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Cancer, induced pluripotent stem cell similarities

SACRAMENTO UC Davis investigators have found new evidence that a promising type of stem cell now being considered for a variety of disease therapies is very similar to the type of cells that give rise to cancer. The findings suggest that although the cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) show substantial promise as a source of replacement cells and tissues to treat injuries, disease and chronic conditions, scientists and physicians must move cautiously with any clinical use because iPSCs could also cause malignant cancer.

The article, "Induced pluripotency and oncogenic transformation are related processes," is now online in the journal Stem Cells and Development.

"This is the first study that describes the specific molecular pathways that iPSCs and cancer cells share from a direct comparison" said Paul Knoepfler, associate professor of cell biology and human anatomy, and principal investigator of the study. "It means that much more study is required before iPSCs can be used clinically. However, our study adds to a growing knowledge base that not only will help make stem cell therapies safer, but also provide us with new understandings about the cancer-causing process and more effective ways to fight the disease."

Since 2007, cell biologists have been able to induce specialized, differentiated cells (such as those obtained from the skin or muscle of a human adult) to become iPSCs. Like embryonic stem cells, iPSCs are a type of stem cell that is able to become any cell type. This "pluripotent" capability means that iPSCs have the potential of being used in treatments for a variety of human diseases, a fundamentally new type of clinical care known as regenerative medicine.

iPSCs are considered particularly important because their production avoids the controversy that surrounds embryonic stem (ES) cells. In addition, iPSCs can be taken from a patient's own skin and induced to produce other needed tissues, thereby evading the possibility of immunologic rejection that arises when transplanting cells from a donor to a recipient. In contrast to therapies based on ES cells, iPSCs would eliminate the need for patients to take immunosuppressive drugs.

Earlier research indicated that both ES cells and iPSCs pose some health risks. Increasing evidence suggests that pluripotency may be related to rapid cellular growth, a characteristic of cancer. iPSCs, as well as embryonic stem cells, are well known by scientists to have the propensity to cause teratomas, an unusual type of benign tumor that consists of many different cell types. The new UC Davis study demonstrates for the first time that iPSCs as well as ES cells share significant similarities to malignant cancer cells.

The investigators compared iPSCs to a form of malignant cancer known as oncogenic foci that are also produced in laboratories; these cell types are used by medical researchers to create models of cancer, particularly sarcoma. Specifically, the scientists contrasted the different cells' transcriptomes, comprised of the RNA molecules or "transcripts." Unlike DNA analysis, which reflects a cell's entire genetic code whether or not the genes are active, transcriptomes reflect only the genes that are actively expressed at a given time and therefore provide a picture of actual cellular activity.

From this transcriptome analysis, the investigators found that the iPSCs and malignant sarcoma cancer cells are unexpectedly similar in several respects. Genes that were not expressed in iPSCs were also not expressed in the cancer-generating cells, including many that have properties that guide a cell to normally differentiate in certain directions. Both cell types also exhibited evidence of similar metabolic activities, another indication that they are related cell types.

"We were surprised how similar iPSCS were to cancer-generating cells," said Knoepfler. "Our findings indicate that the search for therapeutic applications of iPSCs must proceed with considerable caution if we are to do our best to promote patient safety."

Knoepfler noted, for example, that future experimental therapies using iPSCs for human transplants would most often not involve implanting iPSCs directly into a patient. Instead, iPSCs would be used to create differentiated cells or tissues in the laboratory, which could then be transplanted into a patient. This approach avoids implanting the actual undifferentiated iPSCS, and reduces the risk of tumor development as a side effect. However, Knoepfler noted that even trace amounts of residual iPSCs could cause cancer in patients, a possibility supported by his team's latest research.

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Cancer, induced pluripotent stem cell similarities

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RBCC: Stem Cell Market Poised for Billion-Dollar Growth

NOKOMIS, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

As Rainbow BioSciences, the biotech subsidiary of Rainbow Coral Corp. (RBCC), works to acquire licensing for commercial use of NASA-developed stem cell expansion technology, the company received good news from a Wall Street analysts forecast on Wednesday.

Writing for Seeking Alpha, George Kesarios predicted major growth for the global stem cell market in coming years. Its estimated that the market will be worth about $64 billion by 2015, up from $21.5 billion in 2010.

Kesarios attributed the growth largely to a potential revolution in drug companies research and development made possible by an abundance of induced pluripotent stem cells.

With these stem cells, scientists can actually create working facsimiles of living human tissue, introduce diseases and observe how they unfold under a microscope, said RBCC CEO Patrick Brown. Spending a decade on research only to discover in trials that a drug doesnt work could become a thing of the past. Stem cells hold the key to the future of profitable, effective drug development.

Thats why RBCC has engaged Regenetech in discussions regarding the potential acquisition of a license to perform cell expansion using that companys Rotary Cell Culture SystemTM.

The Rotary Cell Culture SystemTM is a rotating-wall bioreactor designed to facilitate the growth of human cells in simulated weightlessness. Cell cultures, including stem cells, grown inside the bioreactor look and function much closer to human cells grown within the body than the flat cell cultures grown in Petri dishes.

The potential for stem cells expansion using this unique culturing system originally devised for the space program is incredible, Brown said. Every cell researcher in the world is going to want access to this technology.

RBCC plans to offer new technology to compete in the stem-cell research industry alongside Amgen, Inc. (AMGN), Celgene Corporation (CELG), Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ:GENZ) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD).

For more information on Rainbow BioSciences, please visit http://www.rainbowbiosciences.com/investors.html.

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RBCC: Stem Cell Market Poised for Billion-Dollar Growth

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Educate, Inform & Inspire Global Awareness by Sharing ‘Stem Cells Offer Hope’

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 26, 2012) - Stem cell researchers are literally on the brink of developing new treatments for some of the world's most devastating diseases.Each of us is standing at the intersection of real, tangible progress and limitless possibility. We have the opportunity to help transform medicine by supporting stem cell research online.

On October 3, scientists, researchers and supporters will celebrate International Stem Cell Awareness Day. A new interactive website, http://www.StemCellsOfferHope.com, has been launched to share easily digestible factoids and colorful stem cell imagery within social networks.It also features banners and graphics for bloggers to post information and links to share with their community of followers, family and friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.Bloggers are encouraged to help drive visitors to this website through the use of entries and social media posts.

"This is a critical and historic time for stem cell research," said Peter Donovan, Ph.D., director, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine. "The act of simply raising awareness about this research is one of the best things people can do to help accelerate the process."

Researchers have been working diligently to unlock the potential of stem cells and have made significant strides since the discovery of a method to grow and duplicate human stem cells less than 15 years ago. Their efforts to develop cures for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, as well as traumatic brain injuries and paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries are moving forward at a rapid pace.

For more information visit http://www.stemcellsofferhope.com.

About the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine: The Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine is one of the largest most technologically advanced stem cell research facilities in the world. The center was established in 2010 in part through a $10 million gift from Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of international investment firm PIMCO, and his wife Sue. For more than 40 years, its team of scientists and multiple research and graduate assistants have worked to unlock the potential of stem cells for treating and curing an estimated 70 major diseases and disorders. The research center has devised new methods for growing stems cells that are 100 percent more effective than previous techniques. Other advances have led to the world's first clinical trial of a human neural stem cell-based therapy for chronic spinal cord injury and the first FDA-approved clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells. The embryonic stem cells are produced from embryos donated for research purposes during fertility treatments. These cells would otherwise be destroyed. For more information, visit stemcell.uci.edu.

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Educate, Inform & Inspire Global Awareness by Sharing 'Stem Cells Offer Hope'

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Educate, Inform & Inspire Global Awareness by Sharing 'Stem Cells Offer Hope'

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 26, 2012) - Stem cell researchers are literally on the brink of developing new treatments for some of the world's most devastating diseases.Each of us is standing at the intersection of real, tangible progress and limitless possibility. We have the opportunity to help transform medicine by supporting stem cell research online.

On October 3, scientists, researchers and supporters will celebrate International Stem Cell Awareness Day. A new interactive website, http://www.StemCellsOfferHope.com, has been launched to share easily digestible factoids and colorful stem cell imagery within social networks.It also features banners and graphics for bloggers to post information and links to share with their community of followers, family and friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.Bloggers are encouraged to help drive visitors to this website through the use of entries and social media posts.

"This is a critical and historic time for stem cell research," said Peter Donovan, Ph.D., director, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine. "The act of simply raising awareness about this research is one of the best things people can do to help accelerate the process."

Researchers have been working diligently to unlock the potential of stem cells and have made significant strides since the discovery of a method to grow and duplicate human stem cells less than 15 years ago. Their efforts to develop cures for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, as well as traumatic brain injuries and paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries are moving forward at a rapid pace.

For more information visit http://www.stemcellsofferhope.com.

About the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine: The Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine is one of the largest most technologically advanced stem cell research facilities in the world. The center was established in 2010 in part through a $10 million gift from Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of international investment firm PIMCO, and his wife Sue. For more than 40 years, its team of scientists and multiple research and graduate assistants have worked to unlock the potential of stem cells for treating and curing an estimated 70 major diseases and disorders. The research center has devised new methods for growing stems cells that are 100 percent more effective than previous techniques. Other advances have led to the world's first clinical trial of a human neural stem cell-based therapy for chronic spinal cord injury and the first FDA-approved clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells. The embryonic stem cells are produced from embryos donated for research purposes during fertility treatments. These cells would otherwise be destroyed. For more information, visit stemcell.uci.edu.

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Educate, Inform & Inspire Global Awareness by Sharing 'Stem Cells Offer Hope'

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Therapeutic impact of cell transplantation aided by magnetic factor

Public release date: 24-Sep-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: David Eve celltransplantation@gmail.com Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair

Putnam Valley, NY. (Sept. 24, 2012) Two studies in the current issue of Cell Transplantation (21:6), now freely available on-line at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/, demonstrate how the use of magnetic particles are a factor that can positively impact on the targeted delivery of transplanted stem cells and to also provide better cell retention.

A research team from the University of British Columbia used focused magnetic stem cell targeting to improve the delivery and transport of mensenchymal stem cells to the retinas of test rats while researchers from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute (Los Angeles) injected magnetically enhanced cardiac stem cells to guide the cells to their target to increase cell retention and therapeutic benefit in rat models of ischemic/reperfusion injury.

According to study co-author Dr. Kevin Gregory-Evans, MD, PhD, of the Centre for Macular Degeneration at the University of British Columbia, degeneration of the retina - the cause of macular degeneration as well as other eye diseases - accounts for most cases of blindness in the developed world. To date, the transplantation of mensenchymal stem cells to the damaged retina has had "limited success" because the cells reaching the retina have been in "very low numbers and in random distribution."

Seeking to improve stem cell transplantation to the retina, the researchers magnetized rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). Via an externally placed magnet, they directed the SPION enhanced cells to the peripheral retinas of the test animals.

"Our results showed that large numbers of blood-borne magnetic MSCs can be targeted to specific retinal locations and produce therapeutically useful biochemical changes in the target tissue," explained Gregory-Evans. "Such an approach would be optimal in focal tissue diseases of the outer retina, such as age-related macular degeneration."

Contact:

Dr. Kevin Gregory-Evans, Centre for Macular Research, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2550 Willow St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5Z 3N9 Tel. + 1-604-671-0419 Fax. + 1-604-875-4663 Email: kge30@interchange.unc.ca

Citation: Yanai, A.; Hfeli, U. O.; Metcalfe, A. L.; Soema, P.; Addo, L.; Gregory-Evans, C. Y.; Po, K.; Shan, X.; Moritz, O. L.; Gregory-Evans, K. Focused Magnetic Stem Cell Targeting to the Retina Using Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles. Cell Transplant. 21(6):1137-1148; 2012.

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Therapeutic impact of cell transplantation aided by magnetic factor

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BIO Announces Therapeutic Workshops for 11th Annual BIO Investor Forum

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announces Therapeutic Workshops on Cancer stem cell therapy, kinase drugs, and ultra rare diseases planned for the upcoming BIO Investor Forum. Hosted by BIO, the 11th annual event will take place at the Palace Hotel on October 9-10 in San Francisco, Calif.

This years Therapeutic Workshops will address some of the most exciting therapeutic advances for the biotech industry. We have worked very closely with this years esteemed Advisory Committee to identify topics that will engage investors and industry alike, said Alan Eisenberg, executive vice president, Emerging Companies & Business Developmentat BIO.

Therapeutic Workshops will feature senior-level industry executives, scientific officers and leading clinical experts that represent innovative investment opportunities in the biotech industry.

Therapeutic Workshops include:

The BIO Investor Forum features public and venture-stage company presentations, expert-led, business roundtables, one-on-one investor meetings and networking opportunities.

To learn more about the BIO Investor Forum, including registration and program information, please visit here. Advance media registration is available here. Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the media and qualified investors.

BIO is pleased to recognize the leadership provided by the BIO Investor Forum Conference sponsors including Supporting Bank Stifel, Nicolaus & Company. BIO Double Helix and Helix Sponsors include Abbott Biotech Ventures, Amgen Ventures, Baxter Ventures, J&J Development Corporation, MedImmune Ventures, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Pfizer.

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the worlds largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtechNOW, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling innovations transforming our world. Subscribe to BIOtechNOW.

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BIO Announces Therapeutic Workshops for 11th Annual BIO Investor Forum

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