Volume 9.41 | Oct 20

Cell Therapy News 9.41, October 20, 2008
     In this issue: Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory
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Top Stories

Mouse Study Shows Fetal Heart can Grow Cells to Repair Disease Damage: The capacity of a mouse heart to repair extensive damage while in the womb, even after all the heart’s major cell types and structures have developed has been shown in a recent study.


Chemical Found to Simplify Production of Stem Cells
By adding a chemical to human skin cells Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers were able to use just two genes to transform skin cells into more powerful induced pluripotent stem cells.

Scientists Trigger Cancer-like Response from Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists from The Forsyth Institute, working with collaborators at Tufts and Tuebingen Universities, have discovered a new control over embryonic stem cells’ behavior.

A Link Between Mitochondria and Tumor Formation in Stem Cells
Researchers report on a previously unknown relationship between stem cell potency and the metabolic rate of their mitochondria.

Breast Stem Cell Fate is Regulated by ‘Notch’
A normal developmental protein that sometimes goes awry has been implicated in breast cancer.

Scientists Closer to Producing Liver Cells
Edinburgh University scientists have overcome a key hurdle in developing a source of liver and pancreatic cells in the laboratory.

Stem Cells May Act as “Trojan horse” to Deliver Gene Therapy to Injured Central Nervous System
The Methodist Hospital in Houston have shown that transplanted bone marrow stem cells can attach themselves to injured areas in the brain or spinal cord, possibly providing a way to deliver future gene therapy.

‘Piglet Banks’ Could Boost Immunity
Scientists have succeeded in growing stem cells from human umbilical cord blood and bone marrow in developing pig fetuses.

VistaGen and Leading Stem Cell Researchers Pinpoint Key Biochemical Pathways Involved in Generating Large Numbers of Heart Cells from Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers from VistaGen Therapeutics, scientists from Toronto’s McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, have successfully identified key biochemical pathways involved in directing embryonic stem cells to become heart cells.

Gene Therapy Restores Vision to Mice with Retinal Degeneration
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have used gene therapy to restore useful vision to mice with degeneration of the light-sensing retinal rods and cones, a common cause of human blindness.

Cyto Pulse, the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University Hospital Receive Approval from the Swedish Medical Products Agency to Start a Clinical Trial Using a Xenogenic PSA DNA Vaccine
Cyto Pulse Sciences recently announced approval by Swedish regulatory authorities to begin a Phase I/II study of DNA vaccination in patients with recurring prostate cancer.

Methodist Begins Novel Stem Cell Trial for Heart Failure 
Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center will inject stem cells derived from a patient’s own bone marrow directly into the beating heart to treat dilated cardiomyopathy, a severe form of chronic heart failure.

Athersys Announces Initial Patient Dosing of MultiStem(R) in Phase I Acute Myocardial Infarction Trial
Marc Penn, co-principal investigator of the study, presented summary data recently where he described the acute myocardial infarction program and the successful administration of MultiStem in the first patient enrolled at the Cleveland Clinic.

First Patients Treated With Adult Stem Cells for Congestive Heart Failure
Mesoblast Limited recently announced successful early safety results in the world’s first clinical trial to use allogeneic, or “off-the-shelf”, adult stem cells from an unrelated donor to treat patients with congestive heart failure.


A Novel Approach for the Derivation of Putative Primordial Germ Cells and Sertoli Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Using human embryonic stem cells, the researchers describe a novel method for the rapid derivation and enrichment of cells that are comparable to primordial germ cells and Sertoli cells.

A Feeder-Free and Efficient Production of Functional Neutrophils from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
A novel, feeder-free hematopoietic differentiation protocol was established for highly efficient production of neutrophils from human embryonic stem cells.

Cells Derived from Human Umbilical Cord Blood Support the Long-Term Growth of Undifferentiated Human Embryonic Stem Cells
This study reports the successful culture of two hESC lines (H1 and H9) on human umbilical cord blood-derived fibroblast-like cells.

The Endoderm of the Mouse Embryo Arises by Dynamic Widespread Intercalation of Embryonic and Extraembryonic Lineages
The researcher’s findings suggest that the segregation of extraembryonic and embryonic tissues within the mammalian embryo is not as strict as believed and that a lineage previously defined as exclusively extraembryonic contributes cells to the embryo.


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From Embryo or From Blood Cells: Obama and McCain’s Stem Cell Showdown
Does either candidate’s record support their stance on stem cell research?


University of Toronto and Kyoto University Join Forces in Stem Cell Research
A world-class partnership in stem cell research was forged recently in Japan, as esteemed scientific teams at University of Toronto and Kyoto University joined forces in the race to get cutting-edge therapies to the clinic.

Power3 Medical Products in Collaboration with StemTroniX, Inc., to Identify and Monitor Autologous Adult Stem Cells for Use in Stem Cell Therapy using Protein Biomarkers
Power3 Medical Products, Inc. recently announced that the company has executed a Letter of Intent with StemTroniX, Inc. to identify and monitor autologous adult stem cells for use in stem cell therapy using protein biomarkers.

RXi Pharmaceuticals Obtains an Exclusive Worldwide License to Technology for the Oral Delivery of RNAi Therapeutics from the University of Massachusetts Medical School
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation recently announced that it has licensed exclusive worldwide rights from the University of Massachusetts Medical School to certain technology for the oral delivery of RNAi therapeutics.

Hansjorg Wyss Gives $125 Million to Create Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
Engineer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Hansjorg Wyss MBA ’65 has given Harvard University $125 million to create the Hansjorg Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.


Characterizing the Blood Stem Cell Niche (R01)

Amendment: RFA-AI-08-015 Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation (CTOT) (U01)

Revised PHS 416-1 (Individual Fellowship Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Application) Now Available (NOT-OD-09-004)

Revised PHS 416-9 Progress Report for Continuation Support (For the Individual Fellowship Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award) Now Available (NOT-OD-09-005)

Revised PHS 416-5, PHS 416-7, PHS 6031 AND PHS 6031-1 Forms for the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Now Available (NOT-OD-09-006)

NIH Announces Changes in Business Process on PHS 416-1 Grant Applications, PHS 416-9 Progress Reports and Prior Approval Requests for Individual Fellowships (NOT-OD-09-007)


Draft Guidance for Industry: Potency Tests for Cellular and Gene Therapy Products

FDA Licenses for Marketing New Therapy for Rare Genetic Disease



Request for Nominations for Voting Members on Public Advisory Panels or Committees

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