Stem cell good news: novel cancer work, new CA bills, Alzheimer’s, & more pubs

stem cells alzheimer's
Graphical abstract of van der Kant, et al. Cell Stem Cell 2019. Article mentioned at the bottom of this blog post.

There’s nothing like stem cell good news and interesting publications to perk one up on a Monday. Enjoy.

What recent papers have struck you as exciting?

Novel stem cell-based cancer approaches (Part 1)

It was exciting when Fate Therapeutics got the first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) IND in the U.S. for their IPSC-derived natural killer cell (NK) product. Now in another milestone the first patient has received the investigational NK therapy at UC San Diego. From UCSD, “After 10 years in remission, Derek Ruff’s cancer returned, this time as stage IV colon cancer. Despite aggressive rounds of chemotherapy, palliative radiotherapy and immunotherapy, his disease progressed. In February 2019, as part of a phase I clinical trial at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Ruff became the first patient in the world to be treated for cancer with a human-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell therapy called FT500.” This is very good news!

Novel stem cell-based cancer approach (Part 2)

On another IPSC front, a big biotech development also is encouraging on the cancer fight. From the PR, “Leaps by Bayer, the investment arm of the global life sciences company Bayer, and Khloris Biosciences, a biotechnology company, announced today that they have joined forces to develop novel, first-in-class anti-cancer vaccines based on human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This technology has the potential to address one of today’s biggest issues in human health: to prevent and cure cancer.”

A tale of two new positive California stem cell bills.

Our state passed Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, which pioneered stem cell research for spinal cord injury. A new bill, AB214, would give this unique research program $5 million in additional funding. I predict it will pass. Roman is one of the top stem cell advocates in the world and was the first recipient of The Niche’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award.

California is a leader in a stem cell research in the U.S. and the world, but it is also leading the way on stem cell-related legislation. We were the first state to pass a law aiming to help patients better understand what they are getting into with stem cell clinics. Now a new bill, AB617, would more rigorously oversee stem cell clinics in our state. Hopefully, this legislation will become law and California can continue to lead the way amongst states trying to deal with stem cell clinics.

Some notable pubs and news:

Cool exosome one led by Johnathon Anderson from right here at UC Davis by some friends and colleagues. Primed mesenchymal stem cells package exosomes with metabolites associated with immunomodulation.

IPSC modeling Alzheimer’s. Inhibiting the accumulation of cholesterol in iPSC-derived neurons prevents the accumulation of both β-amyloid and tau. See the original Cell Stem Cell article here from Larry Goldstein’s lab at UCSD and graphical abstract image above from that van der Kant, et al. paper.

Towards universal stem cells. Targeted Disruption of HLA Genes via CRISPR-Cas9 Generates iPSCs with Enhanced Immune Compatibility. See also this recent relevant post on other efforts in this area.

Japan Significantly Relaxes Its Human-Animal Chimeric Embryo Research Regulations

Concise Review: Human‐Animal Neurological Chimeras: Humanized Animals or Human Cells in an Animal?

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