360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter- August 13, 2015

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360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - Aug 13, 2015

A Special Featured Video from the World Stem Cell Summit Archive: Fat Grafts: From a Challenging Past to an Innovative Present, and into a Revolutionary Future

In this hour-long, tour-de-force presentation, eminent plastic surgeon Dr. Sydney Coleman covers the entire history of fat grafts and how fat works in present and future regenerative strategies.

World Stem Cell Summit

CNN: Out on a Limb: Pioneering Scientists Grow Monkey Arms in the Lab
CNN reports on the work of Harald Ott at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Ott uses human progenitor cells and a decellularized scaffold of monkey arms. The cells are being stimulated into becoming blood cells and vessels. The ultimate aim of the research is to regenerate limbs for humans.

The Baltimore Sun: Clinical Trial Uses the Body's Own Immune Cells to Fight Cancer
The Sun article describes how the growing field of immunotherapy, using a patient’s own immune system, can fight cancer. In a University of Maryland study, patients were infused with 2.4 billion re-engineered T cells, with promising results.

Till & McCulloch meetings

UCI-led Team Begins First Clinical Trial of Stem Cell-based Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment
“Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare genetic condition associated with progressive loss of retinal photoreceptors (rods, then cones), resulting in night blindness, tunnel vision and, ultimately, severe visual disability and blindness. There is no current treatment for RP, which is considered an orphan disease by the FDA, thereby conferring advantages in terms of the regulatory pathway necessary for drug approval. Participants are being enrolled in the first clinical trial that tests the use of retinal progenitor cells to treat RP. The product of stem cell research at University of California-Irvine, these retinal progenitors are similar to stem cells in terms of potential regenerative properties, but they’re specific to the retina.”

First Look at RegMed Capital Conference- Part of the World Stem Cell Summit, Atlanta Dec 10-12
The RegMed Capital Conference (RMCC) in Atlanta, December 10-12, is a co-located meeting at the World Stem Cell Summit. It’s an event fully committed to advancing commercialization and investment opportunities for companies targeting cures. Spurred by the unprecedented convergence of 21st Century technologies, the RMCC supplies you with the critical information you need to understand the unlimited potential of regenerative medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapies and related industries.
RMCC attracts NEW MONEY to our field and provides actionable intelligence supporting both industry and the investment communities.

Embryonic Stem Cells Help Researchers Study the Effects of Pollution on Human Health
According to the media release, a recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences (JES) shows that embryonic stem cells could serve as a model to evaluate the physiological effects of environmental pollutants efficiently and cost-effectively. Lead researcher Francesco Faiola stated, "Our stem cell toxicology system proved to be very sensitive and reflective of the physiological toxic effects of BPA. What's even more valuable is the fact that this system can be applied to assess numerous other pollutants for their toxicity and/or lethality without the expenses of time-consuming animal models."

Life Interrupted

MIT Technology Review: Surgeons Smash Records with Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplants- A Biotech Company is Genetically Engineering Pigs so that Their Organs Might Work in People
Antonio Regalado has written a fascinating account focusing on the genetically modified pigs that are produced in Blacksburg, Virginia, by Revivicor, a division of the biotechnology company United Therapeutics. The company’s founder and co-CEO, Martine Rothblatt, is described as a “noted futurist who four years ago began spending millions to supply researchers with pig organs and has quickly become the largest commercial backer of xenotransplantation research.”

The goal is to create an unlimited supply of transplantable organs and to carry out the first successful pig-to-human lung transplant within a few years. In addition to GM pigs, her company is carrying out research on tissue-engineered lungs and cryopreservation of organs. Rothblatt says, “We’re turning xenotransplantation from what looked like a kind of Apollo-level problem into just an engineering task.”


Associated Press: Scientists Say Fetal Tissue Essential for Medical Research
“The furor on Capitol Hill over Planned Parenthood has stoked a debate about the use of tissue from aborted fetuses in medical research, but U.S. scientists have been using such cells for decades to develop vaccines and seek treatments for a host of ailments, from vision loss to cancer and AIDS. Anti-abortion activists triggered the uproar by releasing undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials that raised questions of whether the organization was profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has denied making any profit and said it charges fees solely to cover its costs. University laboratories that buy such cells strongly defend their research, saying tissue that would otherwise be thrown out has played a vital role in lifesaving medical advances and holds great potential for further breakthroughs.”


Associated Press: Wisconsin Update- Fetal Tissue Ban Bill Support is Uncertain
“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wouldn't commit to supporting a bill with broad Republican support that would make it a felony to perform research using tissue obtained from aborted fetuses. In a sign the proposal may face trouble passing the Republican-controlled Senate, Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills said she opposed the current version because it would halt ongoing research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”


Forbes: Bill Gates and 13 Other Investors Pour $120 Million Into Revolutionary Gene-Editing Startup
“Editas Medicine, based in Cambridge, Mass., already had money. Founded in November 2013 with $43 million from Third Rock Ventures, Polaris Ventures and Flagship Ventures, it was the first big CRISPR effort out of the gate. The company says that money has not been spent. In May, Juno Therapeutics, which is developing cell therapies for cancer, inked a collaboration that gave Editas $25 million upfront and another $22 million in research support. Any products that result could deliver Editas another $250 million. But those investments are dwarfed by an announcement, which will put $120 million into the tiny company’s bank account – enough, Editas says, to keep it running for a projected three years. The lead investor is a newly created firm called bng0, a select group of family offices led by Boris Nikolic, who was previously a science advisor to Bill Gates. Both Editas and Gates’ office confirm that the Microsoft billionaire, who is the world’s richest man, is among the bng0 backers.”


University of Miami Researchers Win Contract to Study Stem Cells from Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
“Miller School researchers Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., and Derek Dykxhoorn, Ph.D., have won a three-year, $721,423 U.S. Department of Defense contract to ascertain and analyze induced pluripotent stem cells.” (iPSCs) from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease patients with specific Alzheimer’s-linked genetic mutations.”

360 Newsletter Editor

Bernard Siegel
Executive Director
Genetics Policy Institute

Stem Cells and the Transformative Power of Hope-a TEDx talk by Bernard Siegel, Editor of 360 Newsletter

About GPI

The nonprofit Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) seeks to establish a positive policy, regulatory and societal framework to enable research to flourish, under the highest ethical and medical standards. We seek to accelerate the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies to alleviate human suffering due to chronic and terminal afflictions. Visit Website.

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Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) and the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) Announce Merger Plan

Domain: Medical
Category: Biology

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