Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stem Cell Advance Yields Over 140 Cell Types From Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Acorda Therapeutics Signs GGF2 Manufacturing Agreement with CMC ICOS
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
Acorda’s lead clinical product, Fampridine-SR, is in Phase 3 clinical trials to evaluate its safety and efficacy to improve walking ability in people with ...
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BHP tops the board on talk of Chinese-backed stalker - United Kingdom
The company said the drug, which was being used for multiple sclerosis central neuropathic pain, had a "very high patient response rate" but there was also ...
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Icahn Sues Biogen For Documents On Failed Sale Process - USA
... by detailing the process and alluding that the difficulty in assessing controversial multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri was a key factor for interested buyers.
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Click on photo to enlarge
Daily Journal - Seneca,SC,USA
Pelfrey said improved medicine, like Tysabri, has helped fuel his progress. Unlike past prescriptions Tysabri doesn’t make him feel sluggish. ...
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UPDATE 1-Icahn files suit to gain access to Biogen records
Reuters - USA
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen is one of the world's biggest biotechnology companies and maker of the multiple sclerosis drugs Avonex and Tysabri. ...
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Songs of the One-Drug Wonders
Motley Fool - USA
After Tysabri was pulled from the market in 2005, Elan's (NYSE: ELN) stock lost around 90% of its value, but the Irish drugmaker fought back and got the ...
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Increasing positive experiences decreases depression symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis
News-Medical-Net Wed, 09 Apr 2008 3:53 PM PDT
Depression is prevalent among people living with chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Although most people with MS live normal lives, they must manage symptoms and treatments that cause increased emotional and psychological stress on a daily basis.

New Wesley Research Institute Study Aims To Halt The Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis
Medical News Today Wed, 09 Apr 2008 3:16 AM PDT
A new research study being conducted at The Wesley Research Institute (WRI) aims to stop the progression of early active stage Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in its tracks.There are currently more than 2.5 million people worldwide with MS, a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system.
Caffeine prevents multiple sclerosis-like disease in mice
News-Medical-Net Tue, 08 Apr 2008 8:53 PM PDT
Mice given caffeine equivalent to a human drinking six to eight cups of coffee a day were protected from developing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for the human disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS), according to researchers at Cornell University.
Drug trial casts doubt over cannabis-based painkiller for MS sufferers
Daily Mail Wed, 09 Apr 2008 0:42 AM PDT
A cannabis-based painkiller has performed little better than a dummy drug in trials, raising doubts about its effectiveness in treating multiple sclerosis. Sativex, which contains THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is being used as a painkiller by around 1,400 MS sufferers in Britain

Stem Cell Advance Yields Over 140 Cell Types From Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Main Category: Stem Cell Research
Also Included In: Genetics
Article Date: 03 Apr 2008 - 12:00 PDTA team of North American scientists has unveiled a new technology that could revolutionize the industrialization and commercialization of stem cell therapies. Since the first isolation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998, researchers have struggled to find a means to isolate purified populations of the many hundreds of medically-relevant cell types. Scalability has therefore been a major barrier for development of therapies on a population scale.
While there have been occasional reports that individual cell types have been generated from hES cells, such cells have often been generated in small quantities, not useful on an industrial scale. Research published this week in Regenerative Medicine, reports on a new technology that yields over 140 previously uncharacterized cell types, many on an industrial scale. This advance holds great promise for future research and may one day lead to many new cell-based therapies in the emerging field of regenerative medicine.
In a paper titled "The ACTCellerate Initiative: large-scale combinatorial cloning of novel human embryonic stem cell derivatives", a team led by Dr Michael D. West, now CEO, BioTime, Inc and Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley, along with collaborators at Advanced Cell Technology, the Burnham Institute, Ontario Cancer Institute, and the University of California, San Francisco demonstrated that primitive precursors of the many body cell types have an unpredicted ability to be propagated from a single cell, leading to the clonal expansion of these embryonic progenitor cell types. A careful genome-wide analysis of gene expression showed evidence that the "Zip code" that the developing body uses to place cells in their proper location in the body is preserved in these cells, giving researchers a means to make cell types from a single location in the body.
Another important finding in this publication is that these highly purified cell types show that primitive embryonic cell types show the expression of genes generally associated with malignant cancer. However, when used in this highly purified form, no malignant tumors could be observed when the cells were injected into mice.
Dr Chris Mason (UCL), Associate Editor of Regenerative Medicine said, "This is an enormously exciting development for the regen sector. The research reported by Dr West and his team represents a quantum leap forward in embryomics, the mapping and characterization of the cells of early human development. Without any doubt, the ACTCellerate technology will greatly hasten the translation of human embryonic stem cell-based therapies into safe and effective products for routine clinical practice ".
"The demonstration that combinatorial cloning can lead to numerous and diverse purified cell types opens the door strategies to map the human embryome. This roadmap is critical to the clinical application of the emerging field of regenerative medicine", said Dr. West.
The full report and complete gene expression for all the new cell types will appear in the April issue of Regenerative Medicine (Vol. 3[3] e-pub ahead of print) and will be freely available at
Future Medicine


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