Volume 15.18 | May 12

Issue 15.18 May 12, 2014
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NIH Study Demonstrates that a New Cancer Immunotherapy Method Could be Effective Against a Wide Range of Cancers
A new method for using immunotherapy to specifically attack tumor cells that have mutations unique to a patient’s cancer has been developed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers demonstrated that the human immune system can mount a response against mutant proteins expressed by cancers that arise in epithelial cells which can line the internal and external surfaces (such as the skin) of the body. [Press release from the National Cancer Institute discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Engraftment of Human iPS Cells and Allogeneic Porcine Cells into Pigs with Inactivated RAG2 and Accompanying Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
Using a reporter-guided transcription activator-like effector nuclease system, researchers generated targeted modifications of recombination activating gene (RAG) 2 in somatic cells at high efficiency, including some that affected both alleles. Under a conventional housing environment, the biallelic RAG2 mutants manifested a “failure to thrive” phenotype, with signs of inflammation and apoptosis in the spleen compared with age-matched wild-type animals by the time they were four weeks of age. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Interneuron Precursor Transplants in Adult Hippocampus Reverse Psychosis-Relevant Features in a Mouse Model of Hippocampal Disinhibition
Transplantation of cells from the embryonic medial ganglionic eminence (the major origin of cerebral cortical interneurons) into the adult cyclin D2 knockout caudoventral hippocampus reverses psychosis-relevant phenotypes. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Full Article

Stimulation of Endogenous Cardioblasts by Exogenous Cell Therapy after Myocardial Infarction
Genetically labeled isolated cardioblasts express cardiac transcription factors and sarcomeric proteins, exhibit spontaneous contractions, and form mature cardiomyocytes in vivo after injection into unlabeled recipient hearts. [EMBO Mol Med] Full Article

Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Fat Engineered to Secrete BMP4 Are Nononcogenic, Suppress Brain Cancer, and Prolong Survival
Researchers sought to engineer bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4)-secreting human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSC) and evaluate their therapeutic potential on glioblastoma. The safety of hAMSC use was evaluated in vivo by intracranial coinjections of hAMSCs and brain tumor-initiating cells in nude mice. [Clin Cancer Res] Full Article | Press Release

High-Dose Interleukin-2 Therapy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Contemporary Experience
Researchers presented their experience of high-dose interleukin-2 in a high-volume National Cancer Institute – designated center for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. [Urology] Abstract | Press Release

Short-Term Follow-Up of Disc Cell Therapy in a Porcine Nucleotomy Model with an Albumin-Hyaluronan Hydrogel: In Vivo and In Vitro Results of Metabolic Disc Cell Activity and Implant Distribution
Investigators aimed to optimize cell-based disc therapy using a new albumin-hyaluronan hydrogel together with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in a large porcine disc model. [Eur Spine J] Abstract

Functional Outcome after Anal Sphincter Injury and Treatment with Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Scientists demonstrated the regenerative effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on the injured anal sphincter by comparing anal sphincter pressures following intramuscular and serial intravascular MSC infusion in a rat model of anal sphincter injury. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

Exosomes as Critical Agents of Cardiac Regeneration Triggered by Cell Therapy
Researchers pinpoint exosomes secreted by human cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) as critical agents of regeneration and cardioprotection. CDC exosomes inhibit apoptosis and promote proliferation of cardiomyocytes, while enhancing angiogenesis. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article | Press Release

Free Nature Reviews Immunology Poster: The Immune Response to HIV
Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells for Osteoarticular Repair: Trophic Function versus Stem Cell Activity
Focusing on bone and cartilage repair, the authors summarize recent in vitro and in vivo studies aiming towards tissue regeneration with adipose-derived stromal cells (ASC). Advantages of good accessibility, high yield and superior growth properties are counterbalanced by an inferiority of ASC to form ectopic bone and stimulate long-bone healing along with their less pronounced osteogenic and angiogenic gene expression signature. [Exp Rev Mol Med] Full Article

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

Take the "if" out of "diff": Reduce variability when differentiating to hematopoietic cells
Gene Therapy Used to Preserve Sight in Patients
In two separate studies, vision scientists have developed healthy genes to prevent blinding diseases that stem from genetic defects. In a clinical trial to treat choroideremia, a rare disease that causes progressive and irreversible blindness, scientists developed a virus that can replace the missing gene (that causes the disease) in the cells at the back of the eye. [Press release from Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) presented at the 2014 ARVO Annual Meeting, Orlando] Press Release

Pre-Clinical Data on ALN-AAT for the Treatment of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) Deficiency-Associated Liver Disease
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. presented new pre-clinical data supporting the advancement of a Development Candidate for ALN-AAT, an RNAi therapeutic AAT for the treatment of AAT deficiency-associated liver disease. [Press release from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing research presented Digestive Disease Week, Chicago] Press Release

Attend the 12th Annual Meeting of the ISSCR: Register Now
Indian Elections Fall Flat on Science
As India nears the end of its mammoth general-election process, research advocates warn that whichever party wins, the government must do more than pay lip service to science. [Nature News] Editorial

Misconduct Verdict Stands for Japanese Stem-Cell Researcher
The RIKEN institute confirmed reports that it would turn down Haruko Obokata’s request for a re-examination of her case, and advised her to retract two Nature papers she published in January. [Nature News] Editorial

U.S. House Passes Permanent R&D Tax Credit
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would permanently extend a popular tax break for companies investing in research. Despite strong bipartisan support, however, the proposal appears unlikely to become law – at least not this year. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

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Cenix BioScience Signs Research Service Agreement with Bayer Pharma AG
Cenix BioScience GmbH announced that is has signed a research service agreement with Bayer Pharma AG. Under the agreement, Cenix will undertake a target discovery project for an undisclosed disease indication by applying its longstanding industry-leading expertise in high throughput RNAi for genome-scale screening in advanced cell models. [Cenix BioScience GmbH] Press Release

AstraZeneca Initiates Phase III Immunotherapy Study for MEDI4736 in Patients with Lung Cancer
AstraZeneca announced the start of the Phase III program for MEDI4736, an immunotherapy in development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers. [AstraZeneca] Press Release

Advaxis to Initiate Clinical Development of ADXS-cHER2 Immunotherapy to Treat Pediatric Bone Cancer
Advaxis, Inc. announced it intends to initiate a clinical development program with its product candidate, ADXS-cHER2, for the treatment of pediatric osteosarcoma. ADXS-cHER2 is an immunotherapy that targets the HER2 oncogene, which is overexpressed in certain solid-tumor cancers, including pediatric bone cancer and breast cancer. [Advaxis, Inc.] Press Release

Americord Funds Clinical Trial Investigating Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
Americord announced that it has provided funding to MEDIPOST to support their clinical trial investigating the use of NEUROSTEM-AD® in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. NEUROSTEM-AD® is a treatment agent for Alzheimer’s Disease that uses human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells. [Americord Registry] Press Release

$4 Million from Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation will Support UCLA Research
Two new gifts from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to UCLA totaling $4 million will fund research in stem cell science and digestive diseases and support the recruitment of key faculty at two renowned research centers. [UCLA] Press Release

Medical College of Wisconsin Receives Grant from National Cancer Institute to Develop Novel Cellular Immunotherapy
The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to support development of novel immune cell-based therapies to cancer. [Medical College of Wisconsin] Press Release

biOasis Delivers siRNA to the Brain Using Its Transcend Peptide Vector
biOasis Technologies Inc. has shown that a newly discovered peptide vector form of Transcend – Transcendpep – effectively delivers siRNA across the blood-brain barrier and into brain cells. [biOasis Technologies Inc.]
Press Release

STEMCELL Technologies Inc. Has Just Released NEW MesenCult™ Proliferation Kit with MesenPure™ (Mouse), a Novel Cell Culture Medium to Advance Research on Mouse Mesenchymal Stem and Progenitor Cells (MSCs)
MesenCult™ Proliferation Kit with MesenPure™ (Mouse) is a novel cell culture medium to advance research on mouse mesenchymal stem and progenitor cells (MSCs). [STEMCELL Technologies Inc.] Press Release

Xcelthera Inc. Secures First U.S. Patent for Large-Scale Production of High Quality Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Their Neuronal and Heart Muscle Cell Therapy Products
Xcelthera Inc. and its joint research partner San Diego Regenerative Medicine Institute announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Patent No. 8,716,017 entitled “Technologies, Methods, and Products of Small Molecule-Directed Tissue and Organ Regeneration from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells”. [Xcelthera Inc.] Press Release
Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. No: 2014-10469)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. No: 2014-10301)
2014 Biological Device Application Approvals
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration; Notice of Meeting (FR Doc. No: 2014-10436)
NEW 14th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy of Cancer
September 25-27, 2014
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Transgene Immunity in AAV Vector-Based Antiviral and/or Gene Therapeutics (University of Massachusetts)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurophysiology of Addiction (Medical University of South Carolina)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Adipose-Derived Stem Cells and Fat Metabolism (Agency for Science, Technology and Research – A*STAR)

Principal Investigator – Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammation (Inflammation Research Center – VIB-UGent)

Postdoctoral Associate – Hematopoietic Differentiation (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)

Developmental-Stem Cell Biologist (Mayo Clinic – Rochester)

Postdoctoral Position – Functional Characterization of Neurons Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Hematology, Immunology, Cancer Therapeutics (Nationwide Children’s Hospital)

Business Development Executive (Research Instruments Ltd)

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

Research Technologist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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