Volume 9.29 | Jul 28

Cell Therapy News 9.29, July 28, 2008
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Montreal Researchers Prove that Insulin-Producing Cells Can Give Rise to Stem-Like Cells In-Vitro: The question of whether insulin-producing cells of the pancreas can regenerate is key to our understanding of diabetes, and to the further development of regenerative therapies against the disease. McGill researchers have just concluded that they can.

Researchers Grow Human Blood Vessels in Mice, Using Cells from Blood and Bone Marrow: For the first time, researchers have successfully grown functional human blood vessels in mice using cells from adult human donors – an important step in developing clinical strategies to grow tissue.


Adult Stem Cells Activated in Mammalian Brain
Adult stem cells originate in a different part of the brain than is commonly believed, and with proper stimulation they can produce new brain cells to replace those lost to disease or injury, a study by UC Irvine scientists has shown.

Tips On How To Build a Better Home For Biological Parts
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have compiled a series of guidelines that should help researchers in their efforts to design, develop and manage next-generation databases of biological parts.

Stem Cell Chicken and Egg Debate Moves to Unlikely Arena: the Testes
A team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggest that the cells that comprise a specialized niche in the testis of fruit flies actually emerge from adult stem cells, a finding with implications for regenerative medicine, aging research, and cancer therapeutics.

Spinal Cord Stem Cells Could Be Basis of New Treatment
A researcher at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has pinpointed stem cells within the spinal cord that, if persuaded to differentiate into more healing cells and fewer scarring cells following an injury, may lead to a new, non-surgical treatment for debilitating spinal-cord injuries.

Stanford Study of Dark-Skinned Mice Leads to Protein Linked to Bone Marrow Failure in Humans
The study of dark-skinned mice has led to a surprising finding about a common protein involved in tumor suppression, report researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The results may lead to new treatments for bone marrow failure in humans.

Animal Tissue Rejection Advance
University of Leeds’ scientists have found a way to overcome the problem of the human body rejecting animal parts used in transplants.

ReNcell(R) VM Neural Stem Cell Line Models Parkinson’s Disease
By suppressing the PINK1 gene in neurons derived from the ReNcell VM cell line, Scientists showed that loss of PINK1 function resulted in increased programmed cell death, more free radicals, decreased long-term survival of neurons, and other hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease.

Stem Cells Heal Chronic Inflammation in the Gut
Physician-scientists believe that these cells might help to restore the ability of the immune system to control inflammation by secreting anti-inflammatory proteins into the digestive tract, allowing for regeneration of tissue and prevention of scar tissue.

Cardiologist Presents Findings of Increased Cardiac Ejection Rates and Improved Congestive Heart Failure Class Status
Speaking at the 16th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine & Regenerative Biomedical Technologies, lead cardiologist of Regenocyte(TM) Therapeutic included a report on the company’s post-stem cell treatment results citing an average increase of 21 percent in cardiac ejection rates as well as measurable improvements in a patient’s congestive heart failure class status.

Predicting Acute Graft Versus Host Disease By Gene Expression Could Improve Liver Stem Cell Transplant Outcomes
Researchers at the University of Florida offer a preliminary “molecular signature” based on gene expression for the development of acute graft versus host diesease following allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplants.

Living Cell Technologies Reports Clinical Benefit for All Patients in Diabetes Trial
Living Cell Technologies Limited recently released further interim results describing clinical benefit in all patients who have received implants of DiabeCell(R), the Company’s encapsulated porcine islet cells for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Nanopoint Launches the Most Advanced, On-Microscope, Fluidics System Available for Time-Lapse Live Cell Imaging
The on-microscope incubator and integrated fluidics system allows experiments to run on an inverted microscope for extended periods of time, enabling time-lapse imaging of live cells over the course of several days.


Histatins Are the Major Wound-Closure Stimulating Factors in Human Saliva as Identified in a Cell Culture Assay
Using an in vitro model for wound closure, the researchers examined the properties of human saliva and the fractions that were obtained from saliva by high-performance liquid chromotography separation.

Adult Germline Stem Cells as a Source of Functional Neurons and Glia
Here the researchers report the derivation of multipotent neural and glial precursors as well as adherently proliferating neural stem cells from multipotent adult germline stem cells.

Differentiation of Stem Cells in the Dental Follicle
The researchers determined that stem cells were identified in the dental follicle of the rat first mandibular molar by Hoechst staining, alkaline phosphatase staining, and expression of side-population stem cell markers.

Is It Time to Give Up on Therapeutic Cloning? A Q&A with Ian Wilmut
The creator of Dolly the sheep has ended his focus on somatic cell nuclear transfer, or cloning, in favor of another approach to create stem cells.

Personalized Medicine Battles for Acceptance and Funding
In the last decade, personalized medicine has evolved into a complex field of diagnostics that are transforming patient treatment standards and promising to reduce the costs of health care. Before that, the phrase drummed up thoughts of a country doctor making house calls.


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New Jersey Govenor Criticized for Pushing Stem Cell Research
New Jersey Govenor Jon Corzine is facing criticism for pushing New Jersey as a state where stem cell study can flourish, less than a year after voters rejected a state plan to borrow millions to encourage the controversial research.

Nigerian Minister Clarified Controversies Over New Technology
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the use of Stem Cell transplantation therapy in Nigeria , the Federal Government Friday inaugurated the first technical national committee to articulate and produce a blueprint on the research and application of the new technology.


GlaxoSmithKline and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute Announce a Unique Collaboration to Enable the Discovery of New Medicines
GlaxoSmithKline and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute recently announced that they have entered into a five-year, $25 million-plus collaborative agreement to build a unique alliance in stem cell science, leading to the development of new medicines.

Genentech Announces Receipt of Proposal From Roche to Acquire All Its Outstanding Shares For Approximately US$43.7 Billion
Genentech, Inc. announced recently that it has received a proposal from Roche to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Genentech stock not owned by Roche at a price of $89.00 in cash per share or a total payment of approximately US$43.7 billion to equity holders of Genentech other than Roche.

Roche Acquires Mirus to Advance Research in the Field of RNAi Delivery
Roche and Mirus Bio Corporation announced recently that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Roche will acquire Mirus Bio Corporation.

Gamida Cell Announces License Agreement with Amgen to Support Development and Commercialization of StemEx(R) for Hematological Malignancies
Gamida Cell Ltd. announced recently that the company has executed a licensing agreement with Amgen for the use of a number of proprietary cytokines in the manufacturing of StemEx for Gamida Cell’s pivotal registration study of StemEx and its subsequent commercialization.

Osiris Therapeutics Closes Osteocel (R) Transaction Worth Up To $137 Million
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced that it has closed its definitive agreement with NuVasive, Inc. for the purchase of the Osteocel business in a transaction worth up to $137 million.

Embryome Sciences Gains Exclusive Rights to ACT’s Stem Cell Platform and Progenitor Cell Lines
Embryome Sciences obtained an exclusive, worldwide license to Advanced Cell Technology’s ACTCellerate(TM) embryonic stem cell technology and a bank of over 140 progenitor cell lines derived using this platform.

Sugar Study is Sweetener for Stem Cell Science
Scientists at The University of Manchester are striving to discover how the body’s natural sugars can be used to create stem cell treatments for heart disease and nerve damage – thanks to a £370,000 funding boost.

Favrille Gets Delisting Warning from Nasdaq
Favrille Inc. said it has received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market because its common share price has been below the minimum $1 requirement and the company has not maintained the $5 million minimum market value.

Dan Troy Appointed as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which is facing various federal and congressional investigations, has hired Daniel Troy, a former chief counsel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as its new general counsel.


Notice of Intent to Publish a Request for Applications on Characterizing the Blood Stem Cell Niche


Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee Meeting November 13-14, 2008 (Cancelled)

Public Workshop: Rapid Methods for Detecting Mycoplasma Contamination in the Manufacture of Vaccines, Including Pandemic Influenza Vaccines, and Other Biological Products



Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $2 Billion for FDA
The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed an appropriations markup measure Thursday, providing the FDA with a $2.04 billion fiscal 2009 budget.


New Members Appointed To Human Research Protections National Advisory Committee
Incoming SACHRP member Barbara E. Bierer, M.D., senior vice president for research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine and pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, will also serve as the committee chair.  Incoming member David G. Forster, J.D., M.A., C.I.P., is vice president, Office of Compliance, Western Institutional Review Board.

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