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Archive for the ‘Cardiac Stem Cells’ Category

Next Generation: The Heart Camera

A new camera system allows researchers to measure multiple cardiac signals at once to understand how they interact to control heart function.

THE DEVICE: A complex interplay of signals governs the hearts rhythm. Voltage changes and calcium flux are both important in controlling heart muscle function, with each signal influencing the others dynamics. Scientists at the University of Oxford have created a single camera system that can capture the dynamics of these signals simultaneously, yielding important insight into their relationship.

Peter Lee and colleagues combined several colors of light emitting diodes (LEDs) with a multi-band emission filter so that one very high speed camera could capture the different wavelengths of light emitted by various fluorescent dyes. By using different colors of LEDs, they were able to stimulate different dyes to measure changes in calcium and voltage across cardiac tissue or single layers of human cardiomyocytes (created from induced pluripotent stem cells).

WHATS NEW:The new setup took advantage of advances in lighting technology, explained Lee. While many older systems used xenon lamps, LEDs are cheap, cover the spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet, and reach peak intensity almost immediatelyallowing for ultra-rapid switching between excitation colors. Many previous systems also relied on a moving wheel to switch between colors, and thus measure different signals, explained Guy Salama, who researches cardiac arrhythmias at the University of Pittsburgh, but was not involved in the new cameras development. The wheels needed to move uniformly without wobbling, which would throw off its precision measurements, said Salama, and meant that each parameter had to be recorded for exactly the same amount of time. But Lees system, which uses electronics to control the length of time each LED shines, allows for different excitation times for each parameter of interestwhich is important as not all physiological changes happen on the same time scale, said Salama. Lees system has also jettisoned the need for moving parts, which can require careful alignment.

Single camera and LED system. Peter Lee

IMPORTANCE: Because calcium and voltage changes interact to control cardiac function, and perturbations in either leading to dysfunctions like arrhythmia, Lees camera system provides researchers with a tool to further investigate the interaction between the two signals, and thus gain a deeper understanding of cardiac function.

Using a single camera with multiple emission filters also allowed Lee and his collaborators to measure calcium properly, Lee explained. Many previous experiments used high-affinity calcium dyes, which bound strongly but could perturb the signal. The strong LEDs allowed for weaker-binding dyes, and ratiometric calcium measurement, meaning the dyes display shifts in emission wavelength upon binding calcium. Researchers can then quantify the concentration of calcium based on the light emissions they detect and calcium flux simultaneously.

Additionally, explained Lee, the simplicity of the system makes it more easily scalable. LEDs are cheap and perform well, and the lack of moving parts makes setup much easier than multi-camera systems that need careful calibration.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: As appealingly simple as a one-camera setup is, a single camera and multiple light sources can also introduce new hurdles, explained Salama. Because one camera is being used to capture multiple parameters, this cuts down on the number of image frames that can be devoted to each signal, noted Salama. For example, if a camera is running at 1,000 frames per second, but imaging four signals, only 250 of those frames would capture each parameter.

Salama also feared that lining up the LEDs and camera might result in the different light sources hitting the cardiac tissue at different angles, and bouncing off at different angles, making it difficult for the camera to capture them all. When visualizing the voltage and calcium propagations over a single layer of cells, scientists need to make sure the emissions theyre comparing are coming from the same locationso they arent trying to match voltage changes in one set of cells with calcium fluxes in another. When imaging microscopic-scale changes, Lee works around this problem by merging the lights into one path and using an optical fiber to direct all the colors to one site.

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Next Generation: The Heart Camera

Stem cells tested for heart attack repair

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Stem cells tested for heart attack repair

Heart Damage Repaired By Reprogramming Resident Fibroblasts into Functioning Heart Cells

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –LoneStar Heart Inc., today announced the advancement of a new therapeutic strategy aimed at genetic reprogramming of cardiac fibroblasts into functioning heart muscle cells to treat damage following a heart attack and other forms of heart disease. The announcement follows a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern), published in the on-line May 13th issue of the journal Nature, demonstrating feasibility of the approach. The company has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to the new technology.

The adult human heart has almost no regenerative capacity. Instead of rebuilding muscle tissue after a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, the injured human heart forms fibrous, non-contractile scar tissue lacking muscle or blood vessels. Fibroblasts account for a majority of cells in the heart and are activated following injury to form this fibrotic scar tissue. Fibrosis impedes regeneration of cardiac muscle cells, and contributes to loss of contractile function, ultimately leading to heart failure and death. Therapeutic strategies to promote new muscle formation, while limiting fibrosis, represent an attractive approach for heart repair.

As reported in Nature, Eric N. Olson, Ph.D., and colleagues from UT Southwestern show that four gene-regulatory proteins GATA4, HAND2, MEF2C, and TBX5 (GHMT) can convert cardiac fibroblasts into beating cardiac-like muscle cells. Introduction of these proteins into proliferating fibroblasts in mice reprograms them into functional cardiac-like myocytes, improving cardiac function and reducing fibrosis and adverse remodeling of the heart following myocardial infarction. Using cell lineage-tracing techniques, the investigators conclude that newly formed cardiac-like muscle cells in GHMT-treated hearts arose from pre-existing cardiac fibroblasts. Cardiac imaging studies confirmed the new technique promoted a dramatic increase in cardiac function that was sustained for at least three months following myocardial infarction.

“These studies establish proof-of-concept for in vivo cellular reprogramming as a new approach for heart repair,” said Dr. Olson, professor and chair of molecular biology at UT Southwestern, and a co-founder of LoneStar Heart. “However, much work remains to be done to determine if this strategy might eventually be effective in humans. We are working hard toward that goal.”

The new reprogramming strategy may provide a novel means of improving cardiac function following injury, bypassing many of the obstacles associated with cellular transplantation. Prior work by Dr. Olson’s group and others has shown that GHMT proteins fulfill similar roles in cardiac gene regulation in a wide range of organisms, including humans, highlighting the potential of these proteins to augment function of the injured human heart. While cellular replacement strategies via the introduction of stem cells or other cell types into injured hearts have shown promise, there have been numerous technical and biological hurdles associated with such approaches.

About LoneStar Heart, Inc.LoneStar Heart, Inc. is developing cardiac restorative therapies for patients with heart failure that stimulate the heart’s ability to repair itself. Based on its integrated cardiomechanical and biomolecular technologies, the privately held company is advancing a broad portfolio of products to restore the failing heart’s structure and function in collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute, UT Southwestern, and a global network of leading clinicians. These products include Algisyl-LVR,cardiac stem-cell modulators, and cellular and genetic therapies delivered as stand-alone treatments, or in combination with the company’s biopolymer matrix system.

LoneStar Heart’s lead product, Algisyl-LVR, is a single-use, self-gelling biopolymer implanted into the heart’s left ventricle during surgery. Providing internal tissue support, Algisyl-LVR is aimed at preventing the progression of heart failure and restoring the heart’s normal structure and function with a significant improvement in the patient’s quality of life. Classified as a medical device, the product is undergoing a randomized controlled clinical study (AUGMENT-HF) in Europe to evaluate its safety and efficacy in patients with advanced heart failure.

About UT Southwestern Medical CenterUT Southwestern Medical Center, one of the premier medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. Its faculty has many distinguished members, including five who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. Numbering more than 2,600, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to quickly translating science-driven research to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients, and oversee nearly 2 million outpatient visits a year.

Physicians care for patients in the Dallas-based UT Southwestern Medical Center; in Parkland Health & Hospital System, which is staffed primarily by UT Southwestern physicians; and in its affiliated hospitals, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and the VA North Texas Health Care System. UT Southwestern programs are offered in Waco, Wichita Falls, Plano/Frisco and Fort Worth. Three degree-granting institutions UT Southwestern Medical School, UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and UT Southwestern School of Health Professions train nearly 4,600 students, residents and fellows each year. UT Southwestern researchers undertake more than 3,500 research projects annually, totaling more than $417 million.

Dr. Olson holds the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science, and the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research at UT Southwestern.

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Heart Damage Repaired By Reprogramming Resident Fibroblasts into Functioning Heart Cells

Stemedica Stem Cells Approved for Clinical Trials in Mexico for Chronic Heart Failure

SAN DIEGO, May 29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via PRWEB – Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. announced today that its strategic partner in Mexico, Grupo Angeles Health Services, has received approval from Mexico’s regulatory agency, COFEPRIS, for a Phase I/II single-blind randomized clinical trial for chronic heart failure. COFEPRIS is the Mexican equivalent of the United States FDA. The clinical trial, to be conducted at multiple hospital sites throughout Mexico, will utilize Stemedica’s adult allogeneic ischemia tolerant mesenchymal stem cells (itMSC) delivered via intravenous infusion. The trial will involve three safety cohorts at different dosages, followed by a larger group being treated with the maximum safe dosage. The COFEPRIS approval is the second approval for the use of Stemedica’s itMSCs. COFEPRIS approved Stemedica’s itMSCs in 2010 for a clinical trial for ischemic stroke. These two trials are the only allogeneic stem cell studies approved by COFEPRIS.

Grupo Angeles is a Mexican company that is 100% integrated into the national healthcare development effort. The company is comprised of 24 state-of-the-art hospitals totaling more than 2,000 beds and 200 operating rooms. Eleven thousand Groupo Angeles physicians annually treat nearly five million patients a year. Of these, more than two million are seen as in-patients. In just over two decades, Groupo Angeles has radically transformed the practice of private medicine in Mexico and contributed decisively to reform in the country’s health system. Grupo Angeles hospitals conduct an estimated 100 clinical trials annually, primarily with major global pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

“We are pleased that we will be working with the largest and most prestigious private medical institution in Mexico to study Stemedica’s product for this indication. If successful, our stem cells may provide a treatment option for the millions of patients, both in Mexico and internationally, who suffer from this condition,” said Maynard Howe, PhD, CEO of Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.

Roberto Simon, MD, CEO of Grupo Angeles Health Services, noted, “We are proud to be the first organization to bring regulatory-approved allogeneic stem cell treatment to the people of Mexico. We envision that this type of treatment may well become a standard for improving cardiac status for chronic heart failure patients and are pleased to be partnering with Stemedica, one of the leading companies in the field of regenerative medicine.”

Nikolai Tankovich, MD, PhD, President and Chief Medical Officer of Stemedica commented, “For the more than five million North Americans who suffer from chronic heart failure, this is an important trial. Our ischemia tolerant mesenchymal stem cells hold the potential to improve ejection fraction–the amount of blood pumped with each heart beat–and therefore, dramatically improve quality of life.”

For more information about Stemedica please contact Dave McGuigan at dmcguigan(at)stemedica(dot)com. For more information about Grupo Angeles and the chronic heart failure trial please contact Paulo Yberri at pyberri(at)angelesehealth(dot)com.

About Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.(http://www.stemedica.com) is a specialty bio-pharmaceutical company committed to the manufacturing and development of best-in-class allogeneic adult stem cells and stem cell factors for use by approved research institutions and hospitals for pre-clinical and clinical (human) trials. The company is a government licensed manufacturer of clinical grade stem cells and is approved by the FDA for its clinical trials for ischemic stroke. Stemedica is currently developing regulatory pathways for a number of medical indications using adult allogeneic stem cells. The Company is headquartered in San Diego, California.

This article was originally distributed on PRWeb. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/stemedica-clinical-trial/chronic-heart-failure/prweb9550806.htm

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Stemedica Stem Cells Approved for Clinical Trials in Mexico for Chronic Heart Failure

New Method Turns Embryonic/Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Cardiac Muscle Cells

This finding can help researchers model diseases in the lab, and allow these diseases to be studied

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to turn both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells into cardiomyocytes.

Sean Palecek, study leader and professor of chemical and biological engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, along with Timothy Kamp, professor of cardiology at UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and Xiaojun Lian, a UW graduate student, have developed a technique for abundant cardiomyocyte production, which will allow scientists to better understand and treat diseases.

Cardiomyocytes are important cells that make up the beating heart. These cells are extremely difficult to obtain, especially in large quantities, because they only survive for a short period of time when retrieved from the human heart.

But now, the UW researchers have found an inexpensive method for developing an abundance of cardiomyocytes in the laboratory. This finding can help researchers model diseases in the lab, and allow these diseases to be studied. Researchers will also be able to tests drugs that could help fight these diseases, such as heart disease.

“Many forms of heart disease are due to the loss or death of functioning cardiomyocytes, so strategies to replace heart cells in the diseased heart continue to be of interest, said Kamp. “For example, in a large heart attack up to 1 billion cardiomyocytes die. The heart has a limited ability to repair itself, so being able to supply large numbers of potentially patient-matched cardiomyocytes could help.”

The UW research team found that changing a signaling pathway called Wnt can help guide stem cell differentiation to cardiomyocytes. They just turned the Wnt pathway on and off at different times using two small molecule chemicals.

“Our protocol is more efficient and robust,” said Palecek. “We have been able to reliably generate greater than 80 percent cardiomyocytes in the final population while other methods produce about 30 percent cardiomyocytes with high batch-to-batch variability.

“The biggest advantage of our method is that it uses small molecule chemicals to regulate biological signals. It is completely defined, and therefore more reproducible. And the small molecules are much less expensive than protein growth factors.”

This study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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New Method Turns Embryonic/Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Cardiac Muscle Cells

State awards stem cell grants to medical researchers

SACRAMENTO California’s stem cell agency today approved two grants to UC Davis Health System researchers for their innovative work in regenerative medicine.

Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, distinguished professor of orthopaedic surgery and professor and chair of biomedical engineering, and the Child Family Professor of Engineering at UC Davis, is investigating the use of skin-derived stem cells to heal cartilage injuries and debilitating conditions of the knee such as osteoarthritis.

W. Douglas Boyd, professor of surgery, plans to further refine a novel approach to treating cardiovascular injuries suffered during a heart attack by using stem cells and a tissue-like scaffold to repair cardiac damage.

The pair received individual grants totaling approximately $6.6 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) governing board.

Athanasiou’s and Boyd’s multi-year grants were among the proposals submitted to CIRM for its third round of Early Translational Awards, which are intended to enable clinical therapies to be developed more rapidly.

“Both of these scientists are conducting exciting research that could have far-reaching implications in health care,” said Jan Nolta, director of the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and the university’s stem cell program director. “Dr. Athanasiou is bioengineering new cartilage that could have the same physiological integrity as the cartilage a person is born with. Dr. Boyd is developing a treatment that uses a paper-thin patch embedded with stem cells to harness their regenerative powers to repair damaged heart muscle.”

Boyd, who’s a pioneering cardiothoracic surgeon, pointed out in his CIRM proposal that heart disease is the nation’s number-one cause of death and disability. An estimated 16.3 million Americans over the age of 20 suffer from coronary heart disease, which in 2007 accounted for an estimated 1 in 6 deaths in the U.S. Boyd plans to use bone-marrow derived stem cells — known as mesenchymal stem cells — in combination with a bioengineered framework known as an extracellular matrix, to regenerate damaged heart tissue, block heart disease and restore cardiac function, something currently not possible except in cases of a complete and very invasive heart transplant.

An expert in biomedical engineering, Athanasiou is focusing on developing a cellular therapy using stem cells created from an individual’s own skin — known as autologous skin-derived stem cells — which have shown great promise in animal models. He plans to use the new funding to conduct extensive toxicology and durability tests to determine the technique’s long-term safety and efficacy. Such tests are among the many steps needed to advance toward human clinical trials.

Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints, allowing bones to glide over each other and absorbing the shock of movement. Cartilage defects from injuries and lifelong wear and tear can eventually degenerate into osteoarthritis. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects an estimated 27 million Americans over the age of 25.

“For anyone suffering from osteoarthritis or other debilitating cartilage conditions, Dr. Athanasiou’s goal of using stem cells to regenerate new tissue could have enormous quality-of-life and economic benefits,” said Nolta, who is the recipient of a prior translational grant from CIRM to develop potential therapies for Huntington’s disease . “Dr. Boyd’s work is equally promising because he’s using a bioengineered structure to encourage cardiac tissue repair, which could have important benefits in the treatment of heart disease.”

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State awards stem cell grants to medical researchers

Israeli Scientists Reprogram Skin Cells into Beating Heart Tissue: Stem Cell Research Pays Off – Video


24-05-2012 09:53 For the first time ever, scientists have transformed normal skin cells into healthy beating heart tissue. Researchers based in Haifa in Israel, say they hope that the breakthrough will one day lead to new treatments for patients suffering from heart failure. Head of Research Professor Lior Gepstein “We were able to demonstrate the ability to take skin cells from very sick patients with significant heart failure, heart disease, and show that cells, skin cells from these patients can be eventually differentiated to become healthy heart cells in the dish. So one can take skin cells from a very sick individual, who has very sick heart cells, to reprogram them to become induced pluripotent stem cells and then make heart cells that are healthy, that are young and resemble heart cells at the day that the patient was born.” At the moment, people with severe heart failure have to rely on mechanical devices or hope for a transplant. However, by studying stem cells from various sources for more than a decade, researchers are hoping to capitalise on their ability to transform stem cells into a wide variety of other kinds of cell. Head of Research Professor Lior Gepstein “These cells can be transplanted into hearts of animals, survive and function in synchrony with existing heart tissue. This study open the road, hopefully, to future clinical trials, in a decade or so, that will test the ability of such heart cells to repair the patient’s own heart,” There may be a lot to do before

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Israeli Scientists Reprogram Skin Cells into Beating Heart Tissue: Stem Cell Research Pays Off – Video

State awards stem cell grants to medical researchers

SACRAMENTO California’s stem cell agency today approved two grants to UC Davis Health System researchers for their innovative work in regenerative medicine.

Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, distinguished professor of orthopaedic surgery and professor and chair of biomedical engineering, and the Child Family Professor of Engineering at UC Davis, is investigating the use of skin-derived stem cells to heal cartilage injuries and debilitating conditions of the knee such as osteoarthritis.

W. Douglas Boyd, professor of surgery, plans to further refine a novel approach to treating cardiovascular injuries suffered during a heart attack by using stem cells and a tissue-like scaffold to repair cardiac damage.

The pair received individual grants totaling approximately $6.6 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) governing board.

Athanasiou’s and Boyd’s multi-year grants were among the proposals submitted to CIRM for its third round of Early Translational Awards, which are intended to enable clinical therapies to be developed more rapidly.

“Both of these scientists are conducting exciting research that could have far-reaching implications in health care,” said Jan Nolta, director of the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and the university’s stem cell program director. “Dr. Athanasiou is bioengineering new cartilage that could have the same physiological integrity as the cartilage a person is born with. Dr. Boyd is developing a treatment that uses a paper-thin patch embedded with stem cells to harness their regenerative powers to repair damaged heart muscle.”

Boyd, who’s a pioneering cardiothoracic surgeon, pointed out in his CIRM proposal that heart disease is the nation’s number-one cause of death and disability. An estimated 16.3 million Americans over the age of 20 suffer from coronary heart disease, which in 2007 accounted for an estimated 1 in 6 deaths in the U.S. Boyd plans to use bone-marrow derived stem cells — known as mesenchymal stem cells — in combination with a bioengineered framework known as an extracellular matrix, to regenerate damaged heart tissue, block heart disease and restore cardiac function, something currently not possible except in cases of a complete and very invasive heart transplant.

An expert in biomedical engineering, Athanasiou is focusing on developing a cellular therapy using stem cells created from an individual’s own skin — known as autologous skin-derived stem cells — which have shown great promise in animal models. He plans to use the new funding to conduct extensive toxicology and durability tests to determine the technique’s long-term safety and efficacy. Such tests are among the many steps needed to advance toward human clinical trials.

Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints, allowing bones to glide over each other and absorbing the shock of movement. Cartilage defects from injuries and lifelong wear and tear can eventually degenerate into osteoarthritis. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects an estimated 27 million Americans over the age of 25.

“For anyone suffering from osteoarthritis or other debilitating cartilage conditions, Dr. Athanasiou’s goal of using stem cells to regenerate new tissue could have enormous quality-of-life and economic benefits,” said Nolta, who is the recipient of a prior translational grant from CIRM to develop potential therapies for Huntington’s disease . “Dr. Boyd’s work is equally promising because he’s using a bioengineered structure to encourage cardiac tissue repair, which could have important benefits in the treatment of heart disease.”

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State awards stem cell grants to medical researchers

Human Skin Cells Turned Into Healthy Heart Muscle

Scientists on Wednesday reported that they have for the first time taken skin cells from heart attacks patients and turned them into healthy heart tissue that could hopefully be used to one day repair damaged heart muscle.

The healthy, beating heart tissue was grown successfully in the lab from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), and while scientists said they were not safe enough to put back into human patients, they appeared to work well with other cells when implanted into rats. HiPSCs are a recently discovered source far less controversial than use of embryonic stem cells. And, because the transplanted hiPSCs come from the individual, it could resolve the problems seen with tissue and organ rejection.

While the technique has shown promise in rats, the scientists say there are numerous obstacles to overcome and it could take up to ten years or longer before clinical trials could be available for humans. Even so, it is a significant advance in the quest for replacement cell therapy for heart failure patients.

More people are surviving following a heart attack than ever before and therefore the number of people living with a damaged heart and heart failure is increasing, Nicholas Mills, a consultant cardiologist at Edinburgh University, told The Guardian. Unfortunately, the body has only very limited capacity to repair the heart following a heart attack. There is therefore an urgent need to develop effective and safe treatments to regenerate the heart.

Recent research has shown that hiPSCs could be derived from young and healthy people and are capable of transforming into heart cells. However, researchers have not been able to obtain those cells from elderly and diseased patients. And until now, researchers have not been able to show that heart cells created from hiPSCs could integrate with existing heart tissue.

What is new and exciting about our research is that we have shown that its possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born, said lead researcher Professor Lior Gepstein, of Sohnis Research Laboratory for Cardiac Electrophysiology and Regenerative Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

For their study, published in the European Heart Journal, Limor Zwi-Dantsis, a PhD student in the Sohnis Research Laboratory, Gepstein and colleagues took skin cells from two male heart failure patients (ages 51 and 61) and reprogrammed them with three genes (Sox2, Klf4 and Oct4), followed by a small molecule (valproic acid) to the cell nucleus.

The team also used an alternative strategy that involved a virus that delivered reprogramming information to the cell nucleus but which was capable of being removed afterward to avoid insertional oncogenesis.

Using these methods, the hiPSCs were able to differentiate to become cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) just as effectively as hiPSCs that had been developed from healthy, young volunteers. The researchers were then able to make cardiomyocytes develop into heart muscle tissue, which they cultured together with pre-existing cardiac tissue. The tissues were beating together within 48 hours, said the researchers.

The researchers transplanted the new tissue into the hearts of healthy rats and found that the grafted tissue started to establish connections with the cells in the host tissue.

Original post:
Human Skin Cells Turned Into Healthy Heart Muscle

Human Skin Cells Turned Into Healthy Heart Muscle

Scientists on Wednesday reported that they have for the first time taken skin cells from heart attacks patients and turned them into healthy heart tissue that could hopefully be used to one day repair damaged heart muscle.

The healthy, beating heart tissue was grown successfully in the lab from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), and while scientists said they were not safe enough to put back into human patients, they appeared to work well with other cells when implanted into rats. HiPSCs are a recently discovered source far less controversial than use of embryonic stem cells. And, because the transplanted hiPSCs come from the individual, it could resolve the problems seen with tissue and organ rejection.

While the technique has shown promise in rats, the scientists say there are numerous obstacles to overcome and it could take up to ten years or longer before clinical trials could be available for humans. Even so, it is a significant advance in the quest for replacement cell therapy for heart failure patients.

More people are surviving following a heart attack than ever before and therefore the number of people living with a damaged heart and heart failure is increasing, Nicholas Mills, a consultant cardiologist at Edinburgh University, told The Guardian. Unfortunately, the body has only very limited capacity to repair the heart following a heart attack. There is therefore an urgent need to develop effective and safe treatments to regenerate the heart.

Recent research has shown that hiPSCs could be derived from young and healthy people and are capable of transforming into heart cells. However, researchers have not been able to obtain those cells from elderly and diseased patients. And until now, researchers have not been able to show that heart cells created from hiPSCs could integrate with existing heart tissue.

What is new and exciting about our research is that we have shown that its possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born, said lead researcher Professor Lior Gepstein, of Sohnis Research Laboratory for Cardiac Electrophysiology and Regenerative Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

For their study, published in the European Heart Journal, Limor Zwi-Dantsis, a PhD student in the Sohnis Research Laboratory, Gepstein and colleagues took skin cells from two male heart failure patients (ages 51 and 61) and reprogrammed them with three genes (Sox2, Klf4 and Oct4), followed by a small molecule (valproic acid) to the cell nucleus.

The team also used an alternative strategy that involved a virus that delivered reprogramming information to the cell nucleus but which was capable of being removed afterward to avoid insertional oncogenesis.

Using these methods, the hiPSCs were able to differentiate to become cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) just as effectively as hiPSCs that had been developed from healthy, young volunteers. The researchers were then able to make cardiomyocytes develop into heart muscle tissue, which they cultured together with pre-existing cardiac tissue. The tissues were beating together within 48 hours, said the researchers.

The researchers transplanted the new tissue into the hearts of healthy rats and found that the grafted tissue started to establish connections with the cells in the host tissue.

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Human Skin Cells Turned Into Healthy Heart Muscle

60 climbers to help raise funds

Catherine Jayasuria at the peak of Mount Kinabalu during the inaugural climb last year to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscle Dystrophy.

KOTA KINABALU: A WOMAN who climbed Mount Kinabalu last year to raise awareness of a disease known as Duchenne will be back with a bigger team this year.

This year, the Coalition Duchenne expedition will see US-based Malaysian Catherine Jayasuria leading 60 international climbers to the 4,095m peak on Aug 25.

Last year, there were 35 climbers in the team.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscle-wasting disease and those who have it often do not live beyond their 20s. Experts estimate at least 20,000 boys are born with the disease each year.

Jayasuria’s 19-year-old son, Dusty Brandon, has Duchenne and it was for that reason she returned to her roots here to climb Mount Kinabalu as it was a symbol of stability, strength and hope.

At the summit, the team will again raise the Coalition Duchenne flag in honour of the hundreds of thousands of boys and young men worldwide who have Duchenne.

“Duchenne is a difficult road, and presents significant challenges along the way. Duchenne steals many things, the ability to walk, hug, move, talk and breathe, but there is that something inside of you, that it can never get to, that it can never take — hope.”

Coalition Duchenne also helped raise funds for research to treat the disease.

In March, the non-profit organisation announced the funding of a RM75,000 research agreement with a Michigan-based biotechnical company.

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60 climbers to help raise funds

Cardio3 BioSciences Has Been Selected to Present C3BS-CQR-1 Trial Data in Late Breaking Clinical Trial Session at …

MONT-SAINT-GUIBERT, Belgium, May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

The Belgian biotechnology company, Cardio3 BioSciences (C3BS), a leader in the discovery and development of regenerative and protective therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, today announces that the final results of its Phase II clinical trial of C3BS-CQR-1 is will be presented at the late breaking clinical trial session at the European Society of Cardiology 2012 Heart Failure Congress in Belgrade, Serbia taking place on May 19-22.

Andr Terzic, M.D., Ph.D, Director at Center of Regenerative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, the co-lead investigator on the trial, will present new final follow up data on the Company’s stem cell therapy for heart failure, C3BS-CQR-1, which is based on “Cardiopoiesis” proprietary technology. The presentation will be held on Sunday, May 20th in Belgrade, Serbia.

Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Cardio3 BioSciences, said: “Being selected to present the final follow-up data in the late breaking clinical trial session at this prestigious cardiology congress highlights the quality of our technology and reiterates our belief in C3BS-CQR-1 as a potential treatment for patients with heart failure, a condition with a significant unmet medical need. We look forward to advancing the product into Phase III.”

About Cardio3 BioSciences

Cardio3 BioSciences is a Belgian leading biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of regenerative and protective therapies for the treatment of cardiac diseases. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in the Walloon region of Belgium. Cardio3 BioSciences leverages research collaborations in the US and in Europe with Mayo Clinic and the Cardiovascular Center Aalst, Belgium.

The Company’s lead product candidate C3BS-CQR-1 is an innovative pharmaceutical product consisting of autologous cardiac progenitor stem cells. C3BS-CQR-1 is based on ground breaking research conducted at Mayo Clinic that allowed discovery of cardiopoiesis, a process to mimic in adult stem cells the natural signals triggered in the early stages of life during the cardiac tissue development. Cardio3 BioSciences has also developed C-Cath, the next-generation injection catheter with superior efficiency of delivery of bio therapeutic agents into the myocardium.

C3BS-CQR-1, C-Cure, C-Cath, Cardio3 BioSciences and the Cardio3 BioSciences and C-Cath logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cardio3 BioSciences SA, in Belgium, other countries, or both. Mayo Clinic holds equity in Cardio3 BioSciences as a result of intellectual property licensed to the company. In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect our current expectations and projections about future events, and involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described herein. These forward-looking statements are further qualified by important factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including timely submission and approval of anticipated regulatory filings; the successful initiation and completion of required Phase III studies; additional clinical results validating the use of adult autologous stem cells to treat heart failure; satisfaction of regulatory and other requirements; and actions of regulatory bodies and other governmental authorities. As a result, of these factors investors and prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For more information contact:

Cardio3 BioSciences: http://www.c3bs.com Dr Christian Homsy, CEOTel : +32-10-39-41-00 Anne Portzenheim, Communication Manager aportzenheim@c3bs.com

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Cardio3 BioSciences Has Been Selected to Present C3BS-CQR-1 Trial Data in Late Breaking Clinical Trial Session at …

Columbia firm is world's first to market with stem cell drug

A Columbia-based biotechnology company said this week it received the worlds first government approval to market a stem cell drug, in Canada.

Osiris Therapeutics, founded in 1992, spent 17 years developing a stem cell therapy that offers anti-inflammatory and tissue-regeneration properties. The first treatment it has received approval for this week will help treat children whove received bone marrow transplants that their bodies have rejected. The condition, known as acute graft-versus-host disease, or GvHD, is fatal to 80 percent of the children who contract it, the company said.

C. Randal Mills, president and CEO of Osiris, said in a conference call Friday morning that the company has spent the past eight years navigating clinical trials and regulatory paperwork in a mission to be the first approved stem cell treatment in the world.

During the past eight years, we have not wavered from that mission, Mills said. We now need a new mission.

The two-decade path to market for Osiris drug, Prochymal, is par for the course in the biotechnology industry, where a new pharmaceutical is measured in multi-million dollar clinical trials and reviews that take years.

Prochymal is the first off-the-shelf stem cell drug approved for sale, and the first approved for GvHD, the company said. It derives its stem cells, it said, from the bone marrow of healthy adult donors between 18 and 30 years old.

Osiris is a small biotech company, with around 50 employees, in an industry where far larger competitors, with thousands of employees, usually grab the headlines with blockbuster drugs.

Yet Osiris is a key player in the states nascent stem cell therapies industry. Osiris is one of the worlds largest and most advanced stem cell firms, according to testimony provided by the leaders of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund this year in the General Assembly.

The taxpayer-subsidized fund doles out millions of dollars a year in grants to promote stem cell research; Osiris, however, has never received a grant from the fund, according to TEDCO.

This week, the fund said it will award $12.4 million in research grants to 40 projects led by university researchers from Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland and other institutions.

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Columbia firm is world's first to market with stem cell drug

Cardio3 BioSciences Has Been Selected to Present C3BS-CQR-1 Trial Data in Late Breaking Clinical Trial Session at …

MONT-SAINT-GUIBERT, Belgium, May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

The Belgian biotechnology company, Cardio3 BioSciences (C3BS), a leader in the discovery and development of regenerative and protective therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, today announces that the final results of its Phase II clinical trial of C3BS-CQR-1 is will be presented at the late breaking clinical trial session at the European Society of Cardiology 2012 Heart Failure Congress in Belgrade, Serbia taking place on May 19-22.

Andr Terzic, M.D., Ph.D, Director at Center of Regenerative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, the co-lead investigator on the trial, will present new final follow up data on the Company’s stem cell therapy for heart failure, C3BS-CQR-1, which is based on “Cardiopoiesis” proprietary technology. The presentation will be held on Sunday, May 20th in Belgrade, Serbia.

Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Cardio3 BioSciences, said: “Being selected to present the final follow-up data in the late breaking clinical trial session at this prestigious cardiology congress highlights the quality of our technology and reiterates our belief in C3BS-CQR-1 as a potential treatment for patients with heart failure, a condition with a significant unmet medical need. We look forward to advancing the product into Phase III.”

About Cardio3 BioSciences

Cardio3 BioSciences is a Belgian leading biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of regenerative and protective therapies for the treatment of cardiac diseases. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in the Walloon region of Belgium. Cardio3 BioSciences leverages research collaborations in the US and in Europe with Mayo Clinic and the Cardiovascular Center Aalst, Belgium.

The Company’s lead product candidate C3BS-CQR-1 is an innovative pharmaceutical product consisting of autologous cardiac progenitor stem cells. C3BS-CQR-1 is based on ground breaking research conducted at Mayo Clinic that allowed discovery of cardiopoiesis, a process to mimic in adult stem cells the natural signals triggered in the early stages of life during the cardiac tissue development. Cardio3 BioSciences has also developed C-Cath, the next-generation injection catheter with superior efficiency of delivery of bio therapeutic agents into the myocardium.

C3BS-CQR-1, C-Cure, C-Cath, Cardio3 BioSciences and the Cardio3 BioSciences and C-Cath logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cardio3 BioSciences SA, in Belgium, other countries, or both. Mayo Clinic holds equity in Cardio3 BioSciences as a result of intellectual property licensed to the company. In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect our current expectations and projections about future events, and involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described herein. These forward-looking statements are further qualified by important factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including timely submission and approval of anticipated regulatory filings; the successful initiation and completion of required Phase III studies; additional clinical results validating the use of adult autologous stem cells to treat heart failure; satisfaction of regulatory and other requirements; and actions of regulatory bodies and other governmental authorities. As a result, of these factors investors and prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For more information contact:

Cardio3 BioSciences: http://www.c3bs.com Dr Christian Homsy, CEOTel : +32-10-39-41-00 Anne Portzenheim, Communication Manager aportzenheim@c3bs.com

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Cardio3 BioSciences Has Been Selected to Present C3BS-CQR-1 Trial Data in Late Breaking Clinical Trial Session at …

Pluristem trial finds stem cells improve cardiac dysfunction

Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; DAX: PJT: PLTR) today reported that the cardiac function in a diabetic-induced diastolic dysfunction in animals improved following PLacental eXpanded (PLX cells) administration.

The study was conducted as part of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7) in collaboration with Prof. Doctor Carsten Tschope and his staff at the Charite Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin-Bradenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), Berlin, Germany.

Dr. Tschope said, “Currently, there are limited treatment options for diastolic dysfunction and even fewer options for diabetic induced diastolic dysfunction. This study holds promise that PLX cells might be able to inhibit diabetic induced diastolic dysfunction progression as well as possibly repair the existing damage, hypotheses that will be further explored in future studies.”

Diabetes was induced in thirty-six mice resulting in the development of diastolic heart failure. After seven days, the animals received either PLX cells from two separate batches or placebo (12 subjects in each of the three groups). Ten mice were not treated (controls).

After three weeks, several cardiac parameters were assessed and found to be significantly improved following the treatment with PLX cells. Important measurements included the cardiac ejection fraction and the left ventricular (LV) relaxation time constant, believed to be the best index of LV diastolic function and a determination of the stiffness of the ventricle. Cardiac ejection fraction improved 19%, the left ventricular relaxation time constant fell 16% and stiffness of the ventricle fell 19%.

Administration of either batch of PLX cells also resulted in a significant anti-inflammatory effect.

Pluristem chairman and CEO Zami Alberman said, “As we demonstrated last week with the announcement that our cells successfully treated the seven year old patient suffering from aplastic bone marrow disease, our strategy is to develop a minimally invasive cell therapy solution that can be used to treat a wide range of life-threatening diseases. Our initial testing of a treatment for diastolic heart disease opens a new potential indication where our cells can be used and potentially positions Pluristem as a “first-line of defense” for diastolic dysfunction.”

Pluristem’s share price jumped 5.6% in pre-market trading on Nasdaq to $3.01, giving a market cap of $126.33 million. The share rose 10.6% on the TASE today to NIS 11.50.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – http://www.globes-online.com – on May 15, 2012

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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Pluristem trial finds stem cells improve cardiac dysfunction

Cardio3 BioSciences Announces CE Marking for its C-Cath® Injection Catheter

MONT-SAINT-GUIBERT, Belgium, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

The Belgian biotechnology company, Cardio3–BioSciences (C3BS), a leader in the discovery and development of regenerative and protective therapies for the treatment of cardiac diseases, today announces that it has received CE Marking (Conformit Europenne) for its intra-myocardial C-Cath Injection Catheter. The CE Mark certifies that C-Cath complies with applicable European health, safety and environmental protection legislation. C-Cath is now available for commercial use in the EU and many other countries where the CE mark allows commercialization.

The C-Cath Injection Catheter is the most advanced device of its kind and was designed to address three key requirements: ease of use, safety and efficacy. During its development Cardio3 BioSciences combined its extensive experience in stem cell therapies and specific knowledge of the properties of heart tissue with key insights from leading cardiologists in the field. C-Cath’s performance is based on its unique needle design as well as unique catheter properties. Previously announced pre-clinical data from a head to head comparison with the ‘best’ injection catheter available until now showed a close to threefold increase in retention of stem cells within the heart muscle in favour of the CCath Injection Catheter. Within a clinical setting, an increased retention rate could allow an increase in efficacy while reducing side effects.-

Dr Christian Homsy,CEOof Cardio3-BioSciences comments on today’s announcement: “Today marks an important milestone for Cardio3 BioSciences and our innovative C-Cath technology. With C-Cath, we developed an advanced injection catheter that meets the requirements of physicians and has the potential to deliver better outcomes for patients. C-Cath demonstrates our commitment to continued innovation in regenerative heart therapy. This is a major step forward in addressing the patient needs for regenerative therapies for the heart and provides physicians with new treatment options.”

About Cardio3 BioSciences

Cardio3-BioSciences is a Belgian leading biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of regenerative and protective therapies for the treatment of cardiac diseases. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in the Walloon region of Belgium. Cardio3-BioSciences leverages research collaborations in the US and in Europe with Mayo Clinic and the Cardiovascular Center Aalst, Belgium.

The Company’s lead product candidate C3BS-CQR-1 is an innovative pharmaceutical product consisting of autologous cardiac progenitor stem cells. C3BS-CQR-1 is based on ground breaking research conducted at Mayo Clinic that allowed discovery of cardiopoiesis, a process to mimic in adult stem cells the natural signals triggered in the early stages of life during the cardiac tissue development. Cardio3-BioSciences has developed C-Cath, the next-generation injection catheter with superior efficiency of delivery of bio therapeutic agents into the myocardium.

C3BS-CQR-1, C-Cure, C-Cath, Cardio3 BioSciences and the Cardio3 BioSciences and C-Cath logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cardio3 BioSciences SA, in Belgium, other countries, or both. Mayo Clinic holds equity in Cardio3 BioSciences as a result of intellectual property licensed to the company. In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect our current expectations and projections about future events, and involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described herein. These forward-looking statements are further qualified by important factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including timely submission and approval of anticipated regulatory filings; the successful initiation and completion of required Phase III studies; additional clinical results validating the use of adult autologous stem cells to treat heart failure; satisfaction of regulatory and other requirements; and actions of regulatory bodies and other governmental authorities. As a result, of these factors investors and prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements.We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For more information contact:

Cardio3 BioSciences http://www.c3bs.com

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Cardio3 BioSciences Announces CE Marking for its C-Cath® Injection Catheter

Duke Team Turns Scar Tissue into Heart Muscle Without Using Stem Cells

By Duke Medicine News and Communications

Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have shown the ability to turn scar tissue that forms after a heart attack into heart muscle cells using a new process that eliminates the need for stem cell transplant.

The study, published online April 26 in the journal Circulation Research, used molecules called microRNAs to trigger the cardiac tissue conversion in a lab dish and, for the first time, in a living mouse, demonstrating the potential of a simpler process for tissue regeneration.

If additional studies confirm the approach in human cells, it could lead to a new way for treating many of the 23 million people worldwide who suffer heart failure, which is often caused by scar tissue that develops after a heart attack. The approach could also have benefit beyond heart disease.

“This is a significant finding with many therapeutic implications,” said Victor J. Dzau, MD, a senior author on the study who is James B. Duke professor of medicine and chancellor of health affairs at Duke University. “If you can do this in the heart, you can do it in the brain, the kidneys, and other tissues. This is a whole new way of regenerating tissue.”

To initiate the regeneration, Dzau’s team at Duke used microRNAs, which are molecules that serve as master regulators controlling the activity of multiple genes. Tailored in a specific combination, the microRNAs were delivered into scar tissue cells called fibroblasts, which develop after a heart attack and impair the organ’s ability to pump blood.

Once deployed, the microRNAs reprogrammed fibroblasts to become cells resembling the cardiomyocytes that make up heart muscle. The Duke team not only proved this concept in the laboratory, but also demonstrated that the cell conversion could occur inside the body of a mouse — a major requirement for regenerative medicine to become a potential therapy.

“This is one of the exciting things about our study,” said Maria Mirotsou, PhD, assistant professor of cardiology at Duke and a senior author of the study. “We were able to achieve this tissue conversion in the heart with these microRNAs, which may be more practical for direct delivery into cells and allow for possible development of therapies without using genetic methods or transplantation of stem cells.”

The researchers said using microRNA for tissue regeneration has several potential advantages over genetic methods or transplantation of stem cells, which have been difficult to manage inside the body. Notably, the microRNA process eliminates technical problems such as genetic alterations, while also avoiding the ethical dilemmas posed by stem cells.

“It’s an exciting stage for reprogramming science,” said Tilanthi M. Jayawardena, PhD, first author of the study. “It’s a very young field, and we’re all learning what it means to switch a cell’s fate. We believe we’ve uncovered a way for it to be done, and that it has a lot of potential.”

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Duke Team Turns Scar Tissue into Heart Muscle Without Using Stem Cells

Duke team turns scar tissue into heart muscle without using stem cells

Public release date: 26-Apr-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: Sarah Avery sarah.avery@duke.edu 919-660-1306 Duke University Medical Center

DURHAM, N.C. Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have shown the ability to turn scar tissue that forms after a heart attack into heart muscle cells using a new process that eliminates the need for stem cell transplant.

The study, published online April 26 in the journal Circulation Research, used molecules called microRNAs to trigger the cardiac tissue conversion in a lab dish and, for the first time, in a living mouse, demonstrating the potential of a simpler process for tissue regeneration.

If additional studies confirm the approach in human cells, it could lead to a new way for treating many of the 23 million people worldwide who suffer heart failure, which is often caused by scar tissue that develops after a heart attack. The approach could also have benefit beyond heart disease.

“This is a significant finding with many therapeutic implications,” said Victor J. Dzau, M.D., a senior author on the study who is James B. Duke professor of medicine and chancellor of health affairs at Duke University. “If you can do this in the heart, you can do it in the brain, the kidneys and other tissues. This is a whole new way of regenerating tissue.”

To initiate the regeneration, Dzau’s team at Duke used microRNAs, which are molecules that serve as master regulators controlling the activity of multiple genes. Tailored in a specific combination, the microRNAs were delivered into scar tissue cells called fibroblasts, which develop after a heart attack and impair the organ’s ability to pump blood.

Once deployed, the microRNAs reprogrammed fibroblasts to become cells resembling the cardiomyocytes that make up heart muscle. The Duke team not only proved this concept in the laboratory, but also demonstrated that the cell conversion could occur inside the body of a mouse a major requirement for regenerative medicine to become a potential therapy.

“This is one of the exciting things about our study,” said Maria Mirotsou, PhD, assistant professor of cardiology at Duke and a senior author of the study. “We were able to achieve this tissue conversion in the heart with these microRNAs, which may be more practical for direct delivery into cells and allow for possible development of therapies without using genetic methods or transplantation of stem cells.”

The researchers said using microRNA for tissue regeneration has several potential advantages over genetic methods or transplantation of stem cells, which have been difficult to manage inside the body. Notably, the microRNA process eliminates technical problems such as genetic alterations, while also avoiding the ethical dilemmas posed by stem cells.

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Duke team turns scar tissue into heart muscle without using stem cells

Stem cell researchers map new knowledge about insulin production

Public release date: 26-Apr-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: Professor Palle Serup palle.serup@sund.ku.dk 01-145-402-20026 University of Copenhagen

Scientists from The Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem) at the University of Copenhagen and Hagedorn Research Institute have gained new insight into the signaling paths that control the body’s insulin production. This is important knowledge with respect to their final goal: the conversion of stem cells into insulin-producing beta cells that can be implanted into patients who need them. The research results have just been published in the well-respected journal PNAS.

Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. If these beta cells are defective, the body develops diabetes. Insulin is vital to life and therefore today the people who cannot produce their own in sufficient quantities, or at all, receive carefully measured doses often via several daily injections. Scientists hope that in the not-so-distant future it will be possible to treat diabetes more effectively and prevent secondary diseases such as cardiac disease, blindness and nerve and kidney complications by offering diabetes patients implants of new, well-functioning, stem-cell-based beta cells.

“In order to get stem cells to develop into insulin-producing beta cells, it is necessary to know what signaling mechanisms normally control the creation of beta cells during fetal development. This is what our new research results can contribute,” explains Professor Palle Serup from DanStem.

“When we know the signaling paths, we can copy them in test tubes and thus in time convert stem cells to beta cells,” says Professor Serup.

The new research results were obtained in a cooperative effort between DanStem, the Danish Hagedorn Research Institute and international partners in Japan, Germany, Korea and the USA. The scientific paper has just been published in the well-respected international journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) entitled Mind bomb 1 is required for pancreatic -cell formation.

Better control of stem cells

The signaling mechanism that controls the first steps of the development from stem cells to beta cells has long been known.

“Our research contributes knowledge about the next step in development and the signaling involved in the communication between cells an area that has not been extensively described. This new knowledge about the ability of the so-called Notch signaling first to inhibit and then to stimulate the creation of hormone-producing cells is crucially important to being able to control stem cells better when working with them in test tubes,” explains Professor Palle Serup .

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Stem cell researchers map new knowledge about insulin production

Biz Beat: Making stem cells "available to the masses"

Mike Ivey writes on all matters money in the spirit of Capital Times founder William T. Evjue, who believed that the concentration of wealth in the U.S. is not healthy for the Democracy.

When UW-Madison’s James Thomson in 1998 became the first scientist to grow human embryonic stem cells in a lab, it generated tremendous excitement about the medical possibilities.

Thomson tried to downplay the breakthrough but talk spread about cures for Alzheimers or Parkinsons disease, growing livers for cirrhosis suffers or producing healthy heart cells for cardiac patients.

The miracle cures have been slow in coming, however. Scientists can replicate healthy nerve cells in a Petri dish but havent found a way to replace defective spinal cells in ALS victims, for example.

In many ways, were still at the first steps,Anita Bhattacharyya, a senior scientist in the stem cell program at the UW’s Waisman Center, told a business group Tuesday.

Butproducing stem cells for others to use is proving one of Madisons more promising new business ventures. Pharmaceutical companies in particular are using stem cells to test drugs before launching into expensive further testing.

Were making these cells available to the masses, says Chris Parker, chief technology officer at Cellular Dynamics International.

Launched by Thomson — and backed with $100 million from a local investor group — Cellular Dynamics International was lauded recently by MIT as one of the 50 most important companies in the world

Since its founding in 2005, the company now counts 107 employees at it offices in University Research Park and is continuing to grow.

Im hiring right now, Parker joked toa lunch crowd of the Wisconsin Technology Council Tuesday.

Continued here:
Biz Beat: Making stem cells "available to the masses"

Transforming scar tissue into beating heart muscle may help repair cardiac damage

London, Apr 19 : Researchers including one of Indian origin have declared a research breakthrough in mice that shows promise to restore hearts damaged by heart attacks-by converting scar-forming cardiac cells into beating heart muscle.

Gladstone Institutes scientists previously transformed such cells into cardiac muscle-like cells in petri dishes.

But Gladstone postdoctoral scholar Li Qian, PhD, along with researchers in the laboratory of Deepak Srivastava, MD, has now accomplished this transformation in living animals-and with even greater success.

The results may have broad human-health implications.

“The damage from a heart attack is typically permanent because heart-muscle cells-deprived of oxygen during the attack-die and scar tissue forms,” said Dr. Srivastava, who directs cardiovascular and stem cell research at Gladstone, an independent and nonprofit biomedical-research institution.

“But our experiments in mice are a proof of concept that we can reprogram non-beating cells directly into fully functional, beating heart cells-offering an innovative and less invasive way to restore heart function after a heart attack.”

In laboratory experiments with mice that had experienced a heart attack, Drs. Qian and Srivastava delivered three genes that normally guide embryonic heart development-together known as GMT-directly into the damaged region.

Within a month, non-beating cells that normally form scar tissue transformed into beating heart-muscle cells. Within three months, the hearts were beating even stronger and pumping more blood.

“These findings could have a significant impact on heart-failure patients-whose damaged hearts make it difficult for them to engage in normal activities like walking up a flight of stairs,” said Dr. Qian, who is also a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine postdoctoral scholar and a Roddenberry Fellow.

“This research may result in a much-needed alternative to heart transplants-for which donors are extremely limited. And because we are reprogramming cells directly in the heart, we eliminate the need to surgically implant cells that were created in a petri dish.”

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Transforming scar tissue into beating heart muscle may help repair cardiac damage

Expert wants central bank for cord blood

A nodal public stem-cell bank in India is the need of the hour if blood cancer and thalassaemia patients are to benefit from stem-cell therapy, according to an expert.

We need an indigenous inventory of 30,000 units of umbilical cord-blood stem-cells, which would enable seven out of 10 patients seeking stem-cell transplant to find a ready match off the shelves, said P. Srinivasan, a pioneer in public cord-blood banking in the country, addressing members of the Ladies Study Group of the Indian Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

Cord blood, also called placental blood, is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta following childbirth after the cord is cut, and is routinely discarded with the placenta and umbilical cord as biological waste.

A rich source of stem cells, cord blood can be used to treat over 80 diseases, including certain cancers like leukaemia, breast cancer, blood disorders like thalassaemia major and autoimmune disorders like lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohns Disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Early clinical studies suggest these can even help avert corneal degeneration and restore vision in cases of blindness, help restore proper cardiac function to heart attack sufferers and improve movement in patients with spinal cord injury.

Since stem-cell matching is highly ethnicity dependent, the chances of an Indian finding a perfect match in a foreign country is a lot less compared to a resource pool of locally-donated units, the former resource person for WHO, now the chairman and managing trustee of Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre in Chennai, added.

Even if someone finds a match abroad, the cost of shipping the bag of matching cord blood could be as high as $40,000, as against the Rs 30,000 required for processing and storing one unit indigenously.

Srinivasan felt reaching the critical mass of 30,000 cord-blood units wasnt a big deal, given the fact that 20 million babies are born in India every year.

Purnima Dutta, the president of Ladies Study Group, agreed that raising awareness on the need to donate umbilical cord blood was the key.

As women and responsible citizens, the onus is on us to spread the word and encourage young couples to come forward and donate cord blood to ensure we can achieve this desired public-bank inventory which can save valuable lives, she said.

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Expert wants central bank for cord blood

Bioheart Labs and Stemlogix Veterinary Products Featured in Media

SUNRISE, Fla., March 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bioheart, Inc. (OTCBB:BHRT.OB – News), a company focused on developing stem cell therapies for heart disease, previously announced that they entered into an agreement with Stemlogix, LLC, a veterinary regenerative medicine company, to provide additional cellular products and services to the veterinary market. Under this agreement, the companies are offering stem cell banking for veterinary patients (pets). WPLG, channel 10 featured this exciting technology in a news segment which aired in the South Florida area. A small sample of tissue can be obtained from the animals during a routine procedure such as a spay or neuter. The stem cells are isolated and cryopreserved for future use as needed.

“We are excited to bring our expertise in stem cell therapy to the veterinary community,” said Mike Tomas, Bioheart’s President and CEO. “Stem cell therapies represent new opportunities for various types of patients and the ability to bank a pet’s cells when they are young and healthy could be very valuable for future use.”

WPLG, Channel 10 in Miami/South Florida featured this new technology in a news segment which aired March 15, 2012. Please see the link below:

http://www.local10.com/thats-life/health/Pet-stem-cells-frozen-banked-for-future-use/-/1717022/9285894/-/apcx9rz/-/index.html

About Bioheart, Inc.

Bioheart is committed to maintaining its leading position within the cardiovascular sector of the cell technology industry delivering cell therapies and biologics that help address congestive heart failure, lower limb ischemia, chronic heart ischemia, acute myocardial infarctions and other issues. Bioheart’s goals are to cause damaged tissue to be regenerated, when possible, and to improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce health care costs and hospitalizations.

Specific to biotechnology, Bioheart is focused on the discovery, development and, subject to regulatory approval, commercialization of autologous cell therapies for the treatment of chronic and acute heart damage and peripheral vascular disease. Its leading product, MyoCell, is a clinical muscle-derived cell therapy designed to populate regions of scar tissue within a patient’s heart with new living cells for the purpose of improving cardiac function in chronic heart failure patients. For more information on Bioheart, visit http://www.bioheartinc.com.

About Stemlogix, LLC

Stemlogix is an innovative veterinary regenerative medicine company committed to providing veterinarians with the ability to deliver the best possible stem cell therapy to dogs, cats and horses at the point-of-care. Stemlogix provides veterinarians with the ability to isolate regenerative stem cells from a patient’s own adipose (fat) tissue directly on-site within their own clinic or where a patient is located. Regenerative stem cells isolated from adipose tissue have been shown in studies to be effective in treating animal’s suffering from osteoarthritis, joint diseases, tendon injuries, heart disorders, among other conditions. Stemlogix has a highly experienced management team with experience in setting up full scale cGMP stem cell manufacturing facilities, stem cell product development & enhancement, developing point-of-care cell production systems, developing culture expanded stem cell production systems, FDA compliance, directing clinical & preclinical studies with multiple cell types for multiple indications, and more. For more information about veterinary regenerative medicine please visit http://www.stemlogix.com.

Forward-Looking Statements: Except for historical matters contained herein, statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, words such as “may,” “will,” “to,” “plan,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “estimate,” or “continue” or the negative other variations thereof or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

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Bioheart Labs and Stemlogix Veterinary Products Featured in Media

Research and Markets: Progenitor and Stem Cell Technologies and Therapies Reviews the Range Of Progenitor and Stem …

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dublin – Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/2fee68d4/progenitor_and_ste) has announced the addition of Woodhead Publishing Ltd’s new book “Progenitor and Stem Cell Technologies and Therapies” to their offering.

Progenitor and stem cell technologies and therapies

Progenitor and stem cells have the ability to renew themselves and change into a variety of specialised types, making them ideal materials for therapy and regenerative medicine. “Progenitor and stem cell technologies and therapies” reviews the range of progenitor and stem cells available and their therapeutic application.

Part one reviews basic principles for the culture of stem cells before discussing technologies for particular cell types. These include human embryonic, induced pluripotent, amniotic and placental, cord and multipotent stem cells. Part two discusses wider issues such as intellectual property, regulation and commercialisation of stem cell technologies and therapies. The final part of the book considers the therapeutic use of stem and progenitor cells. Chapters review the use of adipose tissue-derived stem cells, umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cells, bone marrow, auditory and oral cavity stem cells. Other chapters cover the use of stem cells in therapies in various clinical areas, including lung, cartilage, urologic, nerve and cardiac repair.

With its distinguished editor and international team of contributors, “Progenitor and stem cell technologies and therapies” is a standard reference for both those researching in cell and tissue biology and engineering as well as medical practitioners investigating the therapeutic use of this important technology.

Key Features:

– Reviews the range of progenitor and stem cells available and outlines their therapeutic application

– Examines the basic principles for the culture of stem cells before discussing technologies for particular cell types, including human embryonic, induced pluripotent, amniotic and placental, cord and multipotent stem cells

– Includes a discussion of wider issues such as intellectual property, regulation and commercialisation of stem cell technologies and therapies

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/2fee68d4/progenitor_and_ste

Originally posted here:
Research and Markets: Progenitor and Stem Cell Technologies and Therapies Reviews the Range Of Progenitor and Stem …

This Week in JAMA [This Week in JAMA]

Dexmedetomidine for Maintaining Sedation

During prolonged mechanical ventilation, sedation with midazolam or propofol is associated with serious adverse effects. Jakob and colleagues assessed the efficacy of dexmedetomidinean 2-agonist sedativecompared with either midazolam or propofol in 2 multicenter randomized trials that involved 998 patients expected to require more than 24 hours’ mechanical ventilation. Among the authors’ findings was that dexmedetomidine was not inferior to midazolam or propofol in maintaining light to moderate sedation or in reducing total ventilation duration compared with midazolam. However, dexmedetomidine was associated with more adverse events. In an editorial, Wunsch discusses the costs and benefits of sedative options for critically ill patients undergoing mechanical ventilation.

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Epinephrine is widely used in resuscitation of patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; however, its effectiveness is not established. Hagihara and colleagues analyzed registry data from 417188 patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to assess the relationship between prehospital epinephrine use and mortality and functional status among survivors. The authors report that prehospital epinephrine use was associated with increased return of spontaneous circulation before hospital arrival but decreased the likelihood of survival at 1 month or survival with good functional status. In an editorial, Callaway discusses the evidence that epinephrine use during cardiopulmonary resuscitation may not improve patient-oriented outcomes.

(ARTICLE) (ARTICLE)AND AUTHOR AUDIO INTERVIEW

Immunosuppressive induction therapyroutine in organ transplantsreduces the risk of organ rejection but is associated with adverse effects. Infusion of bone marrowderived mesenchymal stem cells, which have immunoregulatory effects, may offer an alternative immunosuppressive approach. In a randomized trial of 159 patients undergoing living-related kidney transplants, Tan and colleagues found that compared with conventional antiinterleukin 2 receptor antibodybased therapy, a regimen that involved infusion of autologous mesenchymal stem cells was associated with a lower incidence of acute rejection and better renal function at 1 year.

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The use of anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists to administer procedural sedation during outpatient endoscopies increases costs. In a retrospective analysis of claims data from 1.1 million Medicare beneficiaries and 5.5 million commercially insured patients, Liu and colleagues found that utilization of anesthesia services during upper endoscopies and colonoscopies increased from approximately 14% in 2003 to more than 30% in 2009. The majority of anesthesia services were provided to low-risk patients and varied across geographic regions. In an editorial, Fleisher discusses factors that may contribute to increased use of anesthesia services for patients undergoing endoscopy procedures.

(ARTICLE) (ARTICLE)AND AUTHOR VIDEO INTERVIEW

Mrs N, a 75-year-old woman, has a several-year history of hearing loss, which is more bothersome to her family than herself. Pacala and Yueh discuss the prevalence, etiology, and consequences of hearing loss in older patients; its evaluation and treatment, including the selection and fitting of hearing aids; and special challenges to effective hearing aid use among older adults with multiple comorbidities.

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This Week in JAMA [This Week in JAMA]

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