Volume 14.04 | Feb 4

Issue 14.04 February 4, 2013
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A Gut Feeling about Neural Stem Cells
Researchers at the University of Melbourne isolated neural stem cells from mice, cultured them to promote the formation of neural precursor cells, and implanted them into the muscle in the colons of recipient mice. They found that these cells were able to migrate away from the transplantation site and develop into neurons that provided stimulation to the portions of the gut that regulate motility. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in The Journal of Clinical Investigation] Press Release | Full Article

New TeSR™-E8™ is Here For Feeder-Free Culture of Human ES Cells and iPS Cells

PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Cardiomyocyte Proliferation and Progenitor Cell Recruitment Underlie Therapeutic Regeneration after Myocardial Infarction in the Adult Mouse Heart
After myocardial infarction, new cardiomyocytes arise from both progenitors as well as pre-existing cardiomyocytes. Transplantation of cardiosphere-derived cells upregulates host cardiomyocyte cycling and recruitment of endogenous progenitors, while boosting heart function and increasing viable myocardium. [EMBO Mol Med] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

Hypoxia Increases the Yield of Photoreceptors Differentiating from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells and Improves the Modeling of Retinogenesis In Vitro
Scientists generated a high yield of photoreceptors from directed differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells by recapitulating crucial phases of retinal development. For the first time, this manuscript reports the high efficiency of differentiation in vivo and the expression of mature rod photoreceptor markers in a large number of differentiated cells, transplanted in the sub-retinal space of wild type mice. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Generation of an HIV Resistant T-Cell Line by Targeted “Stacking” of Restriction Factors
Researchers used zinc finger nucleases to insert a cocktail of anti-HIV restriction factors into the CCR5 locus in a T-cell reporter line, knocking out the CCR5 gene in the process. Mirroring the logic of highly active antiretroviral therapy, this strategy provides multiple parallel blocks to infection, dramatically limiting pathways for viral escape, without relying on random integration of transgenes into the genome. Because of the combination of blocks that this strategy creates, the modified T-cell lines are robustly resistant to both CCR5-tropic and CXCR4-tropic HIV-1. [Mol Ther] Abstract | Press Release

The Use of Scaffold-Free Cell Sheet Technique to Refine Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Based Therapy for Heart Failure
Feasibility of the scaffoldless cell sheet technique to enhance the outcome of cell transplantation has been reported using other cell types, though the mechanism underpinning the enhancement remains uncertain. Researchers investigated the role of this innovative technique to amplify the effects of mesenchymal stromal cell transplantation with a focus on the underlying factors. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Intra-Articular Delivery of Adipose Derived Stromal Cells Attenuates Osteoarthritis Progression in an Experimental Rabbit Model
Researchers investigated the efficacy of an intra-articular adipose derived stromal cell injection in the healing process on cartilage, synovial membrane and menisci in an experimental rabbit model. [Arthritis Res Ther] Abstract | Full Article

Therapeutic Angiogenesis of Three-Dimensionally Cultured Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in Rat Infarcted Hearts
Investigators assessed the therapeutic potential of three-dimensional cell masses composed of human adipose-derived stem cells in a rat myocardial infarction model. [Cytotherapy] Abstract

Effects of Intravenous Administration of Allogenic Bone Marrow- and Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Functional Recovery and Brain Repair Markers in Experimental Ischemic Stroke
The authors analyzed the effects in ischemic stroke of acute intravenous administration of allogenic bone marrow- and adipose-derived-stem cells on functional evaluation results and brain repair markers. [Stem Cell Res Ther] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

Comparison of the Therapeutic Effects of Human and Mouse Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in a Murine Model of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury
The therapeutic effects of adipose-derived stem cell (ASC)-based therapy were assessed in vivo by comparison of the anti-inflammatory properties of both human and murine ASCs in a mouse model of lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury. [Stem Cell Res Ther] Abstract | Full Article

Autologous Lysate-Pulsed Dendritic Cell Vaccination followed by Adoptive Transfer of Vaccine-Primed Ex Vivo Co-Stimulated T Cells in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
Novel strategies for the therapy of recurrent ovarian cancer are warranted. Researchers report a study of a combinatorial approach encompassing dendritic cell-based autologous whole tumor vaccination and anti-angiogenesis therapy, followed by the adoptive transfer of autologous vaccine-primed CD3/CD28-co-stimulated lymphocytes. [Oncoimmunology] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

First-in-Man Trial of an RNA Interference Therapeutic Targeting VEGF and KSP in Cancer Patients with Liver Involvement
To examine the activity and safety of lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-formulated siRNAs in man, researchers initiated a trial of ALN-VSP, an LNP formulation of siRNAs targeting VEGF and KSP, in cancer patients. They demonstrated detection of drug in tumor biopsies, siRNA-mediated mRNA cleavage in liver, pharmacodynamics suggestive of target downregulation, and antitumor activity including complete regression of liver metastases in endometrial cancer. [Cancer Discov] Abstract | Press Release

Isolate Mouse Cells In As Little As 15 Minutes


Steps Toward Safe Cell Therapy Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
In this review, recent achievements and future tasks for safe induced pluripotent stem cell-based cell therapy are summarized, using regenerative medicine for repair strategies in the damaged central nervous system as a model. [Circ Res] Abstract

The Innovative Evolution of Cancer Gene and Cellular Therapies
Researchers provide an overview of the latest developments in cancer gene therapy – from the bench to early-stage clinical trials. [Cancer Gene Ther] Abstract

Free Nature Reviews Immunology Poster: The Immune Response to HIV


Researchers at Scripps to Study Possible New Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
Scripps Clinic, in partnership with The Scripps Research Institute, has begun the research phase of a proposed clinical trial using induced pluripotent stem cells to halt or reverse the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Skin cells taken from Parkinson’s disease patients who meet select criteria are being cultivated in vitro and turned into pluripotent stem cells. These stem cells will be developed into dopamine-producing brain cells. [Scripps Health] Press Release

ReNeuron Stroke Clinical Trial Cleared to Dose Remaining Patients – First Patient in Final Dose Cohort Treated
ReNeuron provided an update on progress with the PISCES clinical trial of its ReN001 stem cell therapy for disabled stroke patients. The company reported that the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board for the study has reviewed the three month follow-up data on the penultimate dose cohort and has cleared the study to proceed to dosing of the final dose cohort of three patients. [ReNeuron Group plc] Press Release


UK Research Councils Could Face Mergers
A government review could lead to major changes at the agencies charged with distributing much of the United Kingdom’s scientific funding. Possible changes to improve efficiency include bringing the roughly £3-billion annual spend of all seven research councils into a single pot – potentially resulting in a body that would look rather like the US National Science Foundation. [Cabinet Office, United Kingdom] Press Release

Fully Fund Research, European Industrial Leaders Say
The European Research Council, which funds top basic research, issued a joint letter with the European Round Table of Industrialists, a group that includes several dozen chief executives of Europe’s largest companies. The letter calls for European leaders to approve the proposed €80 billion budget for Horizon 2020, the research funding program slated to run from 2014 through 2020. [European Research Council, European Union]
Press Release

Japan’s S&T Budget for 2013 Sags
When the Japanese government approved a budget for the year beginning in April, at first glance scientists appeared to be the big losers. The Ministry of Education’s S&T budget, which covers the lion’s share of the nation’s research spending, will decline 3.3%, to $13.2 billion. [Education Ministry, Japan] Press Release

New Initiative Throws Open Access to Arabic Science Education
The outgoing US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, launched a project that will lower obstacles to scientific education for Arabic-speaking people across the world. In one of her last acts as America’s top diplomat, Clinton launched the Open Book Project, which will make high-quality educational resources freely available online in the Arabic language. [US Secretary of State, United States] Press Release


1 Millionth Blood Stem Cell Transplant Marks Major Medical Milestone
The collaborative work of medical scientists and physicians across the globe has resulted in a major medical milestone: the world’s 1 millionth blood stem cell transplant. The Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation said the 1 millionth transplant occurred in late December 2012. [Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation] Press Release

The Medicines Company and Alnylam Form Strategic Alliance to Develop and Commercialize RNAi Therapeutics Targeting PCSK9 for the Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia
The Medicines Company and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that they have formed an exclusive global alliance for the development and commercialization of Alnylam’s ALN-PCS RNAi therapeutic program for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. [Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

Mesoblast Receives FDA Clearance for Phase II Clinical Trial of Mesenchymal Precursor Cells in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis
Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast Limited announced that it has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence a Phase II clinical trial evaluating a single intravenous infusion of allogeneic, or “off-the-shelf”, Mesenchymal Precursor Cells for the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis. [Mesoblast Limited] Press Release

RXi Pharmaceuticals Announces Completion of Enrollment in Second Phase I Trial for RXI-109 Program
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced that its second Phase I study with their anti-scarring drug, RXI-109, for the management of surgical and hypertrophic scars and keloids, has been fully enrolled. [RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics’ Investigational New Drug (IND) Application for ICT-140 Allowed by the FDA
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the IND application for ICT-140, paving the way for conducting a clinical trial. ICT-140 is a dendritic cell vaccine targeting seven antigens that are over-expressed in ovarian cancer, as well as cancer stem cells. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

Arteriocyte Receives FDA Approval to Initiate Cellular Therapy Trial for Treatment of Thermal Burn Wounds in Wounded Warriors
Arteriocyte announced approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate a Phase I clinical trial using its Magellan® System technology in the treatment of thermal burn wounds. Arteriocyte is initiating a series of investigations employing Arteriocyte’s Magellan® Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma and Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cell Based Therapies for Burn Wounds as part of Arteriocyte’s Cellular Therapies for Battlefield Wounds Program. [PR Newswire Association LLC] Press Release

Vitro Biopharma Launches New Stem Cell Products to Accelerate Bone Growth
Vitro Diagnostics, Inc., dba Vitro Biopharma, announced the launch of a series of products with application to accelerated bone growth, fracture healing and development of new osteoporosis drugs. The new products are osteoblasts derived from human adult stem cells known as mesenchymal stem cells. [Vitro Diagnostics, Inc.] Press Release

Pluristem Takes Possession of and Moving into New State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Facility
Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. announced that the company has taken possession of and is moving into its new state-of-the-art GMP facility. The facility allows for the production of mass quantities of placental expanded cells that possess the advantages of being grown utilizing Pluristem’s patented 3D bioreactor technology. [Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release


Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2013-01881)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2013-02284)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2013-02272)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2013-02277)

Differentiation and Integration of Stem Cells (Embryonic and Induced-Pluripotent) into Developing or Damaged Tissues (R01)(PAR-13-094)

Differentiation and Integration of Stem Cells (Embryonic and Induced-Pluripotent) into Developing or Damaged Tissues (R21)(PAR-13-095)


Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration; Notice of Meeting (FR Doc No: 2013-01944)

Draft Guidance for Industry on Enrichment Strategies for Clinical Trials to Support Approval of Human Drugs and Biological Products; Extension of Comment Period (FR Doc No: 2013-02293)


NEW Danish Stem Cell Society (DASCS) 2nd Symposium 2013
March 7, 2013
Copenhagen, Denmark

NEW South Central Association of Blood Banks 2013 Annual Meeting
April 18-21, 2013
Baton Rouge, United States

NEW 2013 Advanced Immunohematology & Molecular Symposium (AIMS)
April 21-22, 2013
Baton Rouge, United States

NEW Cell Reprogramming Australia (CRA) – Frontiers in Cell Reprogramming
May 6-7, 2013
Brisbane, Australia

NEW International Conference on Genetic Engineering & Genetically Modified Organisms
August 12-14, 2013
Raleigh, United States

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


Senior QC Analyst/Assay Development Associate (StemCells, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position (Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health)

Faculty Position – Stem Cell, Vascular and Developmental Biology in Ophthalmology (Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-Sen University)

Postdoctoral Position – Cardiovascular Regenerative Therapies (University of California, Los Angeles)

Postdoctoral Researcher (The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Transcriptional Regulation in CD8 T Lymphocytes (Université Libre de Bruxelles – Institute for Medical Immunology)

Postdoctoral Researcher Position in Bioinformatics (University of Oulu)

Physician-Scientist – Cancer Immunotherapy Program (The University of Chicago)

Research Associate (Imperial College London)

Postdoctoral Position – Center for Cell Engineering (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

Research Assistants (Plasticell Limited)

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