360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter- May 26, 2015

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360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - May 26, 2015

Featured Video: Support for Cures at World Stem Cell Summit

At the 2014 World Stem cell Summit in San Antonio, Texas, the stated mission was “Connect, Collaborate & Cure.” The featured Summit video includes inspiring messages voicing mutual collaboration and support from scientists, policy and industry leaders and patient advocates. Included: Huntington’s Disease advocates Katie Jackson and Mike Hinshaw (Katie’s husband and a HD patient), Steve Davis (StemBioSys), Brock Reeve (Harvard Stem Cell Institute), Dena Ladd (Missouri Cures), Stephen Chang (New York Stem Cell Foundation), Andre Terzic (Mayo Clinic), Aubrey de Grey (SENS Foundation), George Church (MIT, Harvard), Abba Zubair (Mayo Clinic) and GPI’s Alan Fernandez and Bernie Siegel. Continue the journey at the 2015 World Stem Cell Summit, Atlanta, December 10-12. For more information, click here.

World Stem Cell Summit

CBC News: Blood Turned into Nerve Cells by Canadian Researchers
“In research published in the journal Cell Reports, Canadian scientists have discovered how to turn a simple blood sample from a man or woman into a variety of nerve cells, including those that are responsible for pain, numbness and other sensations. The technology will allow researchers to test potential drugs for treating pain using the nerve cells in a lab, all based on an individual patient's own genetic signature. Dr. Mick Bhatia led the team of researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton. The lab hopes to further develop the blood-generated neural stem cells into motor and other kinds of neurons that could conceivably one day be transplanted into patients to restore healthy brain cells as a treatment for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Lou Gehrig's disease. The technology could also be used to produce retinal nerve cells to treat people who are losing their sight due to age-related macular degeneration.”

Fox News: University of Miami Study Shows Stem Cells Can Be Safely Infused in Brain to Promote Stroke Recovery
“A yearlong study of stroke patients has found that stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow can be safely infused in the brain through the carotid artery to promote recovery. Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine followed 48 patients, more than half of whom who were treated using stem cells, and found recovery along with no adverse side effects when compared with their counterparts. UM scientist Dr. Dileep Yavagal stated that the stem cells act as drug factories in the area of the brain damaged by the stroke, secreting a number of useful substances to promote recovery. The cells help repair damaged cells, including ones that encourage growth and act as anti-inflammatory aids. Some of the properties also act to salvage cells that are on the edge of dying, helping to preserve brain tissue and act as neuroprotectors.”

Wake Forest

Sacramento Bee: UC Davis Becomes Key Player in Stem Cell Research
Journalist and blogger, David Jensen, sets forth the accomplishments of the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures. “California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has catapulted UC Davis onto the national scene in stem cell research. The school has received $130 million over the past 11 years. It ranks fifth in terms of total awards from the agency, trailing only Stanford, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. UC Davis has the only facility in Northern California to generate the high-quality stem cells needed for research, an operation supported by a $20 million CIRM grant. The school has conducted or has underway 10 stem cell clinical trials, the critical step before therapies are certified by the federal government for general use.”


Buck Institute for Research on Aging: Complex Signaling Between Blood and Stem Cells Controls Regeneration in Fly Gut- Human Implications
“Having a healthy gut may well depend on maintaining a complex signaling dance between immune cells and the stem cells that line the intestine. Scientists at the Buck Institute are now reporting significant new insight into how these complex interactions control intestinal regeneration after a bacterial infection. It’s a dance that ensures repair after a challenge, but that also goes awry in aging fruit flies -- the work thus offers important new clues into the potential causes of age-related human maladies, such as irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut and colorectal cancer.” The research was published in Nature Cell Biology.


ReNeuron: US FDA Grants Fast Track Designation to Company’s Retinitis Pigmentosa Cell Therapy Candidate
In the company press release, Olav Hellebø, CEO, commented: “The granting of Fast Track designation from the FDA for our hRPC stem cell therapy candidate for RP is a very significant positive development for the Company. In considering the pre-clinical data we have presented to them and granting the designation, the FDA has recognized the potential of this treatment candidate to address RP as a serious unmet medical need. This, together with the Orphan Drug Designation already granted for the program in both the US and Europe, provides accelerated clinical development and marketing authorization processes for our RP treatment candidate as well as the potential for a significant period of market exclusivity once approved in these major territories.”


UC San Diego: Human Stem Cell Model Reveals Molecular Cues Critical to Neurovascular Unit Formation
“Real-time tracking of cellular behavior during human development provides new insights. Crucial bodily functions we depend on but don’t consciously think about — things like heart rate, blood flow, breathing and digestion — are regulated by the neurovascular unit. The neurovascular unit is made up of blood vessels and smooth muscles under the control of autonomic neurons. Yet how the nervous and vascular systems come together during development to coordinate these functions is not well understood. Using human embryonic stem cells, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute created a model that allows them to track cellular behavior during the earliest stages of human development in real-time. The model reveals, for the first time, how autonomic neurons and blood vessels come together to form the neurovascular unit.” The research was published in Stem Cell Reports.


WIRED: ‘Brain Balls’ Grown From Skin Cells Spark With Electricity
360 Editor’s note: Remember to smile at the breezy writing style of Wired associate editor for science & health, Katie Palmer, who introduces Stanford’s work on “brain balls.” Stanford researchers say by creating “human cortical spheroids” they are not growing “brains in a dish.” Read the article and decide for yourself.

Wake Forest

Reason.com: BEINGS 2015- Is life better than death; Health better than disease; wealth better than poverty? Opinions Vary
360 Editor’s note: Last week I was a delegate at “BEINGS 2015- Biotech and the Ethical Imagination Global Summit” in Atlanta. The primary goal of the meeting was to create a Consensus Document of ethical principles and policy standards for human cellular technologies. It was a fascinating conference guided by Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, Professor of Bioethics at Emory University. One of the drafting delegates is Reason reporter and commentator, Ronald Bailey, who wrote this interesting piece about the debate. The tone of his report is opinionated, free-market and libertarian.

New York Times Op-Ed: Crack Down on Scientific Fraudsters
Here is a spot-on op-ed by the editors of Retraction Watch, Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky. They explain the true cost of scientific fraud.

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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