360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter- July 30, 2015

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360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - July 30, 2015

Featured Video: Mini Human Brains Grow in Lab

World Stem Cell Summit

Singularity Hub: How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism
The featured article discusses cerebral organoids described as “pea-sized, self-organizing nuggets of living brain.” These mini-brains can be used as models for human brain development. A team from Yale used the technique to gather insights on why autism occurs in some people without a genetic cause. Prominent UCSF stem cell scientist, Dr. Arnold Kriegstein, described technique. He stated “there will be a whole new set of ethical and philosophical issues to contemplate.”

To better understand how these mini-organoids are changing the field read the following article published in Nature “The Boom in Mini Stomachs, Brains, Breasts, Kidneys and More.”

Stem Cells Portal: New Stem Cell Delivery Method Shows Promise for Treating End Stage Heart Failure
“A new clinical trial to test how a high dose of stem cells delivered via a method called ‘retrograde coronary sinus infusion’ affects end stage heart failure patients is showing promising results. The method involves giving the cells backwards (retrograde) through the heart through the main vein (the coronary sinus).” The led researcher is Dr. Amit N. Patel, Director of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. The international team of researchers' work appears in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, the official journal partner of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation.

Till & McCulloch meetings

World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference update:
This Friday, July 31, is the last day to secure pre-early bird discounted registration for the conference. Look for the first provisional program to be posted soon. Major science, industry and government leaders are part of this major partnering meeting. Register now!

Recently confirmed speakers:

Joanne Kurtzberg, MD
Jerome Harris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics & Pathology Chief Scientific Officer and Medical Director, Robertson Clinical & Translational Cell Therapy Program Director, Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplant ProgramDirector, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at Duke

C. Randal Mills, PhD President & CEO California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)

Yoji Sato, PhD Head, Division of Cell-Based Therapeutic Products National Institute of Health Sciences Tokyo, Japan

The Toronto Star: $114M grant to fund cutting-edge stem cell research at University of Toronto
“Stem cell researchers at the University of Toronto have won a $114 million grant from the Canadian government that is expected to help find cures for such serious diseases as cancer, diabetes, blindness and heart and liver disease. The U of T is the first of five recipients of this year’s $350 million in grants under the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which plans to hand out $1.5 billion over seven years. Some 36 universities applied for this first wave of funding.”

Life Interrupted

Daily Bruin: UCLA Research Center Receives $7.4M CIRM Award for Gene Therapy Clinical Trials
“The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine voted unanimously for the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research to receive the award.
UCLA scientists will lead Phases I and II trials for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), which is an immunodeficiency disorder. Chronic granulomatous disease is a life-threatening genetic disorder that inhibits white blood cells from effectively killing bacteria and other microorganisms in the body. The disorder affects one in every 200,000 people in the United States.”


Bipartisan Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Bill Heading to Floor Action in US House of Representatives
From a press release: “Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) with lead co-sponsor Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015, H.R. 2820, ensures that two collaborative programs that support treatment and therapies derived from adult stem cell lines will not expire at the end of the federal fiscal year. First passed in 2005, the original legislation established a nationwide integrated bone marrow and cord blood stem cell transplantation program. Stem cells derived from cord blood and bone marrow have been used successfully to treat thousands of patients with such diseases as leukemia and sickle cell anemia, and genetic disorders. The enactment of H.R. 2820 will enable more people to receive similar treatments and go on with their lives.”


Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) Releases Q2 2015 Data Report, Highlighting Sector Trends and Metrics
ARM’s excellent quarterly report details sector-specific statistics compiled from more than 580 leading companies worldwide, including total financings, corporate partnerships and acquisitions, clinical trial information, data events and ARM’s current regulatory and advocacy priorities. The report can be downloaded for free!


Drug Discovery & Development: Gene Therapy Makes Near-Blind Patients See by Strengthening Neural Connections
In the linked article, Cynthia Fox, Science Editor of DD&D, wonderfully synthesizes the latest research in the exciting world of gene therapy.


Sanofi and Regeneron Launch Major New Immuno-Oncology
This looks like a really big deal. According to the press release, “Sanofi commits to an initial investment of up to $2.17 billion in the exclusive collaboration, including $640 million in upfront payments to Regeneron and a potential sales milestone of $375 million. The companies entered into a new global collaboration to discover, develop and commercialize new antibody cancer treatments in the emerging field of immuno-oncology. As part of the agreement, the two companies will jointly develop a programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitor currently in Phase 1 testing, and plan to initiate clinical trials in 2016 with new therapeutic candidates based on ongoing, innovative preclinical programs.”

Chemistry World: Antifreeze Polymer Protects Cells as They Thaw
Do you know a red-hot area of research in regenerative medicine is cryopreservation? Cell potency can be damaged by “freezer burn.” This article presents some recent research advances.

The Herald (Scotland): Dolly the Sheep Stars in Cloning Exhibition
360 Editor’s comment: Several years ago I happened to attend a reception at the city’s children’s science museum. Tucked away on a forlornly rotating pedestal in the corner of the room was displayed the stuffed remains of the famous Dolly. One of the great scientific achievements- potentially the “star of the show” not front and center? What were the curators thinking? Now, I am pleased to report Dolly is taking her rightful place of honor. The creation of the first cloned mammal was truly a profound and stunning experiment that has changed and challenged the world.

Additional commentary- fetal-cell research
Should we use fetal derived stem cells in research in the United States? Currently the topic is being hotly debated and lawmakers who are stampeding to install restrictions and bans. Some are overly broad. One example is the State of Wisconsin. This article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Assembly GOP lawmakers vow to quickly pass fetal tissue bill.”

In my view, this emotional discussion should not be framed as a partisan or political issue. Ethically derived fetal tissue has been used for years and offers hope to many suffering patients. The following opinion piece in the New York Times written by microbiologist Nathalia Holt provides (with great sensitivity) the case for research to continue. “The Case for Fetal-Cell Research”

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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