments
Two clinical trials have raised hopes for new drugs designed to treat malignant melanoma. The first was a Phase III trial of an immunotherapy drug. A second Phase III trial focused on a new treatment called vemurafenib, which is a type of drug called a BRAF inhibitor. [Press release from Cancer Research UK discussing research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting 2011]

New Glioblastoma Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase II Trial
The first results of a multicenter Phase II clinical trial on a new brain cancer vaccine tailored to a patient’s own tumor were announced. [Press release from the University of California, San Francisco discussing research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting 2011]

Silence Therapeutics’ Atu027 Demonstrates Promising Antitumor Activity In Phase I Study
Silence Therapeutics plc announced positive updated data from its ongoing Phase I study of Atu027 in patients with advanced solid tumors. [Press release from Silence Therapeutics plc discussing research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting 2011]

Millennium and Seattle Genetics Present Clinical Data on ADCETRIS™ in Hodgkin Lymphoma
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, and Seattle Genetics, Inc. announced that data on ADCETRIS™ (brentuximab vedotin) in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma patients were featured in an oral presentation. [Press release from Seattle Genetics, Inc. discussing research presented at the 16th Congress of the European Hematology Association]

Stem Cell Transplantation: A New Strategy for Treating Multiple Myeloma
A new study has indicated the possible advantages of stem cell transplantation for patients with Multiple Myeloma. Dr Antonio Palumbo: “This study shows a longer progression-free survival time with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in comparison to conventional chemotherapy.” [Press release from European Hematology Association discussing research presented at the 16th Congress of the European Hematology Association]

Cancer-Seeking ‘Smart Bombs’ Target Kidney Cancer Cells
Researchers are halting kidney cancer with a novel form of radioimmunotherapy that zeroes in on antigens associated with renal cell carcinoma. Patients with progressive kidney cancer receiving up to three doses of the therapy show dramatic slowing of cancer growth and stabilization of their disease. [ScienceDaily Press Release]

New ‘Smart’ Pill Shown to Extend Lives of Patients with Most Aggressive Form of Skin Cancer
A new pill that precision targets the activity of a faulty gene present in half of terminally ill metastatic melanoma patients has been shown to significantly extend overall survival compared to standard chemotherapy. [Institute of Cancer Research Press Release]

Biomet Announces Results of Phase I Clinical Trial for Critical Limb Ischemia Utilizing Autologous Concentrated Bone Marrow Asparate
Biomet, Inc. and its subsidiary, Biomet Biologics, announced the results of the Company‐sponsored Phase I safety trial for autologous concentrated bone marrow aspirate therapy in the treatment of critical limb ischemia. [Biomet, Inc. Press Release]

Cytori Reports Sustained Benefits at 18 Months in Cardiac Cell Therapy Heart Attack Trial
Cytori Therapeutics reported the 18 month outcomes from its APOLLO trial for Acute Myocardial Infarction. The APOLLO data demonstrated there was a persistent beneficial effect from the cells that they believe if repeated in ADVANCE should translate into superior outcomes for patients. [Cytori Therapeutics Press Release]

Neurologix Presents New Confirmatory Results for Phase II Study of NLX-P101 in Parkinson’s Disease to Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee
Neurologix, Inc. announced several new results from the Company’s successful Phase II clinical trial for its novel, investigational gene therapy NLX-P101 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease as part of a comprehensive presentation of study findings to the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. [Neurologix, Inc. Press Release]


(Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

MicroRNAs 103 and 107 Regulate Insulin Sensitivity
Scientists showed that the expression of microRNAs 103 and 107 is upregulated in obese mice. [Nature]

Direct Reprogramming of Somatic Cells Is Promoted by Maternal Transcription Factor Glis1
Researchers showed that the Gli-like transcription factor Glis1 (Glis family zinc finger 1) markedly enhances the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from both mouse and human fibroblasts when it is expressed together with OSK (Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4). [Nature]

De Novo Cardiomyocytes from within the Activated Adult Heart After Injury
Investigators demonstrated in mice that the adult heart contains a resident stem or progenitor cell population, which has the potential to contribute bona fide terminally differentiated cardiomyocytes after myocardial infarction. [Nature]

Paracrine and Autocrine Signals Induce and Maintain Mesenchymal and Stem Cell States in the Breast
Scientists described three signaling pathways, involving transforming growth factor-β and canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling, that collaborate to induce activation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition program and thereafter function in an autocrine fashion to maintain the resulting mesenchymal state. [Cell]

Virus-Induced Tumor Inflammation Facilitates Effective DC Cancer Immunotherapy in a Treg-Dependent Manner in Mice
In this study, investigators have identified intratumoral virus-induced inflammation as a precondition for effective antitumor DC vaccination in mice. [J Clin Invest]

Loss of the miR-21 Allele Elevates the Expression of its Target Genes and Reduces Tumorigenesis
To determine whether microRNA 21 (miR-21) promotes tumor development in vivo, scientists knocked out the miR-21 allele in mice. In response to the 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene/12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate mouse skin carcinogenesis protocol, miR-21-null mice showed a significant reduction in papilloma formation compared with wild-type mice. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Direct Conversion of Human Fibroblasts to Dopaminergic Neurons
By combining expression of the three conversion factors (Ascl1, Brn2, and Myt1l ) with expression of two genes involved in dopamine neuron generation, Lmx1a and FoxA2, investigators could direct the phenotype of the converted cells toward dopaminergic neurons. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]



Will Universities Suffer From Stanford’s Patent Defeat?
The U.S. Supreme Court ended a long patent battle over rights to a widely used HIV test, awarding a victory to Roche Molecular Systems Inc. while rejecting the royalty demands of Stanford University. [U.S. Supreme Court, United States]

U.S. Research Facilities Anticipate Budget Gloom
As U.S. federal agencies prepare for lean times ahead, concern is growing at some of the centralized, multimillion-dollar facilities supported by the National Science Foundation. [National Science Foundation, United States]

U.K. Cystic Fibrosis Researchers Short of Cash for Gene Therapy Trial
The U.K. press was full of the news that a gene therapy trial to treat cystic fibrosis is on hold after the sponsor ran out of money. [The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, United Kingdom]

Key Vote Looms on European Science Funding
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, had promised a name change for the massive, multiyear science and technology funding effort commonly known as the Framework Programme. Framework 7 ends in 2013, and earlier this year she launched a contest for the next 6-year cycle, which ends in 2020, that drew more than 1000 entries. [European Science Funding, France]

Scientists Hopeful Over Election of New Peruvian President
Mario Vargas Llosa likened voting in the country’s presidential elections to a choice between AIDS and terminal cancer. But deciding between Fujimori and Humala wasn’t as tough for scientists, says Modesto Montoya, a nuclear physicist and coordinator of the International Network of Science and Technology in Peru. [Peruvian Government, Peru]


FAU Partners with Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida for Collaborative Research, Education and Training
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida have reached an agreement to collaborate on research, education and training. [Florida Atlantic University Press Release]

The Jackson Laboratory Partners with NCI, UC Davis to Speed New Cancer Treatments to Clinical Trials
The partnership brings together The University of California (UC) Davis Cancer Center, The Jackson Laboratory and the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center for Advanced Preclinical Research, all under the umbrella of NCI’s Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative. [The Jackson Laboratory Press Release]

Agreement with Roche gives UCLA Stem Cell and Cancer Researchers Early Access to Leading-edge Technologies for the Advancement of Medical Research
An agreement between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Roche will provide stem cell and cancer researchers with leading-edge technologies that will drive research capabilities and further the understanding of complex disease. [Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research Press Release]

Arteriocyte and the US Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) Sign a CRADA to Speed Development of Cellular Therapies for Orthopedic Trauma
Arteriocyte® announced that they have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research. [Arteriocyte® Press Release]

New Partnership to Develop Personalized Cancer Treatments
Barts Cancer Institute has formed a new partnership to develop personalized diagnosis and treatments for cancer patients. The Institute will join forces with Source BioScience and Illumina Inc. in a collaboration that brings half a million pounds in research funding. [Queen Mary, University of London Press Release]

Million Dollar Prizes To Go To Astrophysicists, Immunologists, and Geometricians
Pinpointing the origins of gamma-ray bursts, determining the workings of innate immunity, and extending the use of differential equations to applications in relativity are achievements paying off in Shaw Prizes for the scientists involved. [ScienceInsider Press Release]

Geron Presents Data From GRNOPC1 Trial at International Conferences on Spinal Cord Medicine and Rehabilitation
Geron Corporation announced two presentations on the company’s ongoing Phase I clinical trial of the human embryonic stem cell-based therapy, GRNOPC1, in patients with spinal cord injury. [Geron Corporation Press Release]

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Awards Fellowships to Seven Innovative Stem Cell Scientists
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) announced the appointment of seven new NYSCF-Druckenmiller Fellows, who are conducting groundbreaking research in the stem cell field. [New York Stem Cell Foundation Press Release]

Five Top Scientists to Receive DeBakey Research Awards
Five distinguished Baylor College of Medicine scientists will receive the annual Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Awards. [Baylor College of Medicine Press Release]

NYU Langone Medical Center Announces Three 2011-2012 NYU Whitehead Fellowships
New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center announced Kenneth Cadwell, Ph.D., Robert Froemke, Ph.D., and Sergei Koralov, Ph.D., have received 2011-2012 Whitehead Fellowships. [New York University Langone Medical Center Press Release]


HHS Gives Congress More Info on NIH Translational Center
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gave Congress more budget details for a proposed National Institutes of Health reorganization that would create a center devoted to bench-to-bedside research.

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings [FR Doc No: 2011-14101]

National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting [FR Doc No: 2011-14158]

National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting [FR Doc No: 2011-14161]

National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed Meeting [FR Doc No: 2011-13988]

National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed Meeting [FR Doc No: 2011-13989]

Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing [FR Doc No: 2011-14261]

Consideration of Public Comments on Proposed Adoption and Implementation of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition [NOT-OD-11-082]

Notice of Intent to Publish a Request for Applications for Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer: Tumor Glycomics Laboratories Research (U01) [NOT-CA-11-013]

Correction of Application Due Dates for PA-11-186, “Translation of Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies for Blood Diseases (R01)” [NOT-HL-11-148]


Allergenic Products Advisory Committee Meeting Final Agenda

Allergenic Products Advisory Committee Meeting Transcript



FDA Takes ‘First Step’ Toward Greater Regulatory Certainty Around Nanotechnology
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance to provide regulated industries with greater certainty about the use of nanotechnology, which generally involves materials made up of particles that are one billionth of a meter in size.

Guidance for Industry and Investigators on Enforcement of Safety Reporting Requirements for Investigational New Drug Applications and Bioavailability/Bioequivalence Studies; Availability [FR Doc No: 2011-13950]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Institutional Review Boards [FR Doc No: 2011-14409]


European Medicines Agency Establishes Geriatric Expert Group
The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has established a Geriatric Expert Group, to provide scientific advice on issues related to the elderly.

European Medicines Agency’s Management Board Nominates Guido Rasi as New Executive Director
The European Medicines Agency’s Management Board has nominated Guido Rasi on 8 June 2011 as new Executive Director of the Agency.

European Medicines Agency Management Board Elects Kent Woods As New Chair
At its 9 June 2011 meeting in London, the European Medicines Agency’s Management Board unanimously elected Kent Woods, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom, as chair for a three-year mandate.

Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP): Meeting of 7-9 June 2011


Regulatory Framework for Biologicals
The regulatory framework for biologicals commenced on 31 May 2011

Therapeutic Goods Determinations
Added link to Therapeutic Goods Determination No. 1 of 2011


NEW Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress
September 12-15, 2011
Boston, United States

NEW Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy Forum Asia 2011
September 19-21, 2011

our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.


Chemist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Senior Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research Laboratory Technician (Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Tshwane University of Technology)

Senior Research Fellowship (Masaryk University)

Junior Research Fellowship (Masaryk University)

Reintegrating/Czech Nationality/ Research Fellowship (Masaryk University)

Microscopy and Image Analysis Specialist (Masaryk University)

PhD Positions in Stem Cell Research (Masaryk University)

PhD Positions in Medical Biology (Masaryk University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology and Immunology (NIH Center for Biomedical Research Excellence)

Graduate Student – Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research (Louisiana State University)

Post Doctoral Fellow (University of California, Los Angeles)

Staff Scientist Position (Spanish National Cancer Center)

Postdoctoral Research Fellows (Stem Cells) (A*Star Bioprocessing Technology Institute) 

Postdoctoral Positions in Immune Cell Activation (Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal)

Postdoctoral Position in Developmental Neurobiology (Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal)

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