Volume 7.32 | Aug 21

Volume 7.32, August 21, 2006
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Researchers Find Healing Potential in Everyday Human Brain Cells: University of Florida researchers have shown ordinary human brain cells may share the prized qualities of self-renewal and adaptability normally associated with stem cells.


Cancer Stem Cells Spur Glioma Angiogenesis, Could Hold Key to Brain Tumor Therapy
Stem cell-like glioma cancer cells that share many characteristics with normal stem cells propel the lethal growth of brain cancers by promoting tumor blood vessel formation, and may hold the key to treating these deadly cancers.

Tumors Use ‘Hijacking’ Trick to Evade Attack by Immune Cells
Researchers have identified a potential mechanism by which tumors in mice escape attack from antitumor immune cells.

Stem Cell Procedure Promising for Repair of Retina
University of Washington scientists reported that they have successfully used stem cells to treat diseased tissue in mouse retinas.

Research to Unleash Gene Therapy on Arthritis
Within months, scientists will begin testing the first gene therapies for osteoarthritis, in search of a more effective treatment and perhaps a cure for the joint disease that afflicts more than 21 million Americans.

Argos Therapeutics Initiates Phase I/II Trial with AGS-003 Personalized Immunotherapy in Advanced Kidney Cancer
The trial will evaluate a new production process that may yield more potent immune response.

Pharmexa Discontinues Phase II Trial of Breast Cancer Vaccine
Following a review of the preliminary data from the Phase II trial of Pharmexa’s breast cancer vaccine, PX 104.1, the company has decided to stop recruitment of new patients.

Use Of Umbilical Cord Blood To Fight Diseases Is On the Rise
While cord-blood stem cells may not be as versatile as those taken from human embryos, transplants for diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders are increasing.

Focus Moves from Short-Term Cell Treatments to Long-Term Tools
Science has moved from seeing stem cell therapy as a near-term goal to looking at longer-term use of human embryonic stem cells as a research tool.

Hwang Continues Research
Disgraced cloning expert Woo Suk Hwang, currently standing trial for fraud over faked stem cell research, has opened a new lab focusing on cross-species organ transplants.


Derivation and Large-Scale Expansion of Multipotent Astroglial Neural Progenitors from Adult Human Brain
The findings suggest an unprecedented degree of inducible plasticity is retained by cells of the adult central nervous system.


Australian MPs Welcome Stem Cell Bill
Government MPs pushing for a conscience vote on stem cell research have welcomed a Liberal Senator’s move to draft a private member’s bill on the issue.

Australian Parliament to Review Stem Cell Limits
Australian politicians will push to overturn a ban on cloning stem cells for medical research after Australia’s conservative Prime Minister John Howard said he would allow a conscience vote on the issue.

Private Donors Sustain California Stem Cell Project
Even as legal challenges have tied up funding for California’s ambitious $3 billion effort to fund stem-cell research, big-dollar contributions from prominent Californians who stepped into the breach have kept the effort going.

Florida Funding for Stem Cell Work Could Ride on Election
Whether Florida joins California and a growing list of other states that pay for embryonic stem cell research could depend on who wins the governor’s race.

Singapore Filling Void in Stem Cell Research
Singapore, conservative on most social issues – including a ban on most types of chewing gum – is emerging as a hotbed of stem cell research, thanks to liberal laws in that field and equally liberal government financing.

Animal-Human Embryonic Hybrids Raise Serious Ethical Concerns
A new ethics report has raised concerns about using animal-human embryonic hybrids in drug testing in which the creation of these chimeras are creating exciting avenues of research as well as controversy.


Medinet and MaxCyte Initiate Collaboration for Novel Cancer Immuno-Cell Therapy
Under the agreement MaxCyte will optimize its proprietary cell loading system for the development of Medinet’s novel cancer immuno-cell therapy and implementation in a closed-system manufacturing process at Medinet’s four cell processing centers in Japan.

Florida Officials Wooing California Research Centers
Florida development officials are dangling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of incentives before the Burnham Institute and the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in the hopes the San Diego research centers will follow Scripps and open satellite facilities in the state.



Revision: Notice of New NIH Policy for Funding of Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance on Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NOT-OD-06-093)

Notice of NEI’s Intent to Withdraw from PAS-06-207, Interactions Between Stem and Progenitor Cells and the Microenvironment (R03) (NOT-EY-06-007)

Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD) in Minority Institutions (R25) (RFA-RR-06-003)

Independent Scientist Award (K02) (PA-06-527)


All new CBER information can be reached from the What’s New page at What’s New Page

Order to Cease Manufacturing and to Retain HCT/Ps – Donor Referral Services

Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Roster – Updated

Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee Roster – Updated


For more information on the Somatic Cell Therapy Symposium, see www.celltherapysociety.org.

AABB-ISCT Cellular Therapy Audioconference Series

European branch of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT-Europe) and German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology (DGTI) Joint meeting “Regulatory Framework for Advanced Medicinal Products in Europe”

Profiled Journal

Join ISCT($130) and receive the journal as a benefit of membership.

Current Volume: Volume 8 Number 4 / August 2006

Cytotherapy publishes original research, reviews, meeting reports, special focus issues and letters in the general field of cell therapy. The scope of the journal includes basic and applied research with hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic stem cells, immune cells, and antigen-presenting cells. Therapeutic topics within the scope of Cytotherapy include ex-vivo and in-vivo aspects of gene therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplantation and tissue regeneration. Cytotherapy particularly welcomes contributions from researchers, clinicians, technicians and individuals involved in regulatory aspects of cell therapy.

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