Volume 5.30 | Aug 4

ESC & iPSC News 5.30, August 4, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY

Neuregulin/ErbB Signaling Regulates Cardiac Subtype Specification in Differentiating Human Embryonic Stem Cells 
Neuregulin-1/ErbB signaling regulates the ratio of nodal- to working-type cells in differentiating human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte cultures and presumably functions similarly during early human heart development. [Circ Res]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Gene Essential to Stem Cell Health Discovered
Researchers have discovered a gene that is essential to keeping stem cells healthy. The gene, hypoxia inducible factor 1, helps keep levels of telomerase constant. [Press release from the University of Hawai’i discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

FDA Lifts Hold on First-Ever Embryonic Stem Cell Trial
Regulators have given a green light to the world’s first approved experiment using embryonic stem cells to treat a human disease. In the Phase I clinical trial, Geron Corporation will use stem cells to treat spinal cord injury. [ScienceInsider]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

RNAi Screen for Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Transcriptional Regulators Identifies HIF1Alpha as Critical for Telomerase Function in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells
Findings suggest a direct effect of Hif1alpha on telomerase regulation in murine embryonic stem cells, and imply that Hif1alpha may have a physiologically relevant role in maintenance of functional levels of telomerase in stem cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Transplanted Oligodendrocytes and Motoneuron Progenitors Generated from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Promote Locomotor Recovery After Spinal Cord Transection
Researchers evaluated the therapeutic effects of transplanted human embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitors and/or motoneuron progenitors on axonal remyelination and functional recovery of adult rats after complete spinal cord transection. [Stem Cells]

miR-124a is Important for Migratory Cell Fate Transition During Gastrulation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Results strongly suggest that miR-124a may play an active role in inhibiting human embryonic stem cells from differentiation into embryoid bodies by downregulating expression of SLUG and IQGAP1, thereby maintaining stemness. [Stem Cells]

Loss of Bright/ARID3a Function Promotes Developmental Plasticity
Bright (B cell regulator of immunoglobulin heavy chain transcription)-deficient cells from two mouse models expressed a number of pluripotency-associated gene products, expanded indefinitely and spontaneously differentiated into cells of multiple lineages. [Stem Cells]

Retinoic Acid Synthesis Promotes Development of Neural Progenitors from Mouse ES Cells by Suppressing Endogenous, Wnt-Dependent Nodal Signaling
Results show that neural induction in embryonic stem (ES) cells requires retinoic acid at sub-nanomolar levels to suppress Nodal signaling and suggest that the mechanism by which Wnt signaling suppresses neural development is through facilitation of Nodal signaling. [Stem Cells]

Derivation and Characterization of Haploid Embryonic Stem Cell Cultures in Medaka Fish
Researchers present a step-by-step protocol for derivation and characterization of medaka haploid embryonic stem cells. [Nat Protoc]

Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Rabbits: Potential Experimental Models for Human Regenerative Medicine
Using lentiviral vectors, four human reprogramming genes (c-MYC, KLF4, SOX2 and OCT3/4) were introduced successfully into adult rabbit liver and stomach cells. The resulting rabbit induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells closely resembled human iPS cells; they formed flattened colonies with sharp edges and proliferated indefinitely in the presence of bFGF. [J Biol Chem]

Triiodothyronine Promotes Cardiac Differentiation and Maturation of Embryonic Stem Cells via the Classical Genomic Pathway
Results show that triiodothyronine supplementation promotes cardiac differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and enhances maturation of electrophysiological, as well as calcium homeostasis, properties of ESC-derived cardiomyocytes. [Mol Endocrinol]

Role of Hypoxia-Induced Fibronectin-Integrin Beta1 Expression in Embryonic Stem Cell Proliferation and Migration: Involvement of PI3K/Akt and FAK
Hypoxia increases the proliferation and migration of mouse embryonic stem cells via fibronectin-integrin beta1 production through the PI3K/Akt, mammalian target of rapamycin, and hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha pathways, followed by focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation. [J Cell Physiol]

Live Cell Monitoring of hiPSC Generation and Differentiation Using Differential Expression of Endogenous microRNAs
Researchers describe a lentiviral reporter vector sensitive to specific microRNAs (miRNA) to show that a single vector bearing multiple miRNA target sequences conjugated to different reporters can be used to monitor human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) formation and subsequent differentiation from human fetal fibroblasts. [PLoS One]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Axiogenesis In-Licenses Yamanaka Patent Portfolio from iPS Academia Japan Covering Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology
Axiogenesis AG and iPS Academia Japan Inc. announced that they have executed a non-exclusive agreement with iPS Academia through which Axiogenesis obtains worldwide access to the extensive portfolio of induced pluripotent stem cell (“iPSC”) technology for iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and other cell types, pioneered by Professor Shinya Yamanaka, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at the University of Kyoto, Japan. [BusinessWire]

Sanofi-aventis Said to Be Likely to Bid $18 Billion for Genzyme
Sanofi-aventis is likely to make an unsolicited offer of up to $70 a share for Genzyme, raising the stakes for what could become one of the year’s biggest deals, people briefed on the matter said. [The New York Times]

British Companies to Receive Support to Develop New Regenerative Medicine Products and Technologies
The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is to invest over £5 million to support the research and development in the UK of new regenerative medicine products, tools and technologies. 16 research and development projects in the field of regenerative medicine therapeutics are to receive a total of £3.6 million of investment, while a further £1.6 million is to be invested in 12 feasibility studies in the area of regenerative medicine tools and technologies. [Technology Strategy Board Press Release]

Geron to Proceed with First Human Clinical Trial of Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Therapy
Geron Corporation announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has notified the company that the clinical hold placed on Geron’s Investigational New Drug application has been lifted and the company’s Phase I clinical trial of GRNOPC1 in patients with acute spinal cord injury may proceed. [Geron Corporation Press Release]

ACT Files Documentation with FDA for Clinical Trials Using ES Cells to Treat Eye Disease
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that it has submitted documentation and a complete response to substantively address the issues raised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in connection with the Company’s plans to initiate a Phase I/II multicenter study using embryonic stem (ES) cell derived retinal cells to treat patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. Press Release]

Cytori Gains Stem Cell Device Approval in Europe for Breast Cancer Reconstruction and Soft Tissue Repair
Cytori Therapeutics received expanded European approval for its Celution® System, a medical device that extracts and separates stem and regenerative cells from a patient’s own fat tissue. [Cytori Therapeutics Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

NSF Funding Request Faring Well in Congress
While the 2011 budget requests of other U.S. research agencies are struggling to stay afloat in choppy fiscal seas, so far National Science Foundation’s (NSF) is sailing through Congress largely intact. [National Science Foundation, United States]

Senate Spending Panel Approves $1 Billion Boost for NIH
A Senate subcommittee matched President Barack Obama’s request for a $1 billion increase in 2011 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That raise would bring the agency’s total budget to $32 billion, or 3.5% above the 2010 level, according to a statement from the Senate appropriations labor, health, and human services subcommittee. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Public Meeting
The Food and Drug Administration announced a 2-day public meeting to obtain input on issues and challenges associated with the development and implementation of risk evaluation and mitigation strategies for drugs. An archived webcast of the meeting is available. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

MHRA Business Plan 2010 and Corporate Plan 2010-15 Published
The MHRA gained ministerial agreement for the Agency’s Business Plan 2010 and the Corporate Plan 2010-15. [Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, United Kingdom]

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, United States]

National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (Doc. 2010-18627) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Office of the Director; Notice of Closed Meeting [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Request for Proposals (RFP): NIA Intervention Testing Program Solicits Proposals for Compounds to Test for Anti-Aging Activity in Mice (NOT-AG-10-008) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Request for Information (RFI): Ideas for Improvements in a Research Network to Advance the Treatment Science of Critically Ill Patients with Acute Lung Injury (NOT-HL-11-113) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Meeting [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Correction of Major Programmatic Priorities for RFA-HL-11-025 (R01); “New Strategies for Growing 3D Tissues” (NOT-HL-11-115) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Guidance for Industry and Researchers on the Radioactive Drug Research Committee: Human Research Without an Investigational New Drug Application; Availability [Docket No. FDA-2009-D-0125] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

EVENTS

9th Mount Desert Island Stem Cell Symposium
August 6-7, 2010
Salsbury Cove, United States

Select Biosciences 3rd Annual Stem Cells Europe Conference
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Select Biosciences Inaugural Cellular Therapy Summit

August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Select Biosciences 2nd Annual World Biobanking Summit
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) – Europe 2nd Regional Meeting
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

Hydra VI: The European Summer School on Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
September 11-17, 2010
Hydra, Greece

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States


Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – Asia Pacific 2010
September 15-17, 2010
Sydney, Australia

5th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Stem Cell Research
September 30-October 2, 2010
Lübeck, Germany

5th World Congress on Preventive & Regenerative Medicine (WCRM) 2010
October 5-7, 2010
Hannover, Germany

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Production and Utility in Regenerative Medicine
October 7, 2010
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium Leipzig 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Select Biosciences 2nd International Forum on Stem Cells
November 12-13, 2010
Tianjin, China


Stem Cell Network 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Canada

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – North America 2010 Annual Conference
December 5-8, 2010
Orlando, United States

Biotech Showcase 2011
January 10-12, 2011
San Francisco, United States 

Stem Cells World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States


Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.



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