Category Archives: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Pros And Cons …

Stem Cell Research Morally Wrong There are bugs or theres something that goes wrong to stem cell researchers, including myself, underscores the synergy that results when we reach across disciplines. The Santa Barbara-based event covers By contrast, the public is much less likely

Stem Cells and Growth Factors: What You Should Know However, there remains a great deal of confusion about the differences between growth factors, stem cells, plant stem cells and other related technologies. This article will discuss the pros and cons of This is known as induced pluripotent stem cells

While embryonic stem cells may turn out to be the best choice for some therapies, research work with other stem cell system, such as iPS cells and adult stem

"Stem Cell Research Pros and Cons." Scientific Method Understanding Science The third and most recently discovered source is adult stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). Adult bone marrow or blood cells can be artificially induced

Adult stem cells are found throughout the body unlike embryonic stem cells which are found in the embryo. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent which to me is unethical. The pros for embryonic stem cell research overrule the cons. There are too many

Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Drug Discovery. iPSCs present a unique approach for modeling human physiology and disease and understanding the

Definition: iPS cells, or IPSCs, stands for induced pluripotent stem cells. These are somatic Also Known As: iPS cells Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research

In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits, advantages and disadvantages cells and all the other cells our bodies are comprised of. Today, medical research is focused on three particular types of stem cells: embryonic, adult and induced

Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Drug Discovery Stem cells provide new opportunities for in vitro modeling and screening in a physiologically relevant environment that is consistent and replicable. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs perspectives on the pros and cons of using iPSCs for research

Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Research Facts Theres been some concern lately about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the connection between the ALS Association and research into stem cell therapies. However, there are some important facts about stem cell research with the Cord Blood

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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Pros And Cons ...

Evotec Expands Its IPSC-Based Cell Therapy Platform Evocells Through Licensing Agreement with panCella – Benzinga

HAMBURG, GERMANY, AND TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 2, 2020 / Evotec SE ((Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, OTC:EVOTF) and the innovative biotechnology company panCELLa Inc. announced today that the companies have entered into a licensing and investment agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will receive a non-exclusive licence to access panCELLa's proprietary iPS cell lines "iACT Stealth Cells(TM)", which are genetically modified to prevent immune rejection of derived cell therapy products ("cloaking"). Furthermore, Evotec will also have access to a new-generation cloaking technology known as hypoimmunogenic cells. In addition, the "FailSafe(TM)" mechanism effectively addresses a key challenge in iPSC-based cell therapy, potential tumour formation by residual undifferentiated cells.

Using the cell lines, Evotec will be able to develop iPSC-based, off-the-shelf cell therapies with long-lasting efficacy that can be safely administered to a broad population of patients without the use of medication to supress the patients' immune system. With a growing portfolio of iPSC-based cell therapy projects at Evotec, access to research as well as GMP-grade iPSC lines modified with one or both of the panCELLa technologies significantly accelerates Evotec's cell therapy discovery and development efforts. Modified iPSC lines will be available for the development of cell therapy approaches across a broad range of indications by Evotec and potential partners. Furthermore, Evotec has made an investment to take a minority stake in panCELLa and has nominated Dr Andreas Scheel to join panCELLa's supervisory board.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "Cell therapies hold enormous potential as truly regenerative or curative approaches for a broad range of different diseases with significant medical need. Integrating panCELLa's technology and cell lines into our ongoing proprietary research and development efforts strengthens Evotec's position in cell therapy. It is our goal to provide safe highly-effective cell therapy products to as many patients as possible. In addition to small molecules and biologics, cell therapy will become yet another major pillar of Evotec's multimodality discovery and development platform."

Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD, CEO at panCELLa, added: "We welcome the partnership with Evotec. Evotec's widely recognised expertise and existing portfolio of iPSC-related technology platforms will allow panCELLa to rapidly advance its own therapeutic interests in NK cell therapy, pancreatic islet production and iPSC-derived MSC platform, in addition to enabling panCELLa to make its platform technologies widely available. I believe that the investment by Evotec in our company is a strong validation of the leading role of panCELLa in the field of regenerative medicine and in the utility of its platform technologies. We welcome Dr Andreas Scheel to our Board."

No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.

About Evotec and iPSCInduced pluripotent stem cells (also known as iPS cells or iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells. The iPSC technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka's lab in Kyoto, Japan, who showed in 2006 that the introduction of four specific genes encoding transcription factors could convert adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. He was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize along with Sir John Gurdon "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent". Pluripotent stem cells hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine. Because they can propagate indefinitely, as well as give rise to every other cell type in the body (such as neurons, heart, pancreatic and liver cells), they represent a single source of cells that could be used to replace those lost to damage or disease.

Evotec has built an industrialised iPSC infrastructure that represents one of the largest and most sophisticated iPSC platforms in the industry. Evotec's iPSC platform has been developed over the last years with the goal to industrialise iPSC-based drug screening in terms of throughput, reproducibility and robustness to reach the highest industrial standards, and to use iPSC-based cells in cell therapy approaches via the Company's proprietary EVOcells platform.

About cell therapy and panCELLa's FailSafe(TM) iPSC technologyCell therapy, one of the most promising regenerative medicine approaches, replaces a patient's missing or broken cells with functioning cells from a range of different sources, either from a donor, from the patient's own material, or from stem cells. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells ("iPSC") has opened up stem cells as an almost unlimited source of consistent-quality material for such cell therapies. At the same time, differentiating cell therapies from a single validated source circumvents critical risks of contamination associated with administering both donor and patient cell material.

However, the patient's immune system will treat such iPSC-based transplants as "foreign" and use the body's immune system to counteract the therapy, thus undermining its long-term efficacy. While organ transplants require an often lifelong regimen of immunosuppressants, iPSC-derived cells used for cell therapies can be cloaked to make them undetectable by the patient's immune system, thus avoiding rejection and enabling effective long-term relief of the patient's symptoms.

To increase the safety of such iPSC-derived cell products, panCELLa's proprietary FailSafe(TM) technology is able to inactivate any iPSC-derived proliferating cell before and after transplantation through the use of a readily available anti-infective medication. FailSafe(TM) is the only quantifiable "safety switch" on the market which is expected to be critical for regulators, clinicians and patients to make informed decisions when evaluating treatment options.

ABOUT PANCELLA INC.Incorporated in August 2015, panCELLa ( was founded by Dr Andras Nagy and Dr Armand Keating based on Dr Nagy's ground-breaking work in the area of stem cell research. Through panCELLa, Drs Keating and Nagy are seeking to create an effective cell therapy derived from stem cells, which are modified to provide a sufficient and very high level of safety before and after the cells are introduced to the patient. panCELLa serves those companies developing products from stem cells. panCELLa seeks to create universal "off the shelf" FailSafe(TM) Cells and to assist pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors to achieve such with their own cell lines. Targeted medical applications include deadly, debilitating, or aggressive diseases requiring immediate treatment where there is no time to cultivate a customized stem cell treatment from the patient (i.e. cancer, cardiac infarct, diabetes, stroke and spinal cord injury).

ABOUT EVOTEC SEEvotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 3,000 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry's need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and women's health. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSInformation set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Contact Evotec SE:Gabriele Hansen, SVP Corporate Communications, Marketing & Investor Relations, Phone: +49.(0)40.56081-255,


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Evotec Expands Its IPSC-Based Cell Therapy Platform Evocells Through Licensing Agreement with panCella - Benzinga

Citius Signs Option With Novellus To License Novel Stem-Cell Therapy For ARDS – Nasdaq

(RTTNews) - Citius Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CTXR) said that it signed an exclusive six-month option agreement to in-license a stem-cell therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS from a subsidiary of Novellus Inc.

In Wednesday pre-market trade, CTXR is trading at $0.82, up $0.22 or 36.64 percent.

Novellus's patented process uses its exclusive non-immunogenic synthetic messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA molecules to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that, in turn, generate mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs with superior immunomodulatory properties.

MSCs have been shown to be safe in over 900 clinical trials and to be safe and effective in treating a number of inflammatory diseases, including ARDS.

mesenchymal stem cells prevent and suppress cytokine storm believed to be the cause of the severe inflammation of ARDS and now seen in COVID-19 patients.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Citius Signs Option With Novellus To License Novel Stem-Cell Therapy For ARDS - Nasdaq

Anti-IL-6 Monoclonal Antibodies as Antiarrhythmic Treatment for HF – The Cardiology Advisor

, which were found to produce high levels of Interleukin-6 (IL-6), was abated in the presence of anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibodies, according to study results intended to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC.20).

In a diseased state, cardiacmesenchymal stromal cells (cMSCs) remodel and secrete inflammatory cytokines,including IL-6. IL-6 has been shown to be a potent inducer of Ca2+-mediatedarrhythmia substrates in human myocytes. While anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibodies havean established role in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and malignancies, theiruse in the treatment of cardiac disease has not been well studied.

Using extracted device leads and explanted hearts from patients with and without heart failure, investigators isolated cMSCs (failing and non-failing cMSCs, respectively), and quantified IL-6 using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Myocytes were derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from individuals without heart failure and cultured in monolayers. Myocytes were treated with exogenous IL-6 or cocultured with failing cMSCs with and without anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody. Fluorescent indicators were used to detect the presence of Ca2+ alternans during steady state pacing.

The secretion of IL-6 was found tobe 5.6 times higher in failing vs nonfailing cMSCs (n=4; P <.005) and 66 times higher in cMSCs vs iPSC-derived humanmyocytes (n=5; P <.002). Myocytes thatwere cocultured with failing cMSCs or were exposed to exogenous IL-6 had largeincreases in Ca2+ alternans compared with myocytes cultured alone (343%,n=12, P <.001 and 300%, n=5, P <.002, respectively). These Ca2+alternans were reduced to baseline levels in myocyte/cMSC cocultures treated vsnot treated with IL-6 (reduction, 400%; n=18, P <.001).

These results suggest anovel anti-arrhythmic therapeutic strategy in heart failure using anti-IL-6drugs such as tocilizumab, sarilumab, or siltuximab, concluded theresearchers.


Vasireddi S, Sattayaprasert P,Moravec C, et al. Targeted anti-inflammatory treatment with anti-Il-6monoclonal antibody for calcium-mediated arrhythmia substrates in heartfailure. Intended to be presented at: American College of Cardiologys 69thAnnual Scientific Session; March 28-30, 2020; Chicago, IL. Presentation 915-09.

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Anti-IL-6 Monoclonal Antibodies as Antiarrhythmic Treatment for HF - The Cardiology Advisor

A New NK Cell-based Immunotherapy For Cancer Treatment – Health News Today

The immunotherapy uses the bodys immune cells or immune cells of a matched donor for the treatment of cancer and for some patients it yields good results in clinical trials.

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that the effectiveness of immunotherapy depends on the age of immune cells. The natural killer (NK) cells, in their early development, are more effective and could be developed from human pluripotent stem cells without utilizing the cells from a matched donor or patient.

Detailed findings of this study are published in the journal Developmental Cell.

Research leader Christopher M. Sturgeon found that the effectiveness of natural killer cells is highly consistent and would not need cells from the patient or the donor. Researchers are working to increase the effectiveness of immunotherapy for cancer patients and revealed that these natural killer cells could be manufactured from the existing cell under strict guidelines and could be easily available for the patients whenever they need them.

Also read- Horrors of Coronavirus Pandemic Continue Killing 10,000 People Worldwide

Adult versions of natural killer cells originate from bone marrow and are used in investigational therapies while earlier natural killer cells form in the yolk sac of the early embryos of mammals. These earlier versions of NK cells are short-lived immune cells and can originate from human pluripotent stem cells for therapeutic purposes because these stem cells tend to produce different types of cells including NK cells.

Producing such cells from stem cells removes the time to utilize patients or donors cells and make it easily available for cancer patients.

Sturgeon found that in the early stage of embryo development, there is no bone marrow but still there is the production of blood. To keep the embryo alive, there is a brief supply of blood by the yolk sac until bone marrow starts the production of blood. These early blood cells seem to be capable of producing natural killer cells that adult blood cells cant produce.

Researchers tempted induced pluripotent stem cells of human and mouse to form specific natural killer cells and showed that these early versions of natural killer cells are better than adults ones in releasing anti-tumor chemicals through a process called degranulation.

The research team adds that adult version of natural killer cells provokes harmful inflammation by releasing different chemicals but unfortunately these chemicals are not helpful against cancer.

Also read- Loss of Smell (anosmia) is the New Sign of COVID-19, Doctors Say

In the past work by other research groups, the origin of natural killer cells was a question mark. These groups suggested that early versions of natural killer cells are more helpful against cancer but how and why they were effective was unknown.

But now the origin of these unique natural killer cells is known. Natural killer cells could be originated from existing pluripotent stem cells and unlike T cell therapies, NK cells dont harm healthy cells of body tissues. In case, if NK cells cause harm they do not stay longer in the body.

Sturgeon was interested to know the reason for their presence in the early embryo and assumed that during rapid cell division in the early embryo NK cells supervise the protection against infection or cancer. This study opens doors to manufacture early versions of NK cells from human pluripotent stem cells for clinical trials.

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A New NK Cell-based Immunotherapy For Cancer Treatment - Health News Today

Coriell Institute for Medical Research Awarded $8.6 Million Biobanking Contract from National Institute on Aging – Newswise

Newswise The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has extended its biobanking contract with the Coriell Institute for Medical Research for an additional five years.

The newly awarded $8.6 million funding keeps Coriell in place as the trusted steward of this collection and includes the addition of new innovative products to expand the collection. The NIA Aging Cell Repository was established at Coriell in 1974 and Coriell has continuously managed this unique resource ever since.

Coriells relationship with the NIA is among its oldest and most treasured, said Nahid Turan, Coriell's Chief Biobanking Officer. We at Coriell are committed to ensuring the success of this phenomenal collection of aging-related biospecimens, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to continue this important collaboration with NIA.

The NIA Aging Cell Repository contains a collection of high quality, well characterized human and animal cell line and DNA samples, representing aged human populations, age-related diseases, and animal models of aging and has seen significant changes in the last decade.

One major focus of the collection is now to generate valuable induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines, which can be used to model aging and perform disease in a dish experiments. These stem cells are created from skin or blood cells in the NIA collection, which were reverted into a stem cell state. From there, these cells can be coaxed into becoming nearly any other cell type in the body, including neuronal or nerve cells. Seven of these important iPSC lines have been added to the collection in the last three years, representing age related neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers disease as well as rare genetic diseases like Progeria and Werner Syndrome.

Late last year, the Repository also added more than 350 new cell lines collected from participants in a long-term study of aging known as The 90+ Study. Participants in this study all aged 90 years or older donated their DNA and agreed to answer questions over a period of time to help researchers better understand the lifestyle and biological factors which may contribute to advanced aging.

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Coriell Institute for Medical Research Awarded $8.6 Million Biobanking Contract from National Institute on Aging - Newswise

Stem cells to help the heart – Science Magazine

Shinya Yamanaka's 2006 discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) ignited a revolution in the field of stem cell biology (1). For the first time, nearly all human somatic tissues could be produced from iPSCs reprogrammed from blood or skin cells, in a process that took only weeks. This advance was particularly crucial for obtaining surrogate tissues from cell types that are otherwise difficult to procure and do not readily expand in vitro, such as cardiac or neural cells. Additionally, many ethical concerns are avoided, because this technology uses a patient's own genetic material to create iPSCs rather than relying on embryonic stem cells. In the aftermath of Yamanaka's discovery, entire biomedical industries have developed around the promise of using human iPSCs (hiPSCs) and their derivatives for in vitro disease modeling, drug screening, and cell therapy (2).

The hiPSC technology has had a particularly notable impact in cardiac regenerative medicine, a field where scientists and clinicians have been working to devise new methods to better understand how cardiovascular disease manifests and how to restore cardiovascular function after disease strikes (3). The heart is limited in its ability to regenerate lost cardiomyocytes (beating heart muscle cells), following an adverse event such as a heart attack (4). Cardiomyocytes derived from hiPSCs (hiPSC-CMs) may represent a potential replacement option for dead cells in such a scenario. However, certain issues remain to be addressed, such as whether hiPSC-CMs can integrate with host myocardial tissue in the long term (5).

While using hiPSC-CMs for in vivo cell therapy may become practical in the future, employing hiPSC-CMs for high-throughput drug discovery and screening is becoming a reality in the present (6). Cardiovascular diseases can be recapitulated in a dish with patient-specific hiPSC-CMs. For example, if a patient exhibits a cardiac arrhythmia caused by a genetic abnormality in a sarcomeric protein or ion channel, that same rhythm problem can be recapitulated in vitro (7). Thanks to advances in hiPSC differentiation protocols, hiPSC-CMs can now be mass-produced to study cardiovascular disease mechanisms in vitro (8).

My graduate thesis in the laboratories of Joseph Wu and Sean Wu at Stanford University focused on in vitro applications of hiPSC-CMs for cardiovascular disease modeling and for high-throughput screening of chemotherapeutic compounds to predict cardiotoxicity. I initially embarked on a project using hiPSC-CMs to model viral myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart, caused by the B3 strain of coxsackievirus (9). I began by demonstrating that hiPSC-CMs express the receptors necessary for viral internalization and subsequently found that hiPSC-CMs were highly susceptible to coxsackievirus infection, exhibiting viral cytopathic effect within hours of infection. I also identified compounds that could alleviate coxsackievirus infection on hiPSC-CMs, a translationally relevant finding, as there remains a shortage of treatments for viral myocarditis.

Using a genetically modified variant of coxsackievirus B3 expressing luciferase, I developed a screening platform for assessing the efficacy of antiviral compounds. Pretreatment with interferon-, ribavirin, or pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate markedly suppressed viral replication on hiPSC-CMs by activating intracellular antiviral response and viral protein clearance pathways. These compounds alleviated viral replication in a dose-dependent fashion at low concentrations without causing cellular toxicity.

I next sought to use hiPSC-CMs to screen anticancer chemotherapeutic compounds for their off-target cardiovascular toxicities (10). Cardiotoxicity represents a major cause of drug withdrawal from the pharmaceutical market, and several chemotherapeutic agents can cause unintended cardiovascular damage (11). Using cultured hiPSC-CMs, I evaluated 21 U.S. Food and Drug Administrationapproved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), commonly prescribed anticancer compounds, for their cardiotoxic potential. HiPSC-CMs express the major tyrosine kinase receptor proteins such as the insulin, insulin-like growth factor (IGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors, lending validity to this cellular model.

Initially, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can be produced by reprogramming skin or blood cells by nonviral or viral reprogramming methods. Cardiac differentiation protocols allow for the creation of cardiomyocytes derived from hiPSCs (hiPSC-CMs) for downstream applications, including in vitro disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative cell therapy.

With data from a battery of cellular apoptosis, contractility, electrophysiology, and signaling assays, I generated a cardiac safety index to help align in vitro toxicity data to clinical drug safety guidelines (12). From the safety index, I determined that a subclass of VEGF receptor 2/PDGF receptorinhibiting tyrosine kinase inhibitors, some of which exhibit toxicity clinically, also elicited cardiotoxicities in hiPSC-CMs. These manifested as substantial alterations in cellular electrophysiology, contractility, and viability when administered at clinically relevant concentrations. I also discovered that cotreatment with either IGF or insulin partially rescued TKI-induced toxicity by up-regulating antiapoptotic signaling pathways. This work could prove useful for groups aiming to develop effective screening platforms to assess new chemotherapeutic compounds for cardiotoxic side effects.

I also collaborated with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to send a sample of hiPSC-CMs to the International Space Station. As humankind ventures beyond our home planet, it is imperative that we better understand how the heart functions for long periods of time in microgravity. Analysis of these hiPSC-CMs revealed microgravity-induced alterations in metabolic gene expression and calcium handling (13).

In recent years, the stem cell field has experienced an explosion of studies using hiPSC-CMs as a model cellular system to study cardiovascular biology. As improvements in hiPSC-CM mass production continue, we will see a rise in studies using these cells for disease modeling and drug screening. Thus, although hiPSC-CM technology is in its infancy, it holds great potential to improve cardiovascular health.



Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Having completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Medical School, Sharma is now a senior research fellow jointly appointed at the Smidt Heart Institute and Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. His research seeks to develop in vitro platforms for cardiovascular disease modeling and drug cardiotoxicity assessment.

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Stem cells to help the heart - Science Magazine

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Market Expected to Witness the Highest Growth 202 –

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SpaceX Dragon cargo ship, the last to be caught by robot arm, arrives at space station –

SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo capsule arrived at the International Space Station early this morning (March 9), delivering more than 4,300 lbs. (1,950 kilograms) of supplies to the orbiting lab.

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir used the station's huge Canadarm robotic arm to capture Dragon at 6:25 a.m. EDT (1025 GMT), while the two spacecraft were 262 miles (422 kilometers) above the Pacific Ocean near Vancouver, British Columbia, NASA officials said.

It was the last-ever arm grapple for a Dragon. The current mission the 20th SpaceX has flown under a cargo deal with NASA is the last for this first version of the SpaceX resupply vehicle. The new iteration will dock directly to the International Space Station (ISS), no arm required, just like SpaceX's astronaut-carrying Crew Dragon capsule.

Related: How SpaceX's Dragon space capsule works (infographic)

"The SpaceX 20 mission is a milestone for several reasons," Meir said this morning. "It is of course the 20th SpaceX cargo mission, but it is also the last SpaceX cargo vehicle captured by the Canadarm, as future vehicles will automatically dock to the space station. It is also the last cargo vehicle that will visit during our current crew's time on the space station."

The last SpaceX Dragon to be captured by a robotic arm on the International Space Station is seen just after capture on March 9, 2020. All future Dragons will be able to dock themselves at the station.

SpaceX's Dragon CRS-20 cargo ship was attached to the International Space Station's Harmony connecting node shortly after its capture.

This was the third trip to the space station by this particular SpaceX Dragon. It launched on a Falcon 9 rocket, also previously flown, on Friday, March 6.

The Dragon cargo capsule approached the International Space Station on March 9, 2020.

Dragon launched toward the station atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Friday night (March 6), packed with science gear. Among that hardware is Bartolomeo, a facility created by the European Space Agency and aerospace company Airbus that will provide greater research opportunities on the ISS' exterior.

Dragon also toted up a variety of scientific experiments, including one called MVP Cell-03, which "examines whether microgravity increases the production of heart cells from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)," NASA officials wrote in a statement. "The investigation induces stem cells to generate heart precursor cells and cultures those cells on the space station to analyze and compare with cultures grown on Earth."

"We welcome SpaceX 20 and are eager to reveal its bounty of science and space station hardware and supplies," Meir said. "Congratulations to SpaceX and all of the ISS partner teams involved."

This morning's ISS arrival is the third for this particular Dragon, which also visited the orbiting lab in February 2017 and December 2018.

Three cargo missions is the design limit for the Dragon 1 capsule iteration. But the new Dragon 2 vehicle will be capable of flying to the station and back five times, SpaceX representatives have said. Such repeated reusability is key to SpaceX's quest to slash the cost of spaceflight, thereby making ambitious exploration feats such as Mars colonization economically feasible.

That reusability involves rockets, too. For example, SpaceX landed the first stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 about 8 minutes after liftoff on Friday night, notching the 50th such touchdown for the company during an orbital launch.

SpaceX holds one NASA deal for cargo transport to the ISS and another one for crew. The company flew an uncrewed demonstration mission to the orbiting lab in March 2019 using Crew Dragon, and the capsule is poised to launch two NASA astronauts on a test flight to the ISS soon, perhaps in early May. If that flight, known as Demo-2, goes well, contracted crewed flights would likely follow in short order.

The cargo Dragon will remain attached to the ISS for about a month, then come back down to Earth for an ocean splashdown.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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Notice of Capital and Business Alliance between Heartseed and MEDIPAL HOLDINGS | DNA RNA and Cells | News Channels –

DetailsCategory: DNA RNA and CellsPublished on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 09:50Hits: 476

-Cooperation in Product Development for Innovative Cardiac Regenerative Medicine-

March 10, 2020 I Tokyo-based Heartseed Inc. (Heartseed), a Keio University-originated biotechnology company developing induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiac regenerative medicine, and MEDIPAL HOLDINGS CORPORATION (MEDIPAL) today announced that they have entered into a capital and business alliance.

In conjunction with the alliance, MEDIPAL will acquire an equity stake in Heartseed. In addition, MEDIPAL and its wholly owned subsidiary SPLine Corporation (SPLine) will begin collaborative research with Heartseed on the logistics of Heartseeds clinical trial supplies.

Purpose of the Alliance

Heartseed is developing HS-001, allogeneic iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte spheroids for severe heart failure, which currently has no effective treatment other than heart transplantation. In preparation for the initiation of its clinical trial, Heartseed will outsource its manufacturing to Nikon CeLL innovation Co., Ltd., and are discussing transport of the cardiomyocyte spheroids with MEDIPAL.

MEDIPAL has established a distribution system in compliance with Japanese Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines. MEDIPAL is a pioneer in logistics services in the growing field of regenerative medicine, and has an extensive track record to support development of regenerative medicine products and to build a logistics system for them using its ultra-low temperature transport system.

In this alliance, MEDIPAL will contribute to the improvement of patient care by promoting development of Heartseeds innovative products from the clinical trial stage with its experience and expertise in the distribution of regenerative medicine products.

Comment from Heartseed CEO Keiichi Fukuda, MD, PhD, FACC

The iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte spheroids we are developing are unique in the mechanism that cardiomyocytes are strengthened by turning them into microtissues. The spheroids will be retained and engrafted with the ventricular myocardium for a long-term and are expected to contribute sustained direct ventricular contraction (remuscularization). It is completely

different from conventional treatment methods. To deliver the treatment to patients, logistical considerations are also important, and we are pleased to partner with MEDIPAL, which has an extensive track record in distribution of cellular medicines.

Comment from MEDIPAL Representative Director, President and CEO Shuichi


Their investigational agent has the potential to be an innovative treatment option for patients with severe heart failure. Promoting the development and stable supply of specialty pharmaceuticals is our mission, based on MEDIPALs management philosophy of

contributing to peoples health and the advancement of society through the creation of value in distribution. In this alliance, SPLine, which performs logistical planning for specialty pharmaceuticals, will be involved from the clinical trial stage, and will also work with us in creating a distribution system to ensure safe and reliable delivery of the product to patients after its launch.

Development of HS-001

Heartseed has allogeneic iPSC-derived highly purified ventricular-specific cardiomyocyte spheroids (HS-001) as its lead pipeline candidate, and is conducting research and development for the early commercialization of cardiac regenerative medicine using iPSCs supplied by the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University. HS-001 is the produced by differentiating into ventricular-specific cardiomyocytes from iPSCs with the most frequent human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type1 in Japanese people, and removing undifferentiated iPSCs and non-cardiomyocytes to achieve high purity. To improve the engraftment rate, these cardiomyocytes are formed into spheroids in which approximately 1,000 cardiomyocytes are aggregated.

Since 2016, Heartseed has had more than 10 meetings with the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), with discussions mainly focused on details of nonclinical safety studies, manufacturing processes, and quality management that are required for initiating clinical trials. Heartseed is currently conducting the nonclinical safety studies under Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)2 standards under the agreement of the PMDA on their designs.

Prior to the company-sponsored clinical trials, investigator-initiated clinical trial plan of HS-001 at Keio University had been under review by the Keio University Certified Special Committee for Regenerative Medicine since May 2019 and was approved in February 2020. This plan will be submitted to the Health Science Council of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare after going through established procedures in Keio University Hospital. For 90 days from its submission to the Council, the plan will be examined for conformance with the regenerative medicine provision standards. If conformance is verified, Keio University will be notified and may then begin clinical research.

1. HLA type:White blood cell type, immune rejection is less likely when the HLA type matches.

2. GLP(Good Laboratory Practice):Standards for conducting studies to assess drug safety. These standards should be followed when conducting safety studies using animals in the preclinical stage.

Summary of HS-001

Severe heart failure, particularly heart failure with reduced ejection fraction

About Heartseed Inc.


As a holding company, MEDIPAL controls, administers and supports the operating activities of companies in which it holds shares in the Prescription Pharmaceutical Wholesale Business; the Cosmetics, Daily Necessities and

OTC Pharmaceutical Wholesale Business; and the Animal Health Products and

Food Processing Raw Materials Wholesale Business, and conducts business development for the MEDIPAL Group.

About SPLine Corporation

3.ALC: Area Logistics Center

4. FLC: Front Logistics Center

SOURCE: Heartseed

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