Category Archives: Medicine

ViroCarb’s anti HIV Crowd Funding Campaign

Toronto, Canada, December 01, 2014 — /EPR BIOTECH NEWS/ — ViroCarb Inc. has launched a worldwide crowd funding campaign to promote the development of its new HIV infection inhibitor.

WORLD AIDS DAY – Make a donation to save lives from AIDS! Support new treatment development at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/funding-a-new-therapy-against-drug-resistant-hiv/x/9240077

Despite the great progress made in HIV/AIDS treatment, there is still an urgent need for new drugs, particularly for people who have had to abandon existing treatments due to HIV drug resistance and side effects.

The current treatment of HIV/AIDS involves the use of three or more drugs from five main general classes, used in combination. While this antiretroviral therapy (ART) has helped to reduced morbidity and mortality from AIDS, long term toxicity and the emergence and transmission of drug resistant HIV strains limit the effectiveness. Thus, despite therapy which can render this a chronic, rather than acute fatal infection, development of new drugs to prevent infection and overcome drug resistant strains, is increasingly urgent.

ViroCarb Inc. is developing a novel technology that addresses infections by drug resistant HIV strains. Developed from the identification of a new, natural resistance factor against HIV infection by scientists at SickKids and Canadian Blood Services, ViroCarb’s inhibitor works against a previously overlooked target on the virus to block HIV from entering human cells, the very first step in the infection. It works against all HIV strains.

Funds are needed to aid in moving forward to support preclinical studies; therefore ViroCarb Inc. has started an international crown funding campaign to carry out these HIV model studies needed before conducting clinical trials.
Please support this new way to block HIV.

Contact-Details: Dr. Mario Huesca
479 Simonston Boulevard.
Thornhill ON.
L3T 4M4 Canada

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ViroCarb;
Website: http://www.virocarb.com

 

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Innovative Drug Discovery Business, Biosortia Pharmaceuticals, Lands Two Health Care Veterans

Kurt Dieck formerly SVP of Strategy and Business Execution at Cardinal Health, will lead early stage drug discovery business at Biosortia Pharmaceuticals. Dieck was named President and CEO in November 2012 and has quickly identified other key executives, including Dr. Guy Carter, former Natural Product head at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, as his Chief Science Officer. In conjunction, other collaboration partners have joined the team, including NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NCI (National Cancer Institute) and key universities, to strategically accelerate the development of novel drug leads in the therapeutic areas of cancer, infectious diseases, inflammation and neurological disorders. Biosortia Pharmaceuticals has seen promising early results with dozens of novel compounds having already been requested, and are under evaluation with NCI and Eli Lilly.

Dieck has spent nearly 30 years in healthcare, including 18 years at Arthur Andersen as a global equity partner and then 10 years with Cardinal Health, a Fortune 20 public company, as a senior executive; there he worked with a broad spectrum of partners, including brand pharmaceutical manufacturers, throughout the supply chain. Dr. Guy Carter has over 30 years of experience working in pharmaceutical R&D, primarily in the discovery and development of microbial natural products. He previously was the leader of natural products drug discovery at Wyeth Research, as head of the Chemical Technologies Department.

“Kurt and Guy make a great team. Their complementary Pharma experiences and backgrounds create great opportunities to accelerate Biosortia’s objective to become the premier, aquatic natural products company with a primary focus in drug discovery,” says Ross Youngs, Biosortia’s Founder and Chairman. “Kurt and Guy bring a wealth of research and business experience along with deep industry relationships in building successful Pharma partnerships. Everyone involved with this young biotech is excited about the future.”

Industry observers have commented that late-stage R&D pipelines are not providing Pharma with the desired revenue growth the market is expecting. Therefore, large Pharma is evolving the way it performs R&D in order to optimize efficiency and to boost patent cliff defenses. These changes require shifting from relying solely on in-house chemistry-based R&D to acquiring and licensing external technologies and natural products based compounds in various stages of development. Biosortia’s ability to supply novel, highly active and potent compounds with drug-like characteristics will increase the productivity and success rate for Pharma as well as reduce the overall cost of the discovery process. The cost to discover, develop and launch a new drug is estimated to reach nearly $3B per drug by 2015. Biosortia’s business model is designed specifically to support Pharma’s needs.

“With nearly unlimited microorganisms (3.7 nonillion), the aquatic environment and its consortia represent an extraordinary opportunity…a new frontier, to access extremely potent and chemically diverse secondary metabolites with drug-like properties with unique mechanisms of action never researched before,” said Dieck. In describing the opportunity, Dieck goes on to say, “Biosortia is on the cutting edge of natural product discovery
and has the capabilities to deliver on its aspiration. Our powerful natural products research team, led by Dr. Guy Carter, in partnership with NOAA’s Dr. Peter Moeller, a leader in aquatic natural products research, has the experience and know-how to decipher the complex unexplored environment in a very efficient manner leveraging all the current state of the art instrumentation. The need for more efficient and effective approaches to drug discovery has never been more important. Biosortia’s innovative technologies, deep research skills and key relationships will efficiently provide thousands of unique natural products as candidates for drug discovery at a time when Pharma is in critical need for “high quality shots on goal.”

“Aquatic microbial consortia are a rich source of metabolically active organisms including microalgae, bacteria, fungi and their secondary metabolites,” states Carter. “Owing to the competitive nature of their habitat, chemical investigations of microbial consortia reveal unique structurally diversified natural products that are responsible for signaling and self-defense that have potential as therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. Since they have been pre-optimized by nature, these compounds are typically closer to a drug candidate than a synthetic lead, thus requiring less optimization and shorter time when found as ‘hits’ in screening programs.”

The team has also focused on agreements with strategic collaboration partners as vital components to the strategy. Biosortia has recently entered into several collaboration agreements with NOAA, Analyticon and exclusive harvesting relationships, just to name a few. Several others will be advanced by the end of January. Biosortia’s cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with NOAA’s Center for Human Health Risk at Hollings Marine Laboratory provides a 5-year framework for research and development regarding the analysis and purification of novel bioactive compounds. According to NOAA’s Technology Partnerships Office, “Success will result in the commercial development of new and unique chemical compounds from the sea which have benefits to human health, either through disease prevention or new treatments for disease.”

Dr. Peter Moeller, NOAA’s Research Scientist who leads the Toxins Natural Products Program stated after analyzing fractions of Biosortia’s biomass, “Coupling NOAA’s mission of characterizing toxins affecting environmental and/or human health with Biosortia’s drug discovery focus turns one man’s toxin into another’s chemotherapeutic. The microorganisms analyzed in the Biosortia biomass identified more unique activity than I have seen in my 30 year career. The volumes achieved from a single harvest delivered an equivalent of 30 years of accumulation. This could materially change the landscape for natural products drug discovery research.”

As of December 31, 2012, Biosortia has identified more than 30 bioactive candidate compounds (hits) from a fresh water eutrophic lake consortium. Therapeutic areas of focus include treatments for cancer, infectious diseases, inflammation and neurological disorders. In addition, more than a dozen of its patent protected compounds are in initial evaluation stage within Eli Lilly’s Open Innovation Drug Discovery Program.

Dieck states, “Looking forward, it is with great optimism. We have a great team built around mutual respect, deep experience, and a desire to succeed and make a difference. We are aligning with the right partners and collaborators to execute our strategy with speed and discipline to provide Pharma with much high quality & diverse compounds vs. “me-too” drugs than they have had in the past 10 years. We are excited about what this company can accomplish, not only for its shareholders but also for the millions of people who have been diagnosed with various forms of chronic diseases who are looking for Pharma to identify better ways to help them extend their lives or live a more productive life. Biosortia can play a big role in identifying compounds that can help Pharma achieve these goals. I am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to build an industry leading drug discovery company.”

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Sprint Bioscience Strengthens Its Cancer Metabolism Portfolio

Sprint Bioscience, a Swedish company developing oncology therapeutics targeting cancer metabolism, announced today that it has raised money to strengthen its drug discovery portfolio.

The investment by Första Entreprenörsfonden and Almi Invest will enable the company to continue to build a pipeline of drug discovery projects within cancer metabolism.

“We are investing in Sprint Bioscience because we consider their entrepreneurial drive and their particular skills in drug development to be key success factors for the changing environment of the future pharmaceutical industry. Sprint Bioscience’s business strategy involves out-licensing or collaborating at an early stage of drug discovery to ensure that projects are developed with a focus on current and relevant market needs,” says Rune Nordlander, partner at Första Entreprenörsfonden.

Sprint Bioscience is a company founded by experienced drug hunters with an ambition to improve the drug discovery process. “We believe in small organisations with effective working procedures and collaborations throughout the sector,” says the company’s CEO and co-founder, Dr. Anders Åberg.

“Sprint Bioscience has developed an efficient, fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) platform that can take parallel projects from initial idea to active molecules tested in cell-based systems in a very short time” Anders Åberg continues. Our goal is to align the early phase in the laboratory with pharmaceutical companies’ needs.

Targeting the metabolism in tumours provides exciting opportunities to develop drug therapies with novel mechanisms of action. This could be used to overcome the resistance that many cancer cells develop to current treatments.

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GenQual Announces Initial Closing Of Its First Preferred Equity Funding Round

GenQual is pleased to announce initial closing of its first preferred equity round. Financial terms were not disclosed. This inaugural funding round allows GenQual to pursue proof-of-principle testing for its companion diagnostic approach for IL-6 mAb and other JAK/STAT inhibitors for autoimmune diseases and oncology indications. GenQual aims to prospectively identify responders for clinical-stage therapeutics to improve drug trial response rates and improve chances for drug approval. The round remains open for further funding.

GenQual Founder and CEO Jonathan Mirich said, “This funding round allows GenQual to pursue its business development goals to deliver companion diagnostics for very expensive IL-6 monoclonal antibody treatment for autoimmune disease, chiefly rheumatoid arthritis, as well as certain oncology indications. It allows us to extend collaborative agreements for proof-of-principle testing. We are very excited about the possibilities in this space.”

About GenQual
GenQual develops proprietary biomarker diagnostics for autoimmune and oncology indications. Our personalized medicine products are designed to facilitate early disease detection and diagnosis, and to improve treatment approaches at the molecular level. GenQual is a privately-held corporation based in the Seattle area.

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Michigan Institute of Urology, P. C. to Perform Clinical Trial Using Cellay, Inc’s Same Day OligoFISH® Probes for Prostate Cancer

St. Clair Shores, Michigan and Cambridge, Massachusetts – Michigan Institute of Urology, P. C. (MIU) and Cellay, Inc. today announced that MIU will exclusively perform a clinical trial for prostate cancer using Cellay’s Same Day OligoFISH® probe panel. Data from this trial will be included in Cellay’s premarket approval (PMA) application for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This novel, non-invasive screening test is designed to detect chromosomal abnormalities in prostate cells obtained in a urine sample after a digital rectal exam. This investigational use test uses fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technology to detect chromosome gains and losses which have been associated with prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males in the United States, and there are approximately 200,000 new cases diagnosed annually and 38,000 deaths per year. However, due to inaccuracies of the current screening method, the PSA blood test, more than 600,000 invasive biopsies are performed annually. The ability to differentiate non-aggressive from aggressive, metast atic prostate cancers has been a continuous clinical and diagnostic challenge. Cellay expects that the clinical trial will demonstrate that its rapid non-invasive, Same Day OligoFISH® panels will improve diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment using a cost effective, patient friendly assay.

Alphonse M. Santino, M.D., CEO and a Founder of MIU, noted, “MIU is pleased to be the exclusive clinical trial site for Cellay’s Same Day OligoFISH® probe panels for prostate cancer for its PMA submittal. Our relationship with Cellay reinforces our commitment to the people of Michigan to provide the most effective diagnosis and treatment for urological disorders and disease. This is an important relationship for us and our community, since African-Americans are 3.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than the rest of the male population. Moreover, this group presents with the aggressive type of prostate cancer at an earlier age with higher rates of mortality.”

“Cellay appreciates that MIU has committed to serve as exclusive site for the clinical trial of our Same Day OligoFISH® probe panels for prostate cancer. MIU’s physicians’ group is recognized as one of the nation’s premier urology practices and sets the standard for diagnosis and treatment of urologic disorders. Cellay welcomes MIU’s support and participation in this novel clinical trial,” said Ed O’Lear, President & CEO of Cellay.

About Michigan Institute of Urology
As one of the oldest and largest sub-specialty Urology practices in Michigan, MIU is dedicated to providing its patients the most up to date, state of the art urologic care. Its specialists have joined MIU from the most respected research universities and hospitals in the United States.

About Cellay
Cellay is a privately held, manufacturer of Same Day OligoFISH® probes for high complexity, physician owned laboratories, which contract with Cellay to manufacture and supply individual probes or multiple probes of the laboratories’ choice pursuant to FDA and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulations. Cellay is registered with the FDA.

About FISH
FISH is an established cytogenetic technique that is used to detect and localize the presence or absence of specific DNA sequences on chromosomes. FISH uses fluorescent probes that bind to only those parts of the chromosome with which they show a high degree of sequence complementarity. Same Day OligoFISH® probes were introduced in 2007 and hybridize extremely fast with much higher analytical sensitivity and penetrability in cells and tissues than traditional probes.

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Investor Stem Cell Launches Online Discussion Community Dedicated To Stem Cell Investors: (OTC-ACTC) (NASDAQ-GERN) (AMEX-BTX) (NASDAQ:ATHX)

Investor Stem Cell (http://www.investorstemcell.com) is dedicated to bringing investors and stakeholders together in thoughtful discussion to educate and publicize the incredible medical advancements taking place in the regenerative medicine sector. Scientists are using stem cells both (hESC) and (iPSC) in hopes of easing the suffering of hundreds of millions of people world wide.

Our society is on the verge of a quantum leap moment in time thanks to regenerative medicine.

Regenerative medicine and Stem Cell research:

Utter those words at your next dinner party or casual gathering of friends and family. You will receive a concoction of half-truth’s and out right fallacy responses. Stem Cell research conjures images of futuristic Star–Trek like preservation chambers, human looking ears protruding oddly from the backs of mice, or worse yet an image of a late term fetus. Nothing could be farther from the truth when entering the reality of Regenerative medicine.

Never before has this area of research been more exciting and promising than right now. There is a medical revolution brewing, and like any revolution, there are those who want to suppress this uprising for continued personal and ideological gains. If we were to take all the major advances in the past 500 years of human medical history and multiply its effect by 10 fold it still would not compare to the paradigm shift in health care delivery that the world may witness in this decade using stem cells. Imagine that an $800,000 heart transplant is no longer needed and that instead the same money spent on one patient can now be stretched out to treat 20 patients who are needing a heart transplant. Is this what Regenerative medicine has in the offing? Only time will tell. Our healthcare system could very well be on the verge of a quantum leap moment thanks to regenerative medicine.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized 3 trials using human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in late 2010. Validation of hESC research efforts and the culmination of billions spent on research are coming to fruition. FDA validation for the treatments of spinal cord injury and age related macular degeneration is expected in 2011. It may be the shot heard around the world event sometime in late Q-4 2011 for the Regenerative medicine sector.

Find out more at http://www.investorstemcell.com, where investing is much more than charts and numbers.

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Cryo-Cell CEO Mercedes Walton Invites Women to Share Their Ideas on Self-Care and the Power of Stem Cells

Cryo-Cell International, Inc. a global leader in stem cell innovation, resolves to help women inspire and empower each other to take charge of their health in the New Year, and to spark conversations about the promise of stem cells.  The company will be accepting video entries for its “Resolution Revolution” contest through January 31, 2010, and details on the event can be found at www.celle.com/resolution.

“This time of year, we often make New Year’s resolutions to take better care of ourselves, but the dawn of a new decade is particularly poignant as we look ahead with hope and inspiration at the steps we can take,” said Mercedes Walton, CEO of Cryo-Cell International.  “Never in history have we experienced a time of such rapid advances with stem cells, including the use of menstrual blood stem cells and how they may help women protect their health” she added.  “Because women often look to each other for information and inspiration, we’re looking to empower them to spread the word through video about what the power of stem cells means to them.”

The C’elle service is the first and only one of its kind, empowering women to collect and cryo preserve stem cells from their menstrual flow.

Stem cells from menstrual blood are proven to be a rich source of stem cells which proliferate rapidly and have the ability to become many different types of cells such as cardiac, neural, bone, fat and cartilage.

These stem cells are a potential source for promising regenerative therapies to treat stroke, cardiac, diabetes, breast cancer, spinal cord injury, chronic wounds, Alzheimer’s and other debilitating diseases.

Since launching its proprietary service, the company continues to expand research and development initiatives worldwide in order to accelerate the potential diagnostic and therapeutic benefits of these unique stem cells. Cryo-Cell partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, where research is underway to better understand the C’elle stem cells and their potential benefit for the treatment of breast cancer.  It also has entered research and licensing agreements with several other organizations to identify potential future diagnostic and therapeutic uses for endometriosis and stress urinary incontinence in women and regenerative medicine specific to wound healing. In 2009, the service was licensed in China, Thailand and Brazil.

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Cord Blood: Saving For The Future

For an expectant mother, there are a million details to worry about and a lot of important decisions to be made.

Cord Blood: Saving For The Future

One of those decisions to be made is whether to bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood. Cord blood is valuable because it’s full of stem cells scientists and doctors can use in research and regenerative medicine.

Cord blood stem cells are the ones that are obtained from the newborn. They’re closest in age to being an embryonic stem cell without being an embryonic stem cell,” said David Harris, PhD with Cord Blood Registry.

When they’re stored properly in a bank, like one in Arizona, the stem cells can be used to replace other cells in our bodies that may be damaged or missing due to disease. But, you only have one chance to harvest them.

“At the time of delivery, before the placenta is delivered, we have a little bag with a needle and a tube, like an IV tubing, and we actually draw the blood out of the placenta into a prepared bag and that’s what you send in to the cord blood banking people,” said Dr. Lynn Frame.

But, Dr. Frame says very few of his patients actually do it because of the cost.

Most private cord blood banks charge more than $1,000 up front. Then, for every year you store the blood in one of their cryogenic tanks, it costs about $100. For 18 years of storage, it can add up to about $3,000.

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Scientist Uses Stem Cells To Repair Heart

Dr. Joshua Hare believes medicine is close to a goal long thought to be impossible: healing the human heart.

The way to get there? Stem cells.

“These could be as big as antibiotics were in the last century,” said Hare, who leads the University of Miami ‘s new Stem Cell Institute. “Stem cells have the potential to have that kind of impact. Diseases like heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, liver failure — we will be able to transition them into things you live with.”

Hare spends his days peering through powerful microscopes, recruiting scientists from top universities and attending to patients betting on improving their conditions through his clinical trials.

Stem cells, only one-thousandth the size of a grain of sand, are the master cells of the body, the source from which all other cells are created.

The most basic are embryonic stem cells, which are “totipotent,” meaning they can divide into any other type of cell — heart tissue, brain tissue, kidney tissue — all 220 cells that exist in the human body. They’re controversial because when they are harvested, the embryo is destroyed, ending potential life.

But coming into view are new kinds of stem cells — immature adult stem cells that can be extracted from bone marrow, from organs such as the heart or kidney or even from the skin. These can be taken without destroying embryos.

While researchers until recently believed adult stem cells were limited because they could develop only into cells similar to them — bone marrow cells only into cord blood stem cells, for example — evidence is growing that they, too, may become the tissue for hearts, brains, kidneys and other organs.

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Will Intra-Osseous Injection of Umbilical Cord Blood Reduce Graft Failures?

Researchers from Italy have reported that the injection of umbilical cord blood directly into the pelvic bones of patients with leukemia appears promising. These results were recently published in an early online publication of the Lancet Oncology on August 9, 2008.

Transplantation of bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells, and umbilical cord blood is accomplished by intravenous infusion. The original studies of human bone marrow transplantation were carried out by direct infusion into bone marrow spaces. However, this approach was abandoned as there was no advantage in speed or rate of engraftment over intravenous infusion. Since these early days of transplantation, there have been sporadic attempts to evaluate intra-osseous infusion of stem cells, but no advantage over intravenous infusion was ever found. The reason for this is thought to be that direct infusion of stem cells into the marrow cavity is in fact identical to intra-arterial or intra-venous infusion, and most stem cells enter the general circulation before homing into marrow spaces throughout the body.

Umbilical cord blood transplantation is associated with relatively high graft failure rates thought to be due to the relatively low dose of stem cells in each collection. Researchers have suggested that the infusion of stem cells from two separate cord blood collections alleviates the graft failure problem. However, Italian researches have posed the question of whether or not intra-osseous infusion would be better.

The current trial evaluated direct infusion of umbilical cord blood into the pelvic bones. This trial included 32 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 12 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL); median age was 36 years. Overall, 14 patients had advanced-stage disease that did not respond to standard therapies, and no patient had a suitable donor for the stem cell transplant.

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Now, Women Can Bank On ‘Monthly Miracle’ For Future Treatment

Women in the city will soon have the option of banking their menstrual blood so that menstrual blood stem cells can be used for treatment of serious disorders through stem cell therapy.

In six months, Life Cell International, in technology partnership with Cryo-Cell International, will set up the facility, which will be the first to store menstrual blood in the country.

Cryo-Cell, which has patented technology to decontaminate samples, started menstrual blood banks in the US last year, and other countries are yet to catch up. Cryo-Cell calls it ‘your monthly miracle’. The endometrium-lining of the uterus regenerates every month, suggesting the presence of stem cells. However, there is no published scientific work on the curative properties of such cells.

Stem cells have the ability to regenerate themselves through cell division and act as a repair system for the body. Research on stem cells provides knowledge about how healthy cells replace damaged ones in adults, leading to the possibility of cell-based therapy to treat diseases.

“Menstrual blood contains millions of stem cells that have many properties and characteristics similar to those of stem cells found in bone marrow and embryos. These stem cells exhibit capabilities for self-renewal and multi-potency,” says LifeCell International executive director Mayur Abhaya. Stem cell research hopes to find answers to problems such as cardiac and degenerative diseases, besides cancer.

The women would be given a collection kit comprising a menstrual cup and collection tubes. The blood would be processed and preserved in liquid nitrogen at extremely low temperatures.

Though the Chennai bank has not decided on the rates, it hopes registration will cost less than that charged for preserving cord blood. At present, the bank, which has stored over 13,000 samples of cord blood at a facility near Chennai, charges Rs 41,100 for collection, processing and storage of the blood for the first year. From the second, the client pays an annual fee of Rs 3,500 to preserve the blood for two decades.

The biggest advantage of menstrual blood, according to LifeCell chief scientific officer Dr Ajit Kumar, is that it can be easily harvested in a painless, non-invasive manner. “And it also extends the scope of stem cell therapy to a larger section of the people. Cord blood is an option open to only those who are pregnant or those planning babies,” he says.

At a time when legal restrictions on collection of embryonic stem cells have been stymieing research, the option to save menstrual blood is a boon because these cells have similar properties to that of cord blood, he adds.

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New Transplant Therapy, Shift in Drug Discovery

On August 23-25, 2010, industry scientists, CEOs, and academics will convene at Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel for the “Ubiquitin Drug Discovery and Diagnostics Conference” to discuss the Next Big Thing in drug discovery research—the ubiquitin pathway. Advances in oncology, infectious diseases, neurodegeneration, inflammation, diabetes, and muscle wasting will be covered.

New Transplant Therapy, Shift in Drug Discovery

A pathway is a sequence of reactions converting one molecule into another. Ubiquitin, which is a small protein, is used often to mark larger proteins within a cell for breakdown. This pathway plays fundamental roles in human health and disease; many human pathologies have been linked to changes in ubiquitin pathway enzymes. Attracting experts in this growing field, the three-day conference is unique in its focus on drug discovery within the ubiquitin pathway.

Rejection hurts; but for the recipient of organ donation, rejection can be fatal. New combination therapies for treating antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in transplant patients are possible, thanks in part to manipulation of the ubiquitin pathway.

When a transplant recipient’s body rejects donor tissue, the recipient’s plasma cells, which typically fight off infection, are in fact the aggressors in the attack. Dr. Woodle suggests stalling the proteasome (or “cellular waste-bin”) via the ubiquitin pathway (or “cellular tagging and shipping information hub”) thereby depleting plasma cells and treating rejection. Dr. Woodle will present his latest findings during the final conference session.

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Stem Cells From Menstrual Blood May Benefit Stroke Patients

Cryo-Cell International, Inc. today announced results of a study published [this month] in the cover article of Stem Cells and Developmentshowing that stem cells found in menstrual blood may one day be a potential source for stem cell therapies in stroke and other central nervous system disorders. Menstrual stem cells, known as MenSCs, offer an easily accessible, non-controversial and renewable stem cell source with the potential to one day treat a host of diseases, such as stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, according to a number of early studies. The study, entitled “Menstrual Blood Cells Display Stem Cell-Like Phenotypic Markers and Exert Neuroprotection Following Transplantation in Experimental Stroke,” was conducted by researchers at Cryo-Cell International, the University of South Florida , Saneron-CCEL Therapeutics and the Medical College of Georgia.

Stem Cells From Menstrual Blood May Benefit Stroke Patients

Because the cell damage after an initial stroke episode occurs over an extended time, treatment strategies directed at quickly rescuing these nerve cells have the potential to slow the disease progression and possibly restore nerve function. In this study, researchers found that transplantation of MenSCs, either directly into the brain or peripherally, significantly reduced behavioral and histological abnormalities, suggesting that the MenSCs had a protective effect on brain cells, averting further apoptosis, or cell death, and potentially reversing the neural trauma experienced during a stoke.

“The data shows immediate behavioral recovery at an early period after transplantation although the exact mechanism underlying the neural benefits of MenSCs remains unknown,” said lead researcher Cesar V Borlongan Ph.D., Professor and Vice-Chair of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida Health . “ We do know that several trophic factors have been identified post transplant that may potentially point to a secretion of therapeutic substances from MenScs versus one of cell replacement. Equally important, is that there was no instance of complications or negative effects such as detectable tumor, ectopic formation or overt graft-versus-host in any of the transplanted animals.”

During the study, the investigators analyzed shed menstrual blood and tissue to identify MenSCs. The samples were obtained using a menstrual cup and transferred to a laboratory for processing and cryopreservation. After inducing a simulated stroke (oxygen glucose deprivation, OGD) on adult rats, the researchers injected the rats withmenstrual blood –derived stem cells and found that those who were exposed to MenSCs exhibited a significantly reduced death rate. Behavioral assessments of motor coordination and neurological function were performed on the rats 14 days after stroke-transplantation and indicated improvements in both motor and neurological abnormalities.

“Compared to other stem cell sources, such as bone marrow and umbilical cord blood , MenSCs are harvested from a readily available and renewable source of adult mesenchymal stem cells. These novel and highly prolific stem cells are easily obtained using non-invasive methodology and create the potential for matched cell transplantations in large scale clinical trials,” said Julie Allickson, Ph.D., study investigator and Vice President, Laboratory Operations, Research and Development at Cryo-Cell International, Inc.

The benefits of stem cells derived from menstrual blood were first indicated in a study sponsored by Cryo-Cell that was published in Cell Transplantation in April 2008. That study demonstrated that MenSCs are stromal stem cells, meaning they have the capability to differentiate into important cells, such as such as bone, cartilage, fat, nerve and cardiogenic cells.

“Stroke is the third leading cause of death and disability in U.S. adults,” said Mercedes A. Walton, Cryo-Cell’s Chairman and CEO . “According to the American Heart Association, stroke will cost almost $68.9 billion in both direct and indirect healthcare costs in 2009. In view of these statistics, we are clearly encouraged by research study results that demonstrate significant promise for the development of regenerative medicine therapies to potentially treat and manage the debilitating conditions caused by stroke and possibly other neurological disorders.”

The Celle SM service is based on Cryo-Cell’s expansive IP technology portfolio and was introduced in November, 2007 as the first and only service that empowers women to collect and cryopreserve menstrual flow containing undifferentiated adult stem cells for future utilization by the donor or possibly first-degree relatives in a manner similar toumbilical cord blood stem cells. Based on the continued success of MenSCs in the research setting, Cryo-Cell is actively expanding its portfolio of research collaborations with world renowned scientists committed to study this novel stem cell population for a broad range of regenerative therapeutic development.

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Maastricht University And PharmaCell Publish Results On Possible Improved Immune

In a collaborative publication in the prestigious journal Blood that appears this week, PharmaCell BV, the Maastricht University, Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Switzerland and the Research Center for Allergy and Immunology in Japan present data on a novel approach to improve treatment of acute leukemia patients. In a study that received a grant from the Dutch governmental organization SenterNovem, the consortium has shown that hematopoetic stem cells, commonly used in the treatment of those patients, can be cultured such that they show clear signs of an improved capacity to repair the immune system.

Maastricht University And PharmaCell Publish Results On Possible Improved Immune

Patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia can be cured by hematopoetic stem cell transplantation, but many viral or bacterial infections occur after the treatment and are life threathening. The protocol developed by the consortium can potentially reduce the period after treatment that the patient is susceptible to such opportunistic infections.

The proposed treatment may greatly reduce morbidity and mortality in those patients. In the study that was conducted in mice, it was found that the stem cells treated with their protocol quickly migrated specifically to the thymus and matured there into effector cells of the immune system. Further research is needed to delineate the precise mechanism of action and to prepare the technique for application in patients.

Alexander Vos, CEO of PharmaCell comments: “The outcome of this projects shows the strength of consortia in which academia collaborates with industry. It has enabled us to keep a focus towards clinical application in a research project that had fundamental questions. As a company that focuses on the development and production of cell therapies, this research fitted very well in our profile. We are very pleased with the collaboration as well as with the outcome. PharmaCell intends to closely follow future developments in this project and will expertly support future clinical application of this cell therapeutic application where possible.”

Dr. Gerard Bos, who together with Dr. Wilfred Germeraad,is the lead investigator of the Division of Heamatology, Department of Internal Medicine of the Maastricht University Medical Center+ announces: “We believe that the potential of this technique to improve patient care is high. Further research is needed before application in patients is possible, but we feel very confident about that. The research has been carried out by a very strong international group of scientist and the results are convincing. We are looking forward to further developing the method.”

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More Biotech press releases

Welcome to EPR Biotech News

EPR Biotech News is a new blog, part of EPR Network, that is going to be focused on and will be covering the biotech news and stories from press releases published on EPR Network.

EPR Network (EPR stands for express press release) is one of the nation’s largest press release distribution networks on Web. The EPR’s nationwide network includes 12 State based PR sites, one major PR forum and a number of industry specific PR blogs and what started as a hobby on Internet years ago turned out to be a rapidly growing business today. EPR Network is also known as one of the most trusted (human optimized, published, edited and monitored, spam/scam/low quality PR content free) PR sites on the web with more than 10,000 company and individual press releases distributed per month. EPR Network is putting your press releases on top of all major search engines’ results and is reaching thousands of individuals, companies, PR specialists, media professionals, bloggers and journalists every day.

EPR Network has thousands of clients around the world including global 500 corporations like Hilton Hotels, Barclays Bank, AXA Insurance, Tesco UK, eBay/Skype, Emirates, just to name a few. The network’s PR web sites are currently reaching from 150,000 to sometimes 500,000 unique visitors per month while our viral reach could possibly go to as much as 1M people per month through our presence across various social media sites. EPR Network was established in 2004 and as of May 2008 it had more than 800,000 press releases (pages) published on its network.

If you have a press release to be distributed, you can do it over here: press release distribution