Volume 14.44 | Nov 11

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Human Muscle Stem Cell Therapy Gets Help from Zebrafish
Scientists have discovered that the same chemicals that stimulate muscle development in zebrafish can also be used to differentiate human stem cells into muscle cells in the laboratory, an historically challenging task that, now overcome, makes muscle cell therapy a more realistic clinical possibility. [Press release from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute discussing research published in Cell .] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Transplantation of Human Islets without Immunosuppression
The authors present the clinical success of using a bioartificial pancreas for the transplantation of insulin-producing islets without affecting the immune system. In a patient with long-standing type-1 diabetes, they could demonstrate persistent graft function and regulated insulin secretion without the need for immune-modulating medication. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

Short-Term Sonic-Hedgehog Gene Therapy to Mitigate Myelosuppression in Highly Irradiated Monkeys: Hype or Reality?
The protection of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and their environment is required for recovery from radiation-induced myelosuppression. Researchers investigated the hematopoietic response of 8 Gy gamma-irradiated monkeys to a single intra-osseous injection of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells transduced with a Sonic hedgehog morphogene pIRES2 plasmid. [Bone Marrow Transplant] Abstract

Clinical-Grade Human Neural Stem Cells Promote Reparative Neovascularization in Mouse Models of Hindlimb Ischemia
CTX0E03 (CTX) is a clinical-grade human neural stem cell (hNSC) line that promotes angiogenesis and neurogenesis in a preclinical model of stroke and is now under clinical development for stroke disability. The authors evaluated the therapeutic activity of intramuscular CTX hNSC implantation in murine models of hindlimb ischemia for potential translation to clinical studies in critical limb ischemia. [Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol]Abstract

Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for Myelofibrosis with Leukemic Transformation. A Study of the MPN-Subcommittee of the CMWP of the EBMT
Transformed acute myeloid leukemia in myelofibrosis results in a median survival of less than 5 months. The authors identified 46 out of 1048 myelofibrosis patients in an EBMT registry who received allogeneic stem cell transplantation for acute leukemia evolving from myelofibrosis. The cumulative incidence of TRM at 1 year was 28% and of relapse at 3 years was 47%. [Biol Blood Marrow Transplant] Abstract

Risk of Seizures in Children Receiving Busulphan Containing Regimens for Stem Cell Transplantation
Researchers collected data on the incidence of seizures among children undergoing stem cell transplantation (SCT) in Italy. Fourteen pediatric transplant centers agreed to report unselected data on children receiving Busulphan as part of the conditioning regimen for SCT, between 2005 and 2012. The incidence of seizures in children receiving BU- containing regimen was very low (1.3%). [Biol Blood Marrow Transplant] Abstract

EBV-Associated Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder Following In Vivo T-Cell-Depleted Allogeneic Transplantation: Clinical Features, Viral Load Correlates and Prognostic Factors in the Rituximab Era
The authors present the largest detailed series of EBV-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease after allo-SCT. At clinical presentation, EBV-quantitative-PCR values were frequently below customary thresholds for pre-emptive therapy, challenging current paradigms for monitoring and intervention. [Bone Marrow Transplant] Abstract

Treatment with Placenta-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Mitigates Development of Bronchiolitis Obliterans in a Murine Model
Recently, placenta-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (PMSCs) have shown similarities with bone marrow-derived MSCs in terms of regenerative capabilities and immunogenicity. Researchers investigated the hypothesis that treatment with PMSCs reduces the development of bronchiolitis obliterans in a murine heterotopic tracheal transplant model. [J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg] Abstract

Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Protect against Retinal Ganglion Cell Loss in Aged Rats with Glaucoma
Scientists examined the therapeutic effects of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) transplantation in preventing loss of visual function in aged rats with glaucoma caused by laser-induced ocular hypertension. They found that BMSCs promoted survival of retinal ganglion cells in the transplanted eye as compared with the control eye. [Clin Interv Aging] Abstract

Intravenous Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cell Therapy Attenuates Activated Microglial/Macrophage Response and Improves Spatial Learning After Traumatic Brain Injury
The authors hypothesized that the intravenous injection of multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs) after traumatic brain injury (TBI) attenuates the inflammatory response and improves performance at motor tasks and spatial learning. MAPCs were administered intravenously 2 and 24 hours after a cortical contusion injury. The researchers tested four groups at 120 days after TBI: sham, injured but not treated, and injured and treated with one of two concentrations of MAPCs, either 2 million cells per kilogram or 10 million cells per kilogram. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

A New System for High-Throughput Cell Isolation Directly from Whole Blood
Current Status and Perspectives on Stem Cell-Based Therapies Undergoing Clinical Trials for Regenerative Medicine: Case Studies
This review summarizes key clinical trial data, current and future perspectives on stem cell-based products undergoing clinical trials, based on literature search and author research. [Br Med Bull] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the cell, gene and immunotherapy research field.

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Mesoblast’s Mesenchymal Precursor Cells Induce Functional Recovery in Ischemic Stroke Model
Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast Limited announced positive preclinical trial results which demonstrated that its proprietary Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs) could improve functional recovery following a stroke. The trial results showed that a single intravenous injection of human MPCs significantly enhanced sensorimotor recovery when administered up to seven days after an ischemic stroke in rats. [Press release from Mesoblast Limited discussing research presented at Neuroscience 2013, San Diego.] Press Release

Argos Therapeutics Presents Data Showing Memory T Cell Expansion After Administration of Fully Personalized Immunotherapy Correlates with Overall Survival Benefit in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma
Argos Therapeutics Inc. presented an analysis of data from its Phase II clinical trial showing that treatment with AGS-003, the company’s lead product candidate, in combination with sunitinib, induced memory T cell responses in metastatic renal cell cancer patients that correlated with statistical significance to overall survival. [Press release from Argos Therapeutics, Inc. discussing research presented at the 2013 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Annual Meeting, National Harbor.] Press Release

Merck’s Investigational Grass Sublingual Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet Significantly Reduced Allergy Symptoms and Need for Symptom-Relief Medication in Adults and Children in Pivotal Phase III Study
Merck announced data for its investigational Timothy grass sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet (MK-7243) from a study involving 1,501 North American adult and pediatric patients. Results showed that MK-7243 demonstrated significant improvement in Total Combined Score averaged over the entire grass pollen season (the primary endpoint), which was the sum of the rhinoconjunctivitis daily symptom score and the daily medication score, compared to placebo. [Press Release from Merck & Co., Inc discussing research presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting, Baltimore.] Press Release

Aduro Announces Presentation on Small-Molecule Immunotherapy Program at SITC Conference
Aduro BioTech, Inc. announced an oral presentation, entitled Modified STING-Activating Cyclic Dinucleotide Derivatives Significantly Enhance the Anti-Tumor Activity of Therapeutic Vaccines. “We are developing small-molecule clinical candidates that activate STING (STimulator of INterferon Genes), a central mediator of the innate immune response,” said Stephen Isaacs, chairman and chief executive officer at Aduro, “and we’re excited to present our recent progress.” [Press release from Business Wire discussing research presented at the 2013 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Annual Meeting, National Harbor.] Press Release

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Report Tallies U.S. Shutdown Costs
A new report from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget fills in a few more details on how last month’s 16-day U.S. government shutdown affected research. The 27- page tally of the shutdown’s costs concludes that that disruption cost the government at least $2 billion in lost productivity and helped nudge up the nation’s unemployment rate. [Science Insider] Editorial

Republican Plan to Guide NSF Programs Draws Darts, and Befuddlement, From Research Advocates
A bill unveiled this week that would reshape how the U.S. government manages key research and education programs has rekindled tensions between the scientific community and Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the head of the science committee in the House of Representatives. The 96-page bill, which the House science committee will discuss at a hearing on Wednesday November 13, is intended to replace the expired 2010 America COMPETES Act. [Science Insider] Editorial
CureVac Collaborates with the Cancer Research Institute and Ludwig Cancer Research to Enable Clinical Testing of Novel Immunotherapy Treatment Options for Cancer
The non-profit Cancer Research Institute and Ludwig Cancer Research, and CureVac, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that has pioneered the development of a new class of therapies and vaccines based on messenger RNA, announced that they will collaborate to enable clinical testing of novel cancer immunotherapy treatment options. [CureVac]Press Release

STEMCELL Technologies Receives Government of Canada Support to Develop New Cell Isolation Technology that Will Enable Advancements in the Study of the Immune Response to HIV and the Development of HIV Vaccines
STEMCELL Technologies announced that the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program will provide up to $1.5 million in financial support for the development of cell isolation technology that will further basic and translational HIV research as well as broader research in infectious disease. [STEMCELL Technologies Inc.]Press Release

Study Using Stem Cells to Improve Organ Transplantation to Receive $12 Million
An innovative Northwestern Medicine® research program investigating if stem cells may be the key to allowing organ transplant patients to stop taking immunosuppressive drugs has received $12 million in research funding. The grant will allow researchers to finish Phase II of the clinical trials and begin Phase III. [Northwestern Memorial Hospital] Press Release

SDSU Receives $8.5M for Heart Research
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a prestigious Program Project Grant totaling more than $8.5 million over five-years to San Diego State University to better understand how the heart heals and ways stem cells can help the heart repair itself. [San Diego State University]Press Release | Video

Cytori Receives $12 Million for the First Installment from the Lorem Vascular Partnership Equity Agreement
Cytori Therapeutics has received the first $12 million installment from the equity agreement with newly formed Lorem Vascular. The equity agreement is part of Cytori’s partnership with Lorem Vascular to commercialize Cytori Cell Therapy for the cardiovascular, renal and diabetes markets in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. [Cytori Therapeutics Inc.] Press Release

$100 Million Gift Launches Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center
In a bold and singular step toward delivering the therapeutic promise of human stem cells, businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has committed $100 million to the creation of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at the University of California, San Diego. The Sanford Center will accelerate development of drugs and cell therapies inspired by and derived from current human stem cell research; establishing, promoting and disseminating clinical trials and patient therapies that will help more quickly transform promise into reality. [University of California, San Diego] Press Release

Cellular Dynamics Receives Formal Notice of Grant Award (NGA) for $16 Million Stem Cell Banking Project
Cellular Dynamics International announced that the company has received the Notice of Grant Award from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to create a human induced pluripotent stem cell biobank from 3,000 individuals. [Cellular Dynamics International] Press Release

The Economist Honors Cancer Immunotherapy Pioneer James Allison
For basic science research that opened a completely new approach for treating cancer, The Economist has named James Allison, Ph.D., professor and chair of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as its 2013 Innovations Award winner in Bioscience. [The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center] Press Release
Office of Science Policy, Office of Biotechnology Activities; Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecule Research: Action Under the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines)
FR Doc No: 2013-26612
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Draft Guidance for Industry: Use of Donor Screening Tests to Test Donors of Human Cells, Tissues and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps) for Infection with Treponema pallidum (Syphilis)
FR Doc No: 2013-26397
NEW Danish Stem Cell Society’s 3rd Symposium
March 7-8, 2014
Nyborg, Denmark

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
NEW Faculty Positions in Cell & Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (Columbia University)

Assistant Director – Regenerative Medicine Clinical Center (Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cell, Cancer Biology, Immunology and Bioengineering (UC Irvine)

Faculty Position – Stem Cell Biology (University of Notre Dame)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cells Research (University of Maryland Baltimore)

Assistant Professorships – Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (Keck School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Stem Cells (Bioprocessing Technology Institute)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research (Bioprocessing Technology Institute)

Manufacturing Manager (StemCells Inc.)

Process Development Manager (StemCells Inc.)

Manufacturing Associate (StemCells Inc.)

Scientist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate/Scientist – Antibodies Group (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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