Stem cells: Therapy, controversy, and research

The idea of a miracle cure and bodies healing themselves holds a particular fascination. Stem cell research brings regenerative medicine a step closer, but many of the ideas and concepts remain controversial. So what are stem cells, and why are they so important?

Stem cells are a type of cell that can develop into many other types of cell. Stem cells can also renew themselves by dividing, even after they have been inactive for a long time.

The human body requires many different types of cell to function, but it does not produce each cell type fully formed and ready to use. Instead, it produces stem cells that have a wide range of possible functions. However, stem cells need to become a specific cell type to be useful.

When a stem cell divides, the new cells may either become another stem cell or a specific cell, such as a blood cell, a brain cell, or a muscle cell.

Scientists call a stem cell an undifferentiated cell because it can become any cell. In contrast, a blood cell, for example, is a differentiated cell, because it is already a specific kind of cell.

In some tissues, stem cells play an essential role in regeneration, as they can divide easily to replace dead cells.

Scientists believe that knowing how stem cells work may lead to possible treatments for conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

For instance, if someones heart contains damaged tissue, doctors might be able to stimulate healthy tissue to grow by transplanting laboratory-grown stem cells into the persons heart. This could cause the heart tissue to renew itself.

Researchers on a small-scale study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research tested this method.

The results showed a 40 percent reduction of the size of scarred heart tissue caused by heart attacks when doctors transplanted stem cells to the damaged area.

Doctors have always considered this kind of scarring permanent and untreatable.

However, this small study involved only 11 participants. This makes it difficult to tell whether the improvement in heart function resulted from the transplantation of stem cells or whether it was due to something else.

For example, all of the transplants took place while the individuals were undergoing heart bypass surgery, so it is possible that the improvement in heart function was due to the bypass rather than the stem cell treatment.

To investigate further, the researchers plan to do another study. This study will include a control group of people with heart failure who undergo bypass surgery but who do not receive the stem cell treatment.

Another investigation, published in Nature Communications in 2016, has suggested that stem cell therapies could be the basis of personalized diabetes treatment.

In mice and laboratory-grown cultures, researchers successfully produced insulin-secreting cells from stem cells derived from the skin of people with type 1 diabetes.

Jeffrey R. Millman, assistant professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Washington University School of Medicine and first author, says:

In theory, if we could replace the damaged cells in these individuals with new pancreatic beta cells whose primary function is to store and release insulin to control blood glucose patients with type 1 diabetes wouldnt need insulin shots anymore.

Jeffrey R. Millman

Millman hopes that these stem cell-derived beta cells could be ready for research in humans within 3 to 5 years.

What were envisioning is an outpatient procedure in which some sort of device filled with the cells would be placed just beneath the skin, he said.

Stem cells could have vast potential in developing new therapies.

One way that scientists use stem cells at the moment is in developing and testing new drugs.

The type of stem cells that scientists commonly use for this purpose are called induced pluripotent stem cells.

These are cells that have already undergone differentiation, but which scientists have genetically reprogrammed using viruses, so they can divide and become any cell. In this way, they act like undifferentiated stem cells.

Scientists can grow differentiated cells from these pluripotent stem cells to resemble, for instance, cancer cells. Creating these cells means that scientists can use them to test anti-cancer drugs.

Researchers are already making a wide variety of cancer cells using this method. However, because they cannot yet create cells that mimic cancer cells in a controlled way, it is not always possible to replicate the results precisely.

In recent years, clinics have opened that provide stem cell treatments.

A 2016 study published in Cell Stem Cell counted 570 of these clinics in the United States alone. They offer stem cell-based therapies for disorders ranging from sports injuries to cancer.

However, stem cell therapies are still mostly theoretical rather than evidence-based.

Very few stem cell treatments have even reached the earliest phase of a clinical trial. Scientists are carrying out most of the current research in mice or a petri dish.

Despite this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allow clinics to inject people with their own stem cells, as long as the cells are intended to perform only their normal function, according to Cell Stem Cell.

Scientists can harvest stem cells in different ways.

Embryonic stem cells come from an embryo that is just a few days old.

Scientists can extract adult stem cells from different types of tissue, including the brain, bone marrow, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, skin, teeth, the gut, the liver, among others.

Amniotic fluid contains stem cells. Many women opt for an amniocentesis test that checks for congenital disabilities before the child is born. If the doctor keeps the fluid, they could use it in the future to treat other conditions either during gestation or after birth.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are cells that scientists can reprogram to act as stem cells, for use in regenerative medicine.

After collecting the stem cells, scientists usually store them in liquid nitrogen for future use.

Historically, the use of stem cells in medical research has been controversial.

This is because when the therapeutic use of stem cells first came to the publics attention in the late 1990s, scientists were deriving human stem cells from embryos.

Many people disagree with using human embryonic cells for medical research because extracting the stem means destroying the embryo.

This creates complex issues, as people have different beliefs about what constitutes the start of human life.

For some people, life starts when a baby is born, or when an embryo develops into a fetus. Others believe that human life begins at conception, so an embryo has the same moral status and rights as a human adult or child.

President George W. Bush had strong, pro-life religious views, and he banned funding for human stem cell research in 2001.

However, President Obamas administration allowed for a partial rolling back of these research restrictions.

However, by 2006, scientists had already started using pluripotent stem cells. Scientists do not derive these stem cells from embryonic stem cells. As a result, this technique does not have the same ethical concerns.

With this and other recent advances in stem cell technology, attitudes toward stem cell research are slowly beginning to change.

Stem cell research is helping scientists to understand how an organism develops from a single cell, and how healthy cells come to replace defective cells in people and animals.

Many severe medical conditions that occur in humans, such as cancer and congenital disabilities, happen because cells divide abnormally.

A better understanding of stem cells can provide insight into how these diseases arise and possible treatment options.

In June 2016, two researchers took second prize in the materials category of the United Kingdoms Royal Society of Chemistrys emerging technology competition for creating a synthetic biomaterial that stimulates stem cells native to a persons own teeth.

The researchers believe that this material will replace fillings, as the stem cells would prompt the damaged teeth to heal themselves.

Although much more research is necessary before stem cell therapies can become part of regular medical practice, the science around stem cells is developing all the time.

In almost every therapy area, doctors hope that stem cell technology will revolutionize therapeutic norms and introduce at least a new standard of personalized treatment, and maybe even self-healing bodies.

When that might happen, no one is quite ready to say.

Find out more here about stem cells, where they come from, and their possible uses.

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Research Antibodies Market Size to Reach USD 5325.8 Million by 2027 | Increasing R&D Activities in the Fields of Oncology, Neurobiology, and Stem…

Vancouver, British Columbia, March 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global research antibodies market is projected to acquire up to USD 5,325.8 Million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. The surging incidences of infectious diseases globally and the increasing applications of research antibodies in neurobiology, oncology, immunology, and stem cells are the pivotal factors fueling the growth of the global research antibodies market. A significant spike in pharmaceutical and biotechnological research activities, substantial government funds and grants for academic & research institutes, and the rising research collaborations between prestigious universities and healthcare giants have stimulated the market growth significantly over recent years.

Antibodies are protein molecules comprising B cells and play an integral role in safeguarding the bodys immune system. One of the most vital functions of antibodies is to identify foreign substances like antigens and aid in fighting infections. Antibodies are considered ideal probes in cell research due to their unique ability to bind to specific molecules. Moreover, they have emerged as an essential tool in the study of cell protein functions.

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The constant growth of the global research antibodies market can be further attributed to the technological advancements in antibody development, the growing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinsons disease, and Huntingtons disease, and the rising need for effective therapies for such severe health conditions. The growing geriatric population and the exponentially rising number of cancer patients worldwide have further boosted the market growth. The deepening focus on drug development and hefty investments by the government in genomic and proteomic research programs create more opportunities for global market growth in the near future.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has positively impacted the global research antibodies market, as pharmaceutical companies are increasingly focusing on developing monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 treatment. Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies developed by the cloning of a white blood cell. They emulate the functions of natural antibodies in response to various infections and find significant usage in cancer treatment. In 2020, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca commenced the early-stage trial of AZD7442, its antibody-based therapeutics for COVID-19treatment.The leading healthcare companies, Regeneron and Roche, also collaborated on clinical trials of the monoclonal antibody, called REGN-COV2, which they developed for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

Key Highlights of the Report:

Check Our Prices@ the purpose of this report, the global research antibodies market is segmented on the basis of antibody type, product type, application, technology, end-user, and region:By Antibody Type (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027)

By Product Type (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027)

By Application (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027)

By Technology (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027)

By End-user (Revenue, USD Million; 2017-2027)

Click to access the Report Study, Read key highlights of the Report and Look at Projected Trends: Region (Revenue, USD Billion; 2017-2027)

North America








Rest of Europe

Asia Pacific



South Korea

Rest of Asia Pacific

Latin America


Rest of Latin America

Middle East & Africa

Saudi Arabia


Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Research Antibodies Market Size to Reach USD 5325.8 Million by 2027 | Increasing R&D Activities in the Fields of Oncology, Neurobiology, and Stem...

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Human embryo research beyond the primitive streak – Science

Since the first successful birth resulting from in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the late 1970s, human embryo research has been subject to limits of time and developmental benchmarks. National guidelines, laws, and international norms have prohibited scientists from culturing embryos for research beyond 14 consecutive days, or beyond the appearance of a structure called the primitive streak, which defines the beginning of the formation of the principal tissues of the body and the end of the period when an embryo can divide into identical twins (1). At the time this limit was put in place 40 years ago, there were no methods to culture embryos in a dish for anywhere close to 14 days. But research since 2016 (2, 3) shows that it is likely possible to culture human research embryos past the 2-week limit and suggests that doing so will yield scientific insights that could prove important for human health and fertility (4). We thus urge policy-makers and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), which will soon release updated guidelines for stem cell and embryo research, to consider a cautious, stepwise approach to scientific exploration beyond the 14-day limit.

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Stem Cell Therapy Market Research Reveals Enhanced Growth During The Forecast Period 2017 2025 FLA News – FLA News

Stem cells are found in all human beings, from the initial stages of human growth to the end of life. All stem cells are beneficial for medical research; however, each of the different kinds of stem cells has both limitations and promise. Embryonic stem cells that can be obtained from a very initial stage in human development have the prospect to develop all of the cell types in the human body. Adult stem cells are found in definite tissues in fully developed humans. Stem cells are basic cells of all multicellular animals having the ability to differentiate into a wide range of adult cells. Totipotency and self-renewal are characteristics of stem cells. However, totipotency is seen in very early embryonic stem cells. The adult stem cells owes multipotency and difference flexibility which can be exploited for next generation therapeutic options. Recently, scientists have also recognized stem cells in the placenta and umbilical cord blood that can give rise to several types of blood cells. Research for stem cells is being undertaken with the expectation of achieving major medical inventions. Scientists are attempting to develop therapies that replace or rebuild spoiled cells with the tissues generated from stem cells and offer hope to people suffering from diabetes, cancer, spinal-cord injuries, cardiovascular disease, and many other disorders.

The stem cell therapy market is segmented on the basis of type, therapeutic applications, cell source, and geography. On the basis of type, the stem cell therapy market is categorized into allogeneic stem cell therapy and autologous stem cell therapy. Allogeneic stem cell therapy includes transferring the stem cells from a healthy person (the donor) to the patients body through high-intensity radiation or chemotherapy. Allogeneic stem cell therapy is used to treat patients who do not respond fully to treatment, who have high risk of relapse, and relapse after prior successful treatment. Autologous stem cell therapy is a type of therapy that uses the persons own stem cells. These type of cells are collected earlier and returned in future. The use of stem cells is done to replace damaged cells by high doses of chemotherapy, and to treat the persons underlying disease. On the basis of therapeutic applications, the stem cell therapy market is segmented into cardiovascular diseases, wounds and injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, surgeries, neurodegenerative disorders, and others. On the basis of cell source, stem cells therapy is segmented into bone marrow-derived mesenchyme stem cells, adipose tissue-derived mesenchyme stem cells, and cord blood or embryonic stem cells

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By geography, the market for stem cell therapy is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America leads the stem cell therapy market owing to rising awareness among people, early treatment adoption, and new product innovations. Europe is the second leading market for stem cell therapy due to development and expansion of more efficient and advanced technologies. The Asia Pacific stem cell therapy market is also anticipated to grow at an increasing rate owing to increasing healthcare spending, adoption of western lifestyles, and growth in research and development. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for stem cell therapy as several players have invested in the development of new stem cell technologies. These factors are expected to drive the growth of the stem cell therapy market globally during the forecast period.

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The major player in the stem cell therapy market are Regenexx, Takara Bio Company, Genea Biocells, PromoCell GmbH, CellGenix GmbH, Cellular Engineering Technologies, BIOTIME, INC., Astellas Pharma US, Inc., AlloSource, RTI Surgical, Inc., NuVasive, Inc., JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., Holostem Terapie Avanzate S.r.l., PHARMICELL Co., Ltd, ANTEROGEN.CO., LTD., The Future of Biotechnology, and Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. Rising demand for advanced stem cell therapies will increase the competition between players in the stem cell therapy market.

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Astrocytes Derived from Patients with Bipolar Disorder Malfunction – UC San Diego Health

Brain cells called astrocytes derived from the induced pluripotent stem cells of patients with bipolar disorder offer suboptimal support for neuronal activity. In a paper in the journal Stem Cell Reports, researchers show that this malfunction can be traced to an inflammation-promoting molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is secreted by astrocytes. The results highlight the potential role of astrocyte-mediated inflammatory signaling in the psychiatric disease, although further investigation is needed.

Our findings suggest that IL-6 may contribute to defects associated with bipolar disorder, opening new avenues for clinical intervention, said co-senior study author Fred Gage of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Approximately 1-3% of individuals suffer from bipolar disorder, which is characterized by recurrent mood states ranging from high energy and elation, known as mania, to low energy and depressive episodes. Several lines of evidence suggest a link between imbalanced inflammatory signaling and bipolar disorder. For example, these patients show signs of chronic inflammation and have a higher prevalence of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Moreover, they have higher concentrations of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and IL-6, particularly during manic episodes.

While mild inflammation can be beneficial for many neural processes, the overproduction of IL-6 may worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder and may be an important therapeutic target, said co-senior study author Maria Carolina Marchetto of the Salk Institute and the University of California San Diego Department of Anthropology.

Astrocytes are known to participate in the inflammatory cascade within the brain. These cells are activated by IL-1 and other pro-inflammatory cytokines and in turn secrete cytokines that participate in the process of neuroinflammation. Due to a growing understanding of the role of neuroinflammation in psychiatric disorders, we wondered whether altered inflammation-driven signaling in astrocytes was associated with bipolar disorder, said co-senior study author Renata Santos of Salk and the Institute of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Paris.

The researchers previously developed a method for rapidly generating inflammation-responsive astrocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In the new study, they compared the inflammation signatures in iPSC-derived astrocytes generated from six patients with bipolar disorder and four healthy individuals.

The response of astrocytes from patients to pro-inflammatory cytokines revealed a unique transcriptional pattern, which was characterized by higher expression of the IL-6 gene. As a result, these cells secreted more IL-6, which negatively impacted the activity of co-cultured neurons. Exposure to the culture medium of the astrocytes was sufficient to decrease neuronal activity, and this effect was partially blocked by IL-6-inactivating antibody. Moreover, blood levels of IL-6 were higher in patients compared to healthy individuals.

These results suggest that secreted factors from astrocytes play a role in regulating neuronal activity and that, in the case of bipolar disorder, IL-6 at least in part mediated the effects of inflammation-primed astrocytes on neuronal activity, said first author Krishna Vadodaria of Salk.

Moving forward, the researchers plan to further investigate the effect of IL-6 on neuronal activity. In the meantime, the findings should be interpreted with caution. The experiments may not mimic conditions of chronic inflammation associated with bipolar disorder, and the culture system did not include many cell types involved in potentially relevant immune responses. In addition, iPSC-derived astrocytes are relatively immature compared to those in the brains of bipolar patients, and there is a lack of reliable biomarkers for pinpointing exact developmental age.

At this moment, direct extrapolation of the results to patients remains challenging, Gage said. Despite these limitations, our findings elucidate aspects of the understudied role of astrocytes in neuroinflammation in psychiatric disorders.

This research was supported by the Robert and Mary Jane Engman Foundation, Lynn and Edward Streim, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Bob and Mary Jane Engman, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Annette C. Merle-Smith, the G. Harold & Leila Y. Mathers Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Astrocytes Derived from Patients with Bipolar Disorder Malfunction - UC San Diego Health

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Global Stem Cell Therapy Market Booming Market To Hit $ 18.66 Billion By 2027 With Top Key Players Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (US), MEDIPOST Co., Ltd….

By using Stem Cell Therapy market research report, organizations can gain vital information about the competitors, economic shifts, demographics, current market trends, and spending traits of the customers. This comprehensive marketing report provides real world market research solutions for every industry sector, along with meticulous data collection from non-public sources to better equip businesses with the information they need most. The report covers the scope, size, disposition and growth of the industry including the key sensitivities and success factors. Global Stem Cell Therapy market report also covers five year industry forecasts, growth rates and an analysis of the industry key players and their market shares.

According to Data Bridge Market Research the market for stem cell therapy market is growing because of the advanced genome-based cell analysis techniques in the market to enhance the growth. With the increase in the growth of public and private investments in stem cell research which makes the market more available for the consumers and also due to the developments in infrastructure for stem cell banking and enhance the market growth.

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Stem cell therapy marketis expected to gain market growth in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. Data Bridge Market Research analyses the market to account to USD 18.66 billion by 2027 growing with a CAGR of 9.25% in the above-mentioned forecast period.

The major players covered in the stem cell therapy market report are Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., MEDIPOST Co., Ltd., Anterogen Co., Ltd., Pharmicell Co., Ltd., STEMCELL Technologies Inc., Astellas Pharma Inc., Cellular Engineering Technologies Inc., BioTime Inc., Takara Bio Inc., U.S. Stem Cell, Inc., BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., Caladrius Biosciences, Inc., Athersys., Cytori Therapeutics, Inc., Fate Therapeutics Inc., Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., Thermo Fisher Scientific., Vericel Corporation., ViaCyte, Inc, AbbVie, Mesoblast Ltd., Roslin Cells, Regeneus Ltd, ReNeuron Group plc, International Stem Cell Corporation, Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., Advanced Cell Technology, Cryo Cell International, Geron Corporation and Invitrogen among other domestic and global players.

Global Stem Cell Therapy Market Scope and Market Size

Stem cell therapy market is segmented on the basis of type, technology, product, applications and end users. The growth amongst these segments will help you analyse meagre growth segments in the industries, and provide the users with valuable market overview and market insights to help them in making strategic decisions for identification of core market applications.

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North America dominates the stem cell therapy market due to rising public awareness related to the therapeutic potency of stem cells in disease therapy, growing number of clinical trials that aim to evaluate the therapeutic potential of stem cell-based products, increasing public-private funding & research grants for developing safe and effective stem cell therapy products and growing patient base for target diseases, while Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the highest growth rate in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027 due to strong product pipelines in regenerative therapies and large patient population.

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Global Stem Cell Therapy Market Booming Market To Hit $ 18.66 Billion By 2027 With Top Key Players Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (US), MEDIPOST Co., Ltd....

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Stem Cell Derived Exosome Production in Stirred-Tank Bioreactors – BioProcess Insider

This webcast features: Aurlie Tacheny, Project Manager and Application Specialist, and Jorge Escobar Senior Research Scientist, Applications Lab, Eppendorf

Exosomes are a population of naturally occurring, mobile, membrane-limited,30100 nm in diameter, extracellular vesicles containing a large number of proteins, lipids, messenger, and micro-RNAs. It was shown that they play a role in the mediation of intercellular communication, the modulation of immune-regulatory processes, tumor metabolism, and regenerative as well as degenerative processes. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of exosomes produced by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

Stirred-tank bioreactors offer the possibility to tightly control and monitor the production of exosomes, as well as the scalability, to produce increasing amounts. However, the cultivation of stem cells in stirred-tank bioreactors requires profound knowledge and precise control of the process.

In our talk, we will highlight the potential and benefits of stirred-tank bioreactors in the cultivation of stem cells for exosome production. We will share our knowledge on how we developed the process in our DASbox Mini Parallel Bioreactor System and scaled up the process to 1 L controlled by our newest parallel bioreactor control system, the SciVario twin.

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Researchers study iPSCs to uncover genetic causes of disease – Drug Target Review

Sequencing and transcriptome data on iPSCs has been used to identify correlations between genetic variants and expression patterns.

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), together with international partners, have studied the genotype-phenotype relationships in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using data from approximately 1,000 donors.

According to the researchers, tens of thousands of genetic variations single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified in the human genome that are associated with specific diseases. Many of these genetic variants are not located in the protein-coding regions of genes, but affect regulatory sections. Therefore, scientists are trying to find out if and in which tissues these variants can be linked to changes in the activity of specific genes.

Typically, such analyses are performed in blood cells or tissue biopsies, depending on the type of disease. Pluripotent stem cells, however, might be better suited for this purpose in many cases, as they are undifferentiated and therefore reflect the ancestral state of all cells, said Oliver Stegle, division head at the DKFZ and group leader at EMBL. Stem cells could be particularly relevant when searching for the cause of diseases that occur early in development.

The team compiled sequence and transcriptome data on iPSCs from around 1,000 donors. They then systematically examined these data to identify correlations between individual genetic variants and altered expression patterns in stem cells.

For more than 67 percent of all genes active in iPSCs, the researchers found differential expression patterns depending on genetic variants. Many of these associations are novel and have not been described in somatic cell types before. For over 4,000 of these associations, the genetic variants responsible for the altered expression patterns could be linked to specific diseases. These included, for example, variants associated with coronary heart disease, lipid metabolism disorders or hereditary cancers.

The researchers also investigated whether iPS are suitable for identifying the causative genes of rare genetic diseases. They used iPSC lines from 65 patients who suffered from various rare diseases, whose causal gene defects were already known through previous analyses. In the transcriptome data of these iPSC lines, the scientists searched for particularly conspicuous outliers in the expression pattern. These analyses reliably led to the trace of the genetic basis of the disease.

Such screenings were previously impossible because there were simply no sufficiently large reference collections of iPS transcriptomes, explained Marc Jan Bonder, first author of the study.We were surprised to find such a large number of disease-associated genetic variants that are already visible in the expression pattern at the earliest time point of cell differentiation, represented by the iPSCs.

The results are published in Nature Genetics.

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Moderna Hires Harvard Stem Cell Researcher Jonathan Hoggatt as Director of Hematology: What You Need to Know – Benzinga

Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), which shot to prominence with its coronavirus vaccine program, is beefing up its research and developmentteam.

What Happened: Jonathan Hoggatt, who was a principal faculty member at Harvard Stem Cell Institute, has joined Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna as director of hematology, according to a Twitter post by the researcher.

He served as assistant professor at the Harvard Medical School's Hoggatt Lab, which works on tissue regeneration and stem cell biology, with a particular focus on translational research to enhance bone marrow transplantation.

Hoggatt has a master's degree in biology and a doctoral degree in hematology, and pursued apost-doctoral program in stem cell biology, his LinkedIn profile revealed.

Related Link: The Week Ahead In Biotech (Feb. 28-March 6): KemPharm, Gilead FDA Decisions and More Earnings

Why It's Important: After the resounding success with its coronavirus vaccine program, it's logical Moderna now turns its attention toward other programs.

The company has a rich pipeline, comprising investigational prophylactic vaccines against infectious diseases, secreted and cell therapeutic candidates, cancer vaccine candidates, regenerative therapeutic candidates and immuno-oncology candidates.

The immuno-oncology pipeline consists of two candidates, namely mRNA-2416 for lymphoma and a triplet candidate, codenamed mRNA-2752, both aimed at treating lymphoma and solid tumors.

The new appointment may be signaling Moderna's intent to focus on these candidates in a big way.

MRNA Price Action: In premarket trading Friday, Moderna shares were slipping 1.36% to $130.50.

Related Link: The Daily Biotech Pulse: Fulgent's Big Quarter, Gilead Awaits FDA Decision, Apellis Winds Up COVID-19 Study

(Moderna's Cambridge, Massachusetts offices; photo by Fletcher via WikimediaCommons)

2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Moderna Hires Harvard Stem Cell Researcher Jonathan Hoggatt as Director of Hematology: What You Need to Know - Benzinga

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Intrapericardial injection provides a less invasive means of treating cardiac injury – News-Medical.Net

Injecting hydrogels containing stem cell or exosome therapeutics directly into the pericardial cavity could be a less invasive, less costly, and more effective means of treating cardiac injury, according to new research from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stem cell therapy holds promise as a way to treat cardiac injury, but delivering the therapy directly to the site of the injury and keeping it in place long enough to be effective are ongoing challenges. Even cardiac patches, which can be positioned directly over the site of the injury, have drawbacks in that they require invasive surgical methods for placement.

"We wanted a less invasive way to get therapeutics to the injury site," says Ke Cheng, Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Regenerative Medicine at NC State's Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences and professor in the NC State/UNC-Chapel Hill Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. "Using the pericardial cavity as a natural "mold" could allow us to create cardiac patches - at the site of injury - from hydrogels containing therapeutics."

In a proof-of-concept study, Cheng and colleagues from NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill looked at two different types of hydrogels - one naturally derived and one synthetic - and two different stem cell-derived therapeutics in mouse and rat models of heart attack. The therapeutics were delivered via intrapericardial (iPC) injection.

Via fluorescent imaging the researchers were able to see that the hydrogel spread out to form a cardiac patch in the pericardial cavity. They also confirmed that the stem cell or exosome therapeutics can be released into the myocardium, leading to reduced cell death and improved cardiac function compared to animals in the group who received only the hydrogel without therapeutics.

The team then turned to a pig model to test the procedure's safety and feasibility. They delivered the iPC injections using a minimally invasive procedure that required only two small incisions, then monitored the pigs for adverse effects. They found no breathing complications, pericardial inflammation, or changes in blood chemistry up to three days post-procedure.

"Our hope is that this method of drug delivery to the heart will result in less invasive, less costly procedures with higher therapeutic efficacy," Cheng says. "Our early results are promising - the method is safe and generates a higher retention rate of therapeutics than those currently in use. Next we will perform additional preclinical studies in large animals to further test the safety and efficacy of this therapy, before we can start a clinical trial."

I anticipate in a clinical setting in the future, iPC injection could be performed with pericardial access similar to the LARIAT procedure. In that regard, only one small incision under local anesthesia is needed on the patient's chest wall."

Dr. Joe Rossi, Study Co-Author and Associate Professor, Division of Cardiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Journal reference:

Zhu, D., et al. (2021) Minimally invasive delivery of therapeutic agents by hydrogel injection into the pericardial cavity for cardiac repair. Nature Communications.

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