Volume 8.39 | Oct 8

Volume 8.39, October 8, 2007
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

PerkinElmer to Expand Genetic Screening Business Through Acquisition of ViaCell: PerkinElmer, Inc. and ViaCell, Inc. announced today the signing of a definitive agreement under which PerkinElmer plans to acquire ViaCell.


Putting the Squeeze on Nanothreads to Spin Living Tissue
Cell-size nanothreads spun from the tip of a needle that uses pressure rather than an electric charge promise novel regeneration treatments

Stem Cells ‘Prompt Cancer Spread’
Dangerous changes in cancer cells which allow them to spread around the body could be triggered by the body’s own stem cells.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Remain Embryonic Because Of Epigenetic Factors
A human embryonic stem cell is reined in – prevented from giving up its unique characteristics of self-renewal and pluripotency – by the presence of a protein modification that stifles any genes that would prematurely instruct the cell to develop into heart or other specialized tissue.

Thumb-size Microsystem Enables Cell Culture And Incubation
Integrating silicon microchip technology with a network of tiny fluid channels, some thinner than a human hair, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have developed a thumb-size micro-incubator to culture living cells for lab tests.

New Vaccine May Treat Lupus
An experimental vaccine-like treatment helps prolong the lives of lab mice with lupus by targeting rogue immune cells linked to the disease.

Immune System Modulation Can Halt Liver Failure in Animals
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have a developed a totally new approach to treating liver failure – manipulating the immune response.

New Stem Cell Therapy Being Tested On Heart Patients
University of Florida doctors on October 3 treated their first patient enrolled in a new study designed to test whether injecting stem cells into the heart helps restore blood flow to the organ by prompting new blood vessels to grow.

Aastrom Announces Positive Interim Results From Phase I/II Study Involving Use of Vascular Repair Cells in Patients With Critical Limb Ischemia
The first study reported positive results from the use of Aastrom Vascular Repair Cells in the treatment of chronic diabetic foot wounds associated with critical limb ischemia. In another presentation, positive results from the use of Aastrom Bone Repair Cells in the treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head were presented.


Progress and Prospects: Gene Therapy Clinical Trials (Part 1)
The authors asked 20 leaders in the field succinctly to summarize and comment on clinical gene therapy research in their respective areas of expertise and these are published in two parts in the Progress and Prospect series.

Human Platelet Lysate Allows Expansion and Clinical Grade Production of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Small Samples of Bone Marrow Aspirates or Marrow Filter Washouts
The researchers compared two protocols for the expansion of human mesenchymal stromal cells starting from diagnostic samples of BM aspirates or using the remnants in the bag and filter at the end of the BM infusions.

Concise Review: Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Tissue Stem Cells: Current Concepts and Unanswered Questions
This review questions several dogmas regarding the self-generative capacity of various hematopoietic cells, the single episodic origin of hematopoietic cells, and the irreversible nature of progressive mature cell formation in individual hematopoietic lineages.


Cell Therapeutics Supervisor
Philadelphia, PA (AppTec)

Postdoc Fellow
Sweden (Wallenberg Neuro Center Neuronal Survival Unit)

Manager, Manufacturing
Memphis, TN (Cognate Bioservices)


State Pulls Burnham’s Stem Cell Seed Grant
The check is not in the mail for La Jolla’s Burnham Institute or the CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute of Los Angeles.

Stem Cell Bond Sale to Individuals Extended
Individual investors ordered more than a quarter of the $250 million in California stem cell bonds Wednesday, leading state Treasurer Bill Lockyer to conduct a second individual order period until 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Clinton Would Fund Stem Cell Research
If elected president, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton says she would sign an executive order rescinding President Bush’s restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Massive Internal Stem Cell Education Program Launched
A monumental statewide education program that includes over 500,000 Catholic homes and nearly 800 parishes has been launched by the state’s diocesan bishops in Michigan.

South Korea To Lift Ban on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Such research has been suspended in South Korea since last year’s downfall of Hwang Woo-suk, a scientist once regarded as a national hero for internationally hailed work in cloning and stem cell research that was later shown to be falsified.

Korean Human Tissue Donation to Be Expanded
A revision bill on the management of human body tissue will be submitted to the National Assembly this month to allow the donation of four additional types of tissue _ periosteal, scleral, pericardial and nerves _ the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Wednesday.


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Glaxo, Astra, Roche Back Stem Cells for Drug Tests
Three of Europe’s top drugmakers have backed a new public-private scheme to use stem cells for safety testing of experimental medicines, signaling “big pharma’s” growing interest in the controversial field.

Axcan Licenses Rights to Cx401, an Innovative Biological Product in Development for the Treatment of Perianal Fistulas, a Significant Unmet Medical Need
Axcan Pharma Inc. has announced it has entered into an exclusive license and development agreement with Cellerix SL of Spain, for the North American rights to Cx401, an innovative biological product in development for the treatment of perianal fistulas.

Alnylam Grants GeneDesign License to Kreutzer-Limmer Patents for the RNA Interference Research Products Market
This patent family, owned exclusively by Alnylam, covers small interfering RNAs and their use to mediate RNAi in mammalian cells.

South East Asia’s Largest Cord Blood Bank Opens
Indonesia has opened its first cord blood bank – the biggest in South-east Asia to date.

WARF Submits Technical Changes to Stem Cell Patents
The amendments attempt to clarify claim language to make the language consistent among the three stem cell patents under re-examination.

Venture Capital Firm Eyes Big Payoff In Life Sciences
Venture capital is flooding into life sciences. During the first half of 2007 VCs invested $4.8 billion in biotechnology and medical devices, says a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

Private Funds Keep Stem Cell Research Viable in Seattle
In an attempt to get around the restrictions on federal money and avoid a potential siphoning of talent, scientists and some business leaders are working to keep Seattle in the game by encouraging privately funded stem cell research, an area in which we already are far behind California and some other states.

NIH Awards $310,000 Grant to Arteriocyte and Cleveland Clinic for Eye Disease Research
Arteriocyte, Inc. has today the successful award of a $310,000 National Institute of Health grant to evaluate its cellular therapy product (ACY001) as a potential treatment for diabetic retinopathies in collaboration with researchers at Cleveland Clinic.

Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy Company, Cardio3 BioSciences, Appoints Former New Jersey Medical School Assistant Professor, Dr. Vinciane Gaussin, as its Chief Scientific Officer
“The addition of Dr. Gaussin to our management team represents an important milestone in our mission to position Cardio3 BioSciences as a global leader in the field of regenerative therapies for heart failure,” said Christian Homsy, M.D., CEO of Cardio3 BioSciences.

WaferGen Announces Key Additions to Senior Management Team
WaferGen Biosystems, has announced the appointments of Sharat Singh, Ph.D., as senior vice president of research and development and Christopher S. Maki as vice president of worldwide sales.


NIH to Hold Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine
To accelerate the advancement of stem cell biology from bench to bedside for treatment of cardiovascular disease, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will host the scientific symposium Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the NIH Natcher Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Non-Competing Grant Awards Under the Current Continuing Resolution (NOT-OD-08-001)


Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products: Establishment Registration and Listing; Form Food and Drug Administration 3356; Eligibility Determination for Donors; and Current Good Tissue Practice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation

Blood Products Advisory Committee Roster – Updated



Electronic Nonclinical Study Data Submission; Notice of Pilot Project



In response to increasing calls for smaller, more regionalized meetings, ISCT is pleased to announce the launch of its first Regional Meeting.

Date: November 2-4, 2007
Location: Texas Children’s Hospital  The Feigin Center  Houston, TX
Target Audience: Laboratory practitioners and technicians working in cellular therapy laboratories
Learning Objectives:
To provide an overview of the biology of cellular therapy 
To provide education on cell processing laboratory procedures and issues

Click here for more information, including program, speakers, accommodation and registration. 

Space is limited! Register now!

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