360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter- September 24, 2014

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360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - Sept 24, 2014

Featured Video ABC Channel 10 News (San Diego):

According to this TV news report, La Jolla, California-based GIOSTAR, the Global Institute of Stem Cell Therapy and Research, plans to build $2 billion stem cell treatment hospital in India. The project and clinical trials are to be funded by the Indian government. (There is a short commercial advertisement preceding the video).

Editor’s comment: It is common to see ambitious developers unveil all sorts of impressive architectural renderings of high-rise office towers, condos and other structures to media fanfare. Unfortunately, blueprints alone do not the building make. The sheer size and scope of GIOSTAR’s project is massive and expensive. India’s Prime Minister has declared regenerative medicine a national priority, so who is to say this hospital and trials won’t be funded, but $2 billion? What clinical trials and therapies will be delivered and when? We are eager to learn the details.
GPI's "Stem Cell Action Award" honorees announced-10th annual Stem Cell Action Awards to be presented at World Stem Cell Summit #WSCS14, December 3, in San Antonio
For 10 years, the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) has honored the stem cell community's top innovators, leaders, and champions. The 2014 honorees are, as follows: Hon. Henry Cisneros (Leadership), Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine (International leadership), Mostyn Foundation (Advocacy), Texans for Stem Cell Research (Education) and the Huntington’s Disease advocacy community (Inspiration).
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research: Long-term hoarding of cellular ‘garbage’ could trigger old age- long-lived molecules influence aging
Writing for the Fred Hutch news service, Dr. Rachel Tompa describes the work of Dr. Daniel Gottschling, who studies the mechanisms of aging. “In two recently published studies, Gottschling and his team reported that certain proteins stick around for the entire lifespan of cells, which could be the cause of cellular old age. Using baker’s yeast, a single-celled fungus that shares certain characteristics with human stem cells, the scientists identified several ways these proteins could cause cellular aging, from changing the acidity of cells to creating stockpiles of molecular ‘garbage’ that build up over time.”
Lab Manager: Scientists report reliable and highly efficient method using vitamin C for making stem cells
“Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have found a way to boost dramatically the efficiency of the process for turning adult cells into so-called pluripotent stem cells by combining three well-known compounds, including vitamin C. Using the new technique in mice, the researchers increased the number of stem cells obtained from adult skin cells by more than 20-fold compared with the standard method. They say their technique is efficient and reliable, and thus should generally accelerate research aimed at using stem cells to generate virtually any tissue.”
The Irish Times: NUI Galway in joint stem cell project with Mayo Clinic
NUI Galway and the Mayo Clinic plan to collaborate on clinical trials using regenerative medicine. The joint research projects will focus on a number of key strategic areas, including adult stem-cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering.
UC San Diego Health System: ‪A better way to track emerging cell therapies using MRIs
Cellular therapeutics is hindered by the inability of doctors to effectively track the movements, destination and persistence of these cells in patients without resorting to invasive procedures, like tissue sampling. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh and elsewhere describe the first human tests of using a perfluorocarbon (PFC) tracer in combination with non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track therapeutic immune cells injected into patients with colorectal cancer. According to Dr. Eric Ahrens, “Non-invasive cell tracking may help lower regulatory barriers. For example, new stem cell therapies can be slow to obtain regulatory approvals in part because it is difficult, if not impossible, with current approaches to verify survival and location of transplanted cells. And cell therapy trials generally have a high cost per patient. Tools that allow the investigator to gain a ‘richer’ data set from individual patients mean it may be possible to reduce patient numbers enrolled in a trial, thus reducing total trial cost.” The research was reported in the online journal Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
UC San Diego: Thermo Fisher Scientific, UC San Diego announce Duane Roth Innovation Grant
“Thermo Fisher Scientific and the UC San Diego Office of Research Affairs have established the Duane Roth Innovation Grant, which provides scientific investigators at UC San Diego with a $50,000 annual funding opportunity for sponsored research that supports proof-of-concept and technology-applications studies. The grant honors the late Duane Roth, the dynamic and charismatic leader of San Diego’s life sciences business community, whose vision and drive as CEO of Connect helped spur innovation and build strong partnerships in the region’s biotech industry.”

Editor’s note: Duane will always be admired as a passionate stem cell advocate. He served with distinction as Vice-Chair of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and encouraged patients to actively align themselves with industry to advance meritorious clinical trials.
Northwest Biotherapeutics: Cancer vaccine is the first drug to be designated by UK authorities as a “promising innovative medicine” (PIM)
According to a media release, NW BIO, is developing dendritic cell-based personalized immune therapies for solid tumor cancers. DCVax-L is the first product to receive formal designation as a “Promising Innovative Medicine” (PIM) under the UK’s “Early Access to Medicines Scheme” (EAMS). A PIM is the first step in a 2-step process for early access approval under the EAMS. The PIM designation for DCVax-L covers all malignant gliomas, which would include both Glioblastoma multiforme (the most severe grade) as well as less malignant grades, and would include both newly diagnosed and recurrent gliomas.
The Dallas Morning News: UTSW researchers working to regenerate heart, nerve cells
This article provides an overview of the impressive work being done at UT Southwestern’s new Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, where researchers are focused on cultivating heart and nerve cells. The center, led by biologist Eric Olson, opened in May with a $10 million gift from the Hamon Charitable Foundation. Its areas of research include stem cells as well as direct reprogramming.
Otago Daily Times: Giant Chinese –backed stem cell treatment center proposed for New Zealand resort
Readers, it’s not often where we find an article mentioning a Chinese billionaire, stem cell resort treatment center and a cosmetic surgeon doing something called “vampire facelifts” but here it is. Chinese billionaire, Xia Jie, is in advanced negotiations to fund a multimillion-dollar stem cell treatment and research center in Queenstown.

Editors comment: The stem cell brand is hugely powerful and here to stay. Attracting powerful entrepreneurs, drawing celebrity patients and creating headlines around the world. More than the potential for cures and diamond-point of the life sciences industry, stem cells and RegMed are now part of popular culture and a full-fledged global phenomena.

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
Domain: Medical
Category: Biology

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