BIOTECH NEWS

Stem Cell Heart Failure Treatment Advances

Posted by ASHLEY LEE on Jul 11, 2014 9:23:00 AM

Stem cells grown under low oxygen. These stem cells from Stemedica are licensed to Cardio Cell. - Stemedica

CardioCell, a San Diego stem cell company, has started a Phase 2a trial of its treatment for chronic heart failure.

The company's special stem cells will be injected into patients with heart failure not caused by a heart attack. (*Difference Between Heart Failure and Heart Attack) Nearly 2 million Americans have that kind of heart failure. 

CardioCell is also testing these stem cells on heart attack patients to help their recovery. The cells are licensed from Stemedica, CardioCell's parent company.

Taken from bone marrow, the stem cells produce chemicals intended to heal malfunctioning heart cells. They are grown under low oxygen conditions, or hypoxia. CardioCell says hypoxia reflects the conditions under which natural stem cells exist. Histogen, also of San Diego, is developing its own kind of low-oxygen stem cells.

Growing stem cells with abundant oxygen reduces their "stemness," and they become prone to differentiate, said Sergey Sikora, CardioCell's president and chief executive.

More than 20 patients are being sought to take part in the study, which is taking place at three locations. These are Emory University in Atlanta, Northwestern University in Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Patients will receive injections of the stem cells, and a control group will receive a saline injection. After 90 days, the groups will be reversed. Patients who had received the stem cells will get a saline injection, and the control group will get the stem cells. 

The stem cells last for about a month, after which they disappear, Sikora said.

More information on the CardioCell trials is available on CardioCell's web site.

The clinical trial process usually consists of three main phases. Phase 1 trials concentrate on assessing safety, although evidence of efficacy is sometimes detected. Phase 2 marks the midpoint of the clinical trial process, which test for safety and efficacy.

Phase 2 trials continue safety testing, but include specific goals or endpoints to determine efficacy. In the case of heart failure, caused by inadequate blood-pumping ability, efficacy means an increased ability to contract and pump blood. Phase 3 trials typically includes a larger number of patients, to give more precise measurements of safety and efficacy.

After completing the stages, regulators may approve the treatment, reject it, or ask for more studies to be completed. Regulators may also ask for Phase 4 monitoring even after a drug is approved, to determine its effects in patient groups, and any long-range side effects.

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Topics: Stem Cell Research, Stem Cell Treatment on Heart Failure, San Diego Stem Cell Development

World's largest genetic sequencing center in San Diego

Posted by ARTURO ZAPATA on Mar 5, 2014 12:07:00 PM

La Jolla researcher J. Craig Venter is opening the largest genetic sequencing center in the world, the latest chapter of his historic, lifelong quest to identify the genes that affect people’s ability to live long, healthy lives.

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Topics: Genomic sequence for Alzheimer's disease treat, J. Craig Venter Institute, Genome sequencing for cardiovascular diseases, Human metabolome research project

Thermo Fisher Scientific Completes Acquisition of Life Technologies

Posted by ARTURO ZAPATA on Feb 5, 2014 4:04:00 PM

Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Life Technologies Corporation for $76.13 in cash per fully diluted common share, or approximately $13.6 billion, plus the assumption of $1.5 billion in net debt. The completion of the transaction follows the receipt of all required regulatory approvals. 

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Topics: biochemical supplier AG Scientific, a.g.scientific news, Thermo Fisher Scientific

WHO's agency predicts annual cancer cases will rise 57%

Posted by ARTURO ZAPATA on Feb 5, 2014 11:36:00 AM

The WHO's cancer agency predicts that annual cancer cases will rise 57% (from 14 million to 22 million) within the next two decades. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012.

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Topics: Tumor cell multistage process, P13 K/Akt/mTOR signaling, pre-cancerous lesion, cellular repair mechanisms, lesion

Serotonin receptor structure determined

Posted by ARTURO ZAPATA on Jan 22, 2014 8:58:00 AM

The structure of a brain molecule regulating mood and appetite has been determined by a team led by Scripps Research Institute scientists.

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Topics: anti-depressants, appetite suppressant, weight-loss drugs, Scripps Research Institute Computational Biology, human serotonin receptor, GPCR technology

Orexigen gets anti-obesity drug decision

Posted by CHIP Lindgren on Jan 8, 2014 3:03:00 PM

Orexigen Therapeutics said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set June 10 as the deadline for a decision on whether to approve its weight loss drug, Contrave.

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Topics: Contrave weight loss drug, contrave opoid blocker, contrave anti-obesity

The Modified Vinblastine Is Even Better Than The Original

Posted by ASHLEY LEE on Sep 18, 2013 3:12:00 PM

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Create Extremely Potent and Improved New Derivatives of Successful Anticancer Drug


LA JOLLA, CA-September 16, 2013
-Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute(TSRI) have found a way to make dramatic improvements to the cancer cell-killing power of vinblastine, one of the most successful chemotherapy drugs of the past few decades. The team's modified versions of vinblastine showed 10 to 200 times greater potency than the clinical drug. Even more significantly, these new compounds overcome the drug resistance that emerges upon treatment relapse, which renders continued of subsequent vinblastine treatment ineffective in some patients.

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Topics: Anticancer agent modified vinblastine, vincristine, vinblastine synthesis, potential agent vinblastine for cancer research

Alternative Anticancer Drug Encourages The Immune System To FIGHT!

Posted by ANA CARRASCO on Sep 10, 2013 11:18:00 AM

The investigational antibody lambrolizumab (formerly known as MK-3475) demonstrated significant antitumor activity and good response rates as well as a tolerable toxicity profile in patients with melanoma, according to the results of an ongoing phase IB expansion study presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting.

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Topics: a.g.scientific news, UCLA, anti–PD-1, alternative therapy, Encourages The Immune System, cancer research, anticancer, cancer info, melanoma, antibody, cancer drugs

Is it possible for Antibodies to turn Stem Cells into Immune Cells?

Posted by Jannel Reyes on Sep 9, 2013 10:42:00 AM

Richard A. Lerner made his scientific reputation by unraveling novel characteristics and uses of antibodies, helping invent new tools in the process. Upon stepping down as president of The Scripps Research Institute at the beginning of 2012, Lerner didn't walk out the building with a golden test tube or petri dish. The self-proclaimed lab rat continued his work on his great scientific love, and has contributed to a remarkable series of papers of antibodies establishing their virtuosity in various cellular processes.

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Is the war against cancer winnable?

Posted by ASHLEY LEE on Aug 7, 2013 8:33:00 AM

Nobelist on Scripps board sees gains in treatment, understanding

GARY ROBBINS, U-T San Diego
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Topics: Prospect of Cancer Treatment, Targeting Cancer Cell Drug, Genomic Sequence for Cancer Treatment, Cancer Research Reagents