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News Roundup: April 2013

Posted By Connections Editor, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stem Cell Agency Banks on $32 Million New Approach to Advance Research
When you need money you go to the bank. But when researchers need high quality stem cells where do they go to get those? Soon they’ll be able to go to a stem cell bank set up by California’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The governing Board of the agency voted to approve nine applications to create the cells that will go in that bank and to run it.

Quest for Cures: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Seeks to Fund Three Critical Areas of Blood Cancer Research
Medical innovation and sustained research investment are dramatically transforming the landscape in blood cancers. To that end, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) continues to drive a progressive research agenda to improve outcomes for patients who urgently need new therapies. LLS announced it has identified three priority areas toward which it will direct new funding.

Pfizer’s BOSULIF® (bosutinib) Receives Conditional Marketing Authorization from the European Commission
Pfizer Inc. announced that the European Commission has granted conditional marketing authorization for BOSULIF® in the European Union for the treatment of adult patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase and blast phase Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myelogenous leukemia previously treated with one or more tyrosine kinase inhibitor(s) and for whom imatinib, nilotinib and dasatinib are not considered appropriate treatment options.

FRC's Dr. David Prentice Congratulates Kansas Senate for Passing Ethical Stem Cell Therapy Bill
Family Research Council Senior Fellow Dr. David Prentice congratulated the Kansas state senate for passing S.B. 199, a bill that would establish the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, a regional hub to advance and deliver adult and cord blood stem cell therapies to patients and serving as a resource for adult and cord blood stem cells for therapies. The Center would also inform professionals and the public about such therapies. 

U.K. Agency Cautiously Endorses Mitochondria Replacement
There is broad public support in the United Kingdom for allowing a new type of IVF treatment that could prevent mitochondrial diseases, the country's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority announced. The techniques would introduce new DNA into an embryo, and so it has raised thorny ethical questions. At the same time, the authority advised the government that several safeguards should be included in any proposals for new regulations that would permit clinics to perform the technique.

Stem-Cell Ruling Riles Researchers
Clinics that offer unproven stem-cell treatments often end up playing cat and mouse with health regulators, no matter which country they operate in. In Italy, however, one such treatment now has official sanction. The country’s health minister, Renato Balduzzi, has decreed that a controversial stem-cell treatment can continue in 32 terminally ill patients, mostly children — even though the stem cells involved are not manufactured according to Italy’s legal safety standards.

Retina Institute Japan and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Form a Capital Alliance towards the Development of Nobel Prize Winning iPS Cell Technology
Retina Institute Japan K.K. (RIJ) and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. (DSP) announced that the two companies signed an agreement that DSP invests into RIJ to discuss alliance to put iPS cell technology to practical use.

Cord Blood Registry Is Advancing Regenerative Medicine Research at Exciting Pace
Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®) is fueling innovation in newborn stem cell research. As CBR prepares to release its 250th cord blood unit for medical use, the newborn stem cell bank announces that 71% of all its units released for use have been for emerging applications in regenerative medicine, such as brain injury, autism and type 1 diabetes. The other 29% have been for traditional transplant use, such as leukemia and sickle cell disease.

Minerva Biotechnologies Announces Major Breakthrough in Human Stem Cell Research
Minerva Biotechnologies, a leading cancer and stem cell development company announced a major breakthrough in human stem cell research. Minerva scientists converted established human stem cells to the elusive "naïve” state and maintained them there indefinitely simply by culturing the cells in the dimeric form of a natural, but newly discovered human growth factor, called NM23-H1. It is widely believed that figuring out how to stably induce naïve pluripotency in human stem cells is critical for realizing the promise of human stem cell therapies.

Promising Stem Cell Therapy for Leukemia Patients
Leukemia patients receive a bone marrow transplant, which allows them to build a "new” immune system. However, this immune system not only attacks cancer cells but healthy tissue too. Special antibodies will be used to protect healthy tissue in future.

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