Cells Weekly – November 4, 2012

by Alexey Bersenev on November 4, 2012 · 0 comments

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This is a digest of stem cell and cell therapy news and events – Cells Weekly! This week we hosted a guest post by Tania Bubela from University or Alberta. I’d like to encourage your to participate in the first online forum for professionals – Enabling Advanced Cell Therapies. Please register and take a survey. I believe that this forum will help us to understand the hurdles in translation and advance the field.

1. Stem cells can regenerate spermatogenesis in infertile primates
This was the most interesting research paper for me. For the first time, researchers demonstrated the restoration of functional spermatogenesis by autologous and allogeneic adult sprmatogonial stem cells. The study was published in Cell Stem Cell and freely available. This study gives a chance to preserve male fertility in case of cancer chemotherapy.

2. Trial for stem cell therapy of diabetes failed in Phase 2
Tehran University reported results of Phase 2 trial, assessing allogeneic fetal liver-derived hematopoietic stem cells in type 1 and 2 diabetes. There were no difference between experimental and control groups:

In the 6th month of the follow-up, there was a significant decrease in HbA1c levels in all groups without any rise in the fasting c-peptide. However, none of the precipitants transiently or continuously became insulin free in the first year after transplantation.

I blogged about other recent failed trials here

3. Current overview of cell therapy industry
Very nice industry analysis by @celltherapy and @enalrazvi was posted in GEN. Some interesting quotes:

There are over 15 cell therapy products commercially distributed by companies in the U.S. including: Dermagraft, Osteocel, PureGen, BioDfactor, BioDfence, Provenge, Carticel, Epicel, Nucel, Appligraf, GINTUIT, Trinity, Grafix, DeNovoET, Prokera, and AmnioGraft.

The cell therapy products distributed in the U.S. and Europe in total are expected to generate approximately $900M in revenues in 2012.

While no cell therapy products received regulatory approval between 2001 and 2009, the sector has had 8 such approvals in the past 36 months.

4. Safety analysis of mesenchymal stromal cells infusions in clinical trials
Results of SafeCell analysis were published in PLoS ONE. I blogged about this here and here.
Highly recommended to read!

5. No evidence for extrahepatic stem cell-mediated repair in chronic liver failure
There is a common assumption that adult stem cell migrate from bone marrow into injured organ and do magical repair. The results of recent clinical trial, published this week, showed that it may not be the case for chronic liver diseases.

Various degrees of severity in CLD neither evoked the mobilization of BMHSC into the circulation nor triggered their homing into liver tissue, thus excluding extrahepatic stem cell-mediated repair. The recovery process seems to be dependent on proliferating endogenous liver progenitors (OV6+ cells).

6. Tweets from 7th Annual Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa
The meeting just finished this week. It was good mass media coverage with quite good volume of tweets. You can read archived tweets in storify here and here.

7. Exosomes as a mediators of therapeutic effects of mesenchymal stromal cells
Exosomes are membrane microvesicles, secreted by cells, which can carry biomolecules and genetic cargo. It has been showed before, that mesenchymal stromal (MSC) cell-derived exosomes can mediate cardioprotection. Now, Harvard’s researcher demonstrated that MSC-derived exosomes can “fix a lung”:

Intravenous delivery of MSC-derived exosomes (MEX) inhibited vascular remodeling and HPH, whereas MEX-depleted media or fibroblast-derived exosomes had no effect.

8. Direct reprogramming mesenchymal stromal cell into hair-like cell of inner ear
Hair cell is a part of cochlea in the inner ear. The research team claimed the direct conversion of single MSC in hair cells:

Because Atoh1 overexpression successfully transforms VOT-E36 cells into hair cell-like cells, we modified the cell context of MSCs by performing a total protein transfer from VOT-E36 cells before overexpressing Atoh1. The modified MSCs were transformed into hair cell-like cells and attracted contacts from spiral ganglion neurons in a co-culture model.

9. Protocol for GMP-grade cryopreservation of umbilical cord vascular cells
Published in J of Translational Medicine and freely available.

Human umbilical cord artery derived cells (HUCAC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were isolated, cultivated, cryopreserved (short- and long-term) directly after primary culture and recultivated subsequently.

10. iPS cells in drug discovery
I’d like to mention two interesting post on iPS cells for drug discovery. GEN posted cool article on “in vitro clinical trials”. The Culture Dish blog also posted about development of stem cell tools for Pharma R&D.

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That’s all guys. Have a wonderful week!

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