Category Archives: Stem Cell Clinic

AgeX Therapeutics Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual 2019 Financial Results and Provides Business Update – Yahoo Finance

AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. ("AgeX"; NYSE American: AGE), a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, reported its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year-end results for 2019.

Additional Recent Highlights

Balance Sheet Information

Cash, and cash equivalents, and restricted cash totaled $2.5 million as of December 31, 2019, as compared with $6.7 million as of December 31, 2018.

AgeX is in need of additional capital to finance its operations. On March 30, 2020, AgeX entered into a Secured Convertible Facility Agreement (the "Loan Facility") with Juvenescence Limited pursuant to which AgeX may borrow funds from time to time. Loans from Juvenescence in excess of an initial $500,000 advance will be subject to Juvenescences discretion. If AgeX makes a second $500,000 draw under the Loan Facility, it will be required to implement a cost reduction plan that will entail significant reductions in staffing and research and development activities, and if a third advance of funds is approved by Juvenescence, AgeX and certain of its subsidiaries will be required to enter into a Security and Pledge Agreement pursuant to which they will pledge substantially all of their assets to collateralize all loans drawn under the Loan Facility. AgeX will issue stock purchase warrants to Juvenescence based on the amount of loans Juvenescence makes, and will issue 28,500 shares of AgeX common stock to Juvenescence if Juvenescence lends AgeX $3 million in the aggregate. Juvenescence will also have the right to convert outstanding loan balances into shares of AgeX common stock at market prices. More information about the Loan Facility can be found in AgeXs Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As required under Accounting Standards Update 2014-15, Presentation of Financial Statements-Going Concern (ASC 205-40), AgeX evaluates whether conditions and/or events raise substantial doubt about its ability to meet its future financial obligations as they become due within one year after the date its financial statements are issued. Based on AgeXs most recent projected cash flows, and considering that loans from Juvenescence in excess of an initial $500,000 advance under the Loan Facility will be subject to Juvenescences discretion, AgeX believes that its cash and cash equivalents and a $500,000 loan under the Loan Facility would not be sufficient to satisfy its anticipated operating and other funding requirements for the twelve months following the filing of the Form 10-K. These factors raise substantial doubt regarding the ability of AgeX to continue as a going concern, and the report of AgeXs independent registered public accountants accompanying the audited financial statements in AgeXs Annual Report on Form 10-K contains a qualification to such effect.

Fourth Quarter and Annual 2019 Operating Results

Revenues: Total Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2019 were $0.5 million as compared to $0.3 million in the comparable quarter in 2018. Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2019 were $1.73 million, as compared with $1.4 million in the same period in 2018, representing an increase of approximately 24%. AgeX revenue is primarily generated from subscription and advertising revenues from the GeneCards online database through its subsidiary LifeMap Sciences, Inc. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2019 also included approximately $180,000 of allowable expenses under its research grant from the NIH as compared with $20,000 in the same period in 2018.

Operating expenses: Operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2019, were $3.2 million, as reported, which was comprised of $2.7 million for AgeX and $0.5 million for LifeMap Sciences, and were $2.5 million, as adjusted, comprised of $2.1 million for AgeX and $0.4 million for LifeMap Sciences.

Operating expenses for the full year 2019 were $14.0 million, as reported, which was comprised of $11.8 million for AgeX and $2.2 million for LifeMap Sciences, and were $11.2 million, as adjusted, comprised of $9.4 million for AgeX and $1.8 million for LifeMap Sciences.

Research and development expenses for the year ended December 31, 2019 decreased by $0.7 million to $5.9 million compared to $6.6 million in 2018. The decrease was mainly attributable to a nonrecurring expense of $800,000 to acquire certain in-process R&D in 2018.

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General and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2019 increased by $2.5 million to $8.1 million as compared with $5.6 million for 2018. The increases were mainly attributable to increased professional fees for consulting and accounting, insurance premiums, facilities related expenses, and non-cash stock-based compensation expense due to increased stock option grants. In April 2019 AgeX moved into its own facilities and terminated its shared facilities and services arrangement with Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly BioTime, Inc.). Consequently AgeX now incurs the full cost of its facilities and finance and administrative personnel.

The reconciliation between operating expenses determined in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) and operating expenses, as adjusted, a non-GAAP measure, is provided in the financial tables included at the end of this press release.

Other income, net: Other income for the year ended December 31, 2019 was $0.3 million, as compared with $3.5 million in the same period in 2018. The decrease is entirely attributable to a nonrecurring $3.2 million gain on sale of our ownership interest in Ascendance Biotechnology, Inc. when that company was acquired by a third party in 2018.

Net loss attributable to AgeX: The net loss attributable to AgeX for the year ended December 31, 2019 was $12.2 million, or ($0.33) per share (basic and diluted) compared to $7.5 million, or ($0.21) per share (basic and diluted), for the same period in 2018.

About AgeX Therapeutics

AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: AGE) is focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics for human aging. Its PureStem and UniverCyte manufacturing and immunotolerance technologies are designed to work together to generate highly defined, universal, allogeneic, off-the-shelf pluripotent stem cell-derived young cells of any type for application in a variety of diseases with a high unmet medical need. AgeX has two preclinical cell therapy programs: AGEX-VASC1 (vascular progenitor cells) for tissue ischemia and AGEX-BAT1 (brown fat cells) for Type II diabetes. AgeXs revolutionary longevity platform induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR) aims to unlock cellular immortality and regenerative capacity to reverse age-related changes within tissues. AGEX-iTR1547 is an iTR-based formulation in preclinical development. HyStem is AgeXs delivery technology to stably engraft PureStem cell therapies in the body. AgeX is developing its core product pipeline for use in the clinic to extend human healthspan, and is seeking opportunities to establish licensing and collaboration arrangements around its broad IP estate and proprietary technology platforms.

For more information, please visit http://www.agexinc.com or connect with the company on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not historical fact including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates" should also be considered forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the business of AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in more detail in the "Risk Factors" section of AgeXs most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commissions (copies of which may be obtained at http://www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. AgeX specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.

AGEX THERAPEUTICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands, except par value amounts)

December 31,

2019

2018

ASSETS

CURRENT ASSETS

Cash and cash equivalents

$

2,352

$

6,707

Accounts and grants receivable, net

363

131

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

1,339

1,015

Total current assets

4,054

7,853

Property and equipment, net

1,126

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AgeX Therapeutics Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual 2019 Financial Results and Provides Business Update - Yahoo Finance

Larkhall mum was walked down the aisle by stem cell donor who saved her life – Daily Record

A Larkhall mum was walked down the aisle at her wedding by the man who saved her life.

Peppie Scobbie married her long-term partner Stevie on Valentines Day after receiving a life-saving stem cell transplant from none other than her own older brother, Tom McClure.

Tom was an exact match to Peppie following her diagnosis with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in August 2017, and following chemotherapy the pair underwent the procedure in January 2018. The operation was deemed a huge success, with Peppie now in full remission.

And the life-changing experience meant so much to the mum-of-three that she finally agreed to marry partner Stevie after 22 years together, with brother Tom giving her away.

Peppie explained: These last two and a half years have been a whirlwind. The worst of my life, culminating in one of the best days at my wedding with my brother Tom giving me away.

Up until 2017 I had kept in good health and I only found out I had AML due to a poison finger which wouldnt heal after three courses of antibiotics and a persistent daughter telling me to go see the doctor!

Thankfully I did, and what went from bloods being taken one day, I was then in ward 16 at Hairmyres the next and receiving chemotherapy the third. It all happened so fast!

As a family we were all gutted, but I decided to stay positive and fight this with everything I have.

Unfortunately the first round of chemotherapy made me very unwell and that September I ended up in intensive care with pneumonia and septic shock. I was on life support for two weeks, not aware of what was going on, but my family faithfully visited.

Unknown to Peppie, 50, while she was in ICU her three siblings, Margaret, Tom and David, underwent tissue match tests to see if any of them were suitable stem cell donors.

The 50-year-old only discovered they had been tested when she awoke from intensive care.

Peppie added: I got home for Christmas and my brother Tom called me asking if I wanted the good or bad news first. I said bad so he replied he was terrified as he was scared of needles and the good news was that he was a perfect match. We were both delighted and it was the best gift ever to receive at Christmas and New Year.

Contracts manager Tom, 53, of Larkhall, then received injections of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) a hormone which increases stem cells prior to the procedure.

And on January 25, 2018, he underwent a five-hour peripheral blood stem cell transplantation a non-surgical procedure where a needle in each arm draws the blood through a cell separator with the stem cells kept for the recipient and all other bloods going back into the donor.

The following day Peppie was given her brothers stem cells.

She said: Tom sat in a recliner chair for hours undergoing the procedure and he said he would do it all over again if needed. I am eternally grateful to him for giving me a second chance at life.

So much so that after years of laughing off my partner Stevies proposal I knew that I wanted to marry him and we both agreed that there was no one else than Tom who should walk me down the aisle.

Peppie thanked the staff in ward 4b and the haematology clinic at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and wards 16 and 26 at University Hospital Hairmyres, as well as DKMS, a non-profit organisation who are dedicated to fighting against blood cancer and blood disorders whose mission is to find a matching donor for every blood cancer patient in need of a stem cell donation.

She added: Please, if youre aged 18 to 55 and in generally good health and not already registered then please request a swab kit to register as a potential blood stem cell donor. There quite simply arent enough.

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Larkhall mum was walked down the aisle by stem cell donor who saved her life - Daily Record

Q&A: Covid-19 and impact on people with cancer – The Irish Times

Why is Covid-19 a big risk for people with cancer?

The Covid-19 pandemic is immensely challenging and distressing for people with cancer, but also for those not sure if they have the disease not to mention their families.

This is greatly added to because cancer patients undergoing treatment often have weakened immune systems. Evidence from China shows their vulnerability is heightened if they become infected by coronavirus. While those with cancer have a heightened risk of death in such circumstances, it should be stressed the great majority survive.

People with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of getting infections such as the common cold, flu and pneumonia as well as Covid-19. That is why people with cancer are classified in the most at-risk group and subjected to severe restrictions.

The short answer is yes. The Irish Cancer Society (ICS) outlines key categories that must cocoon, including people who are being treated with chemotherapy, those undergoing radical radiotherapy for lung cancer and patients with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma at any stage of treatment.

It includes people having immunotherapy or other antibody treatments for cancer and those undergoing targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system. People with bone-marrow or stem-cell transplants in the past six months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs, are also included.

Those who have had cancer in the past are advised to take precautions, factoring in their age and if they have other conditions.

The Irish health system has had to radically redirect services to brace itself for a surge in Covid-19 cases. This had huge implications for those with cancer whose treatment has in many instances been curtailed or postponed.

That reality was summarised by oncologist Prof John Crown: Many cancer operations and clinic appointments are being cancelled or postponed. Radiotherapy services are being scaled back. Drug treatments are being delayed, discontinued or altered. Patients who have just received the distressing news of a cancer diagnosis have on occasions been left wondering when their own treatment can start. Others who are already on treatment wonder if it is safe to continue.

According to the World Health Organisation, risk may be higher for those with blood cancers like leukaemia as opposed to solid tumours ie breast, prostate or pancreatic cancer.

Some specialist services are no longer able to process referrals from GP patients with lumps and other symptoms suggestive of potential cancer. Delayed diagnosis and treatment adds to risk but many cancers advance slowly.

The bottom line is cancer patients must avoid infection and cocooning is best to ensure this doesnt happen.

Unlike Italy, quality cancer services and diagnostics are still in place in Ireland, according to ICS head of research Dr Robert OConnor. Patients with active cancers are being seen and getting treatment once Covid-19 risk is minimised.

Oncologists, however, have to weigh up the benefits of treatment against the risk of what might happen if someone gets the virus during that treatment.

For this reason, certain scans, procedures, treatments or surgery may be postponed. Everyones cancer treatment is individual and decisions on treatment are being made on a case-by-case basis.

This is complicated by having a cardiovascular condition; diabetes or an autoimmune disease. Some difficult conversations have to be had on additional adjuvant treatments and on palliative care.

They are advised to contact their GP, who often can provide assurance symptoms dont indicate cancer. Those with overt symptoms are getting treatment.

The ICS has set up remote counselling for adults and children with cancer and their carers. It is targeted at those who cannot access face-to-face counselling due to coronavirus restrictions. Its available through its Nurseline service (Freephone 1800-200700) or via email cancernurseline@irishcancer.ieIt also offers help for patients who may be finished treatment but unsure how Covid-19 affects them.

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Q&A: Covid-19 and impact on people with cancer - The Irish Times

COVID-19 and Cancer: What You Need to Know – Everyday Health

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has officially become a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. The new classification emphasizes the likelihood that the disease will be a problem in your community. If youre being treated for cancer, what should you do to protect yourself from this coronavirus? We asked five experts to answer the most pressing questions.

Which cancer patients are at highest risk for infection or complications?

Those most vulnerable are people with blood cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma, and those receiving heavy-duty chemotherapy or undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplants, according to Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD, medical director of the division of hematology and medical oncology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

There is a bit of clinical judgment in figuring out which patients are in the highest risk category, Dr. Hayes-Lattin says. Those with low white blood cell counts are particularly high risk, whereas patients who have a history of cancer or are on endocrine or targeted therapies are not.

Its best to talk with your oncologist or medical team about your particular risk since it depends on your cancer type and treatment type. For some individuals, the cancer and treatment together are a double whammy.

Those with leukemia and lymphomas are already high risk because those diseases are immunocompromising, and then were hitting them with the heaviest duty chemotherapy we have, explains Gregory Poland, MD, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and director of the Mayo Clinic's vaccine research group.

Your risk also depends on factors besides your cancer and treatment types, explains David Quinn, MD, medical director of the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and an associate professor of medicine at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles.

The other issue is what the other health issues of our cancer patients are, Dr. Quinn says. Those who smoke or have lung conditions such as COPD have greater risk for complications, he says. Older adults, especially those who are already medically frail or living in skilled nursing facilities, are also higher risk.

RELATED: What People With Heart Disease Need to Know About COVID-19

What should patients be doing to protect themselves from the virus?

By this time, wash your hands sounds like a broken record, but it really is the single most important piece of advice public health experts have to offer. The trick is doing it well. Dr. Poland recommends a video in which he teaches late night personality Jimmy Kimmel how to wash your hands correctly and many on set were surprised how poorly they had cleaned their hands.

The key points are to use warm water and soap and to scrub all of your hands and lower arms for at least 20 seconds before rinsing.

In addition, avoiding crowds, large gatherings, and sick people in general is an important strategy, Hayes-Lattin says.

The other piece of advice for everyone, including cancer patients, is staying healthy, getting good sleep, maintaining good nutrition, maintaining exercise, and avoiding smoking, Hayes-Lattin says. The healthier your body is to start with, the stronger it will be if it needs to fight an infection.

What about hand sanitizer?

Nothing can replace the benefits of washing hands, but hand sanitizer is a distant second best, Poland says. If your hands are visibly soiled, or if you actually have mucus on them, hand sanitizer cannot penetrate that and neutralize the virus, he says. Plus, people dont use hand sanitizer properly and often dont use enough of it.

But if you dont have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol offers some protection if you use a half dollarsized amountnot just a dime-sized amountand ensure it covers all areas of your hands and fingers.

RELATED: Can You Get Coronavirus From Your Dog? Plus More Pet-Related Questions Answered

What about wearing a mask?

While the average healthy person does not benefit from a face mask and this does not appear to be an airborne virus (the mask may merely help protect you from droplets from other peoples coughs and sneezes) wearing a standard surgical mask while out and about can serve two purposes for high-risk patients, Poland says. First, it can serve as a behavioral cue to remind you to practice good hygiene and to distance yourself from others. Others also may be more likely to stay away from you while youre wearing a mask.

Ideally, though, for somebody who is significantly immunosuppressed during a pandemic, its a good idea to stay indoors and away from people, Poland says. If they are older in age or have other conditions, theyre layering risk upon risk.

And what about the N95 respirators you may have read about? All the experts interviewed recommended against it. You cant buy an N95 mask off the shelf and fit it properly yourself if you dont have training, Poland says.

What should friends, family and household members do to protect you?

Number one, they should all get their flu shots if they havent already done so, Poland says. Next, all household members and visitors need to practice respiratory etiquette: sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the crook of their arm and then immediately washing their hands.

Third, if possible, the immune-compromised person should have their own room with an open window, Poland says. Finally, any frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs or countertops, should be regularly wiped down.

An additional strategy is that you dont want people coming into the home who are sick in any way or who havent gotten a flu vaccine, Poland says. And as hard as it may be, you want to maintain a no-handshake, no-hugging, no-kissing, policy, he says.

If children live in the home, theres no getting around the fact that they are more likely to transmit any infections, especially ones they bring home from school, Poland says. Although COVID-19 does not seem to affect children as much as adults, scientists do not yet know if children transmit it as much as adults. But children can still bring home other illnesses, particularly influenza, so its helpful to take the time to regularly teach and reteach them proper hand-washing and respiratory etiquette.

If no children live with you, avoiding visits might be worth considering. These are value judgements, Poland says, but in a patient who just had a heavy dose of chemotherapy, I probably wouldnt let, for example, grandkids into the house during [the next two weeks] because of the risk.

RELATED: Life With MS in the Time of COVID-19

What should I do if I develop respiratory symptoms?

For very high-risk patients, any infection, COVID-19 or otherwise, may be life-threatening, so Poland recommends these patients take their temperature every day. If you notice even a mild fever, thats a reason to call your doctor and be evaluated, he says.

Developing a dry cough is another red flag, Quinn says. Anyone who has a fever or cough should put on a mask to protect others and call their primary care office if they suspect they might have a respiratory illness.

Do not just show up at a cancer center, Quinn says, because you risk exposing others there to your illness. If youre severely ill, you may need to go to the emergency department or call for an ambulance, but the majority of coronavirus patients, including those with cancer, can be managed at home, he says.

Do I need to avoid all travel and only stay at home?

Whether you travel or go out into the community depends on several factors, including your own risk level and possibly where you live.

If youre in Boston or Seattle, you need more layers of protection than you do in [a small town in] Kansas because your risk is quantifiably higher, Poland says. Your risk is also higher if you go to mass gatherings or anywhere people touch many surfaces.

Its difficult to tell people to stay completely shut in at home and keep out all visitors, and only extremely high-risk patients likely need to consider doing so. You should talk to your oncologist and medical team about whether you need such isolation.

RELATED: 4 Misconceptions About the Coronavirus

Should I continue my cancer treatment?

Yes. If you have appointments, keep them, Quinn says. However, if youre sick or have respiratory symptoms, call your oncologist or treatment centers office first and notify them of your symptoms so they can give you instructions and be prepared for your visit. Quinn says his clinic, for example, is using extra wipes on chemotherapy chairs between patients and paying extra attention to surfaces such as door handles that get touched more often.

Where can people go for the best information, to learn more, or monitor the situation?

The experts interviewed recommended the following sources: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page on the coronavirus, the patient site Cancer.net from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the pages for your local county and state health department, and the World Health Organization.

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COVID-19 and Cancer: What You Need to Know - Everyday Health

Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Value Projected to Expand by 2019-2025 – Monroe Scoop

In this report, the global Cancer Stem Cell Therapy market is valued at USD XX million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the period 2019 to 2025.

For top companies in United States, European Union and China, this report investigates and analyzes the production, value, price, market share and growth rate for the top manufacturers, key data from 2019 to 2025.

The Cancer Stem Cell Therapy market report firstly introduced the basics: definitions, classifications, applications and market overview; product specifications; manufacturing processes; cost structures, raw materials and so on. Then it analyzed the worlds main region market conditions, including the product price, profit, capacity, production, supply, demand and market growth rate and forecast etc. In the end, the Cancer Stem Cell Therapy market report introduced new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, and investment return analysis.

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The major players profiled in this Cancer Stem Cell Therapy market report include:

In global market, the following companies are covered:AVIVA BioSciencesAdnaGenAdvanced Cell DiagnosticsSilicon Biosystems

Market Segment by Product TypeAutologous Stem Cell TransplantsAllogeneic Stem Cell TransplantsSyngeneic Stem Cell TransplantsOther

Market Segment by ApplicationHospitalClinicMedical Research InstitutionOther

Key Regions split in this report: breakdown data for each region.United StatesChinaEuropean UnionRest of World (Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)

The study objectives are:To analyze and research the Cancer Stem Cell Therapy status and future forecast in United States, European Union and China, involving sales, value (revenue), growth rate (CAGR), market share, historical and forecast.To present the key Cancer Stem Cell Therapy manufacturers, presenting the sales, revenue, market share, and recent development for key players.To split the breakdown data by regions, type, companies and applications To analyze the global and key regions market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.To identify significant trends, drivers, influence factors in global and regionsTo analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the market

In this study, the years considered to estimate the market size of Cancer Stem Cell Therapy are as follows:History Year: 2014-2018Base Year: 2018Estimated Year: 2019Forecast Year 2019 to 2025

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The study objectives of Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Report are:

To analyze and research the Cancer Stem Cell Therapy market status and future forecast in United States, European Union and China, involving sales, value (revenue), growth rate (CAGR), market share, historical and forecast.

To present the Cancer Stem Cell Therapy manufacturers, presenting the sales, revenue, market share, and recent development for key players.

To split the breakdown data by regions, type, companies and applications

To analyze the global and key regions Cancer Stem Cell Therapy market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.

To identify significant trends, drivers, influence factors in global and regions

To analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the keyword market.

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Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Value Projected to Expand by 2019-2025 - Monroe Scoop

Unlocking the Potential of a Widely Used Drug – Technology Networks

The blood-thinning drug heparin is used all over the world. But, the underlying sugar structures of heparin and the wider family of heparan sulfate sugars in cells have not been fully mapped. Now, a research group headed by a recent recruit from the UK, Dr Rebecca Miller at the University of Copenhagen has invented a method to map this type of sugar structure in detail. This method has vast potential to reveal important biological functions and allow new drugs to be developed.

GAGs of the heparan sulfate type play key roles in regulating many biological functions, including inflammation, neurodegeneration and tumor metastasis. In fact, a special type of heparan sulfate called heparin is currently one the most used drugs in the clinic where it is used to prevent coagulation. Researchers are therefore intensively trying to map the detailed structures of heparan sulfates and link them to their biological functions.

So far, only a few structures have been successfully identified, but that may be about to change. In a new study inNature Communicationsfrom the Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Glycomics at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Rebecca and her team has invented a new method that will boost the mapping of these structures.

Determining the structures is a key question in the research about sugars. If we know the structure, we can determine what the cues are for specific biological functions and consider potential ways to exploit this in the development of therapeutics. This is hugely important and clinically relevant, as shown by the widely used anti-coagulant heparins, and the potential application of new heparin-based drugs for multiple diseases in the future, says Dr Rebecca Louise Miller, corresponding author of the new study and Assistant Professor at the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics.

The researchers new method is called Shotgun ion mobility mass spectrometry sequencing or SIMMS2. The technique relies on advanced mass spectrometry to break the sugar structures into smaller fragments, separate them, and fingerprint them compared to known standards. Virtual reassembly of the sugar pieces into a picture of the original sugar like a big jigsaw puzzle only infinitely more complicated can for the first time determine larger sequences of polysaccharides that are big enough to capture the cues that direct functions like anti-coagulation.

The instrumentation behind this new method was invented by the company Waters Ltd in 2006 and is available to many pharmaceutical companies and researchers. This means that the method could be easily implemented and widely used for drug discovery by many research groups in a short period of time, says Professor Jeremy Turnbull, University of Liverpool and Copenhagen Center for Glycomics, a co-author on the study.

The GAG team at Copenhagen Center of Glycomics recently reported the first cell-based method (GAGOme) to produce all variants of GAGs for discovery of functions and development of therapeutics (Chen et al,Nature Methods2018), and this will be combined with the new method for sequencing of GAG structures. The hope is to follow up on many promising therapeutic effects of heparins in cancer and neurogenerative diseases and pioneer new use of GAGs in medicine.

To continue the development of the SIMMS method and pioneer new use of GAGs in medicine, Miller and Turnbull were recently awarded an EU grant worth 3.8m to a consortium that also includes researchers from Freie Universitt Berlin, University of Utrecht, University of Liverpool and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. They will also apply the method to understand heparan sulfate structural cues that regulate stem cells to generate specialized neurons for treatment of Parkinsons disease.

Reference:Miller, R.L., Guimond, S.E., Schwrer, R. et al. (2020) Shotgun ion mobility mass spectrometry sequencing of heparan sulfate saccharides. Nat Commun. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15284-y

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

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Unlocking the Potential of a Widely Used Drug - Technology Networks

Cancer Care and COVID-19 in Seattle, the First US Epicenter – Medscape

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Two months after the first patient with COVID-19 was identified in China, the first case was reported in the United States in the Seattle, Washington, metropolitan area.

Seattle rapidly became the first US epicenter for COVID-19, and local experts are now offering their expertise and advice on how to provide optimal cancer care during the pandemic in a special feature published online March 20 in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

"We began implementing measures in early March, including infection control and screening of visitors, staff, and patients at the door," said lead author Masumi Ueda, MD, who holds positions at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the University of Washington, and the Fred Hutchinson Research Center.

"A lot of changes have been implemented, and it changes on a daily basis. We are responding to the growing rate of COVID-19 infection in the community," she told Medscape Medical News.

Ueda notes that as a result of the quick implementation of new procedures, so far, very few cancer patients at their facilities have been infected by the virus. "It has not hit our cancer population hard, which is a good thing," she said.

In sharing their experience, the authors emphasize the importance of keeping channels of communication open between all stakeholders administrators and staff, patients, caregivers, and the general public. They also recommend that each facility create an "incident command structure" that can provide early coordination of institution-wide efforts and that can rapidly respond to changing information.

Ueda noted that their command structure was set up very early on, "so we could get communication set up and start building an infrastructure for response."

Several areas of care that required new strategies were addressed, both to protect patients and to work around staff shortages caused by possible exposure and/or school closings, as well as projected shortages of supplies and hospital resources.

First and foremost was to identify patients and visitors who had respiratory symptoms and to provide them with masks. Although this is always routine practice during the respiratory virus season, screening has now been initiated at entry points throughout the system.

"We were lucky in Seattle and Washington state in that the University of Washington virology lab developed PCR [polymerase chain reaction] testing early on for COVID-19, which subsequently got FDA approval," said Ueda. "So we were able to have local testing and didn't have to rely on the state lab. Testing has also been rapidly scaled up."

Initiating a comprehensive policy for testing staff, tracking results and exposures for persons under investigation, and defining when it is possible to return to work are essential elements for maintaining a stable workforce. In addition, reinforcing a strict "stay at home when ill" policy and providing access to testing for symptomatic staff have been key to limiting exposures.

"What is unique to our region is that we had testing early on, and we are turning it around in 24 hours," she pointed out. "This is important for staff to be able to return to work."

Currently, staff, patients, and visitors are being tested only if they show the cardinal symptoms associated with COVID-19: fever, shortness of breath, and cough, although muscle aches have recently been added to their testing protocol.

"I think if we had unlimited capacity, we might consider testing people who are asymptomatic," Ueda noted, "although if you don't have symptoms, you may not have the viral load needed for an accurate test."

Educational materials explaining infection control were also needed for patients and families, along with signs and a website to provide COVID-19 education. These were quickly developed.

In addition, a telephone triage line was established for patients with mild symptoms in order to minimize exposures in clinics and to lessen the number of patients presenting at emergency departments.

Because theirs is a referral center, many cancer patients come from out of town, and so there is concern about exposing nonlocal patients to COVID-19 as the virus spreads in the Seattle area. In addition, staffing shortages due to factors such as illness, exposure, and school closures are anticipated.

To address these problems, an initial priority was to establish a "multilayer" coverage system for the clinics in the event thatpractitioners had to be quarantined on short notice, the authors explain.

One decision was to reschedule all wellness visits for current patients or to use telemedicine. Capacity for that option expanded quickly, which was greatly helped by the recent decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to lift Medicare restrictions on the use of certain telemedicine services.

Another approach is to defer all consultations for second opinions for patients who were already undergoing treatment and to increase clinic hours of operations and capabilities for acute evaluations. This helps reserve emergency departments and hospital resources for patients who require higher-level care, the authors comment.

Treatment decisions were more challenging to make, the authors note.

One decision was that, despite the risk for COVID-19 for patients with solid tumors, adjuvant therapy with curative intent should proceed, they note. Similarly, patients with metastatic disease might lose the window of opportunity for treatment if it is delayed.

Treatment for aggressive hematologic malignancies is usually urgent, and stem cell transplant and cellular immunotherapies that provide curative treatmentscannot be delayed in many cases.

Enrollment in clinical trials will most likely be limited to those trials that are most likely to benefit the patient.

Ueda noted that, because their patients come from all over the country, they are now conducting consultations for stem cell transplant by telephone so that nonlocal patients do not have to travel to Seattle. "If there is some way we can delay the treatment, we have taken that approach," Ueda told Medscape Medical News. "If we can divert a patient to an area that is not as heavily affected, that's another option we are taking."

Although cancer surgery is not considered elective, surgical intervention needs to be prioritized, the authors comment. In the Seattle system, there is currently a 2-week ban on elective surgery in the healthcare system, owing to limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing, and beds.

The oncology teams are currently reviewing treatment regimens to determine which treatments might lessen immunosuppression and which treatment options can be moved from the inpatient to the outpatient setting or can be delayed.

For hospitalized patients, several issues are being addressed. The priority is to prepare for an upcoming shortage of beds and resources because of the surge of patients with COVID-19 that is predicted.

For both clinic and hospitalized patients, shortages of blood products have necessitated stricter adherence to thresholds for transfusion, and consideration is being given to lowering those thresholds.

Another important problem is the need to conserve PPE, which includes masks, gowns, gloves, and other products. The Seattle teams have implemented solutions such as favoring handwashing with soap and water over the use of hand gel for standard-precaution rooms, limiting the number of personnel entering patient rooms (so as to use less PPE), and reducing nursing procedures that require PPE, such as measuring urine output, unless they are necessary.

In addition, a no-visitor policy has been adopted in inpatient units to conserve PPE, with the exception of end-of-life situations.

The future trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain, Ueda commented.

She emphasized that "we must continue to prepare for its widespread impact. The unknown is what we are looking at. We are expecting it to evolve, and the number of infections cannot go down."

Ueda and coauthors end their article on a positive note. "To many of us, this has become the health care challenge of our generation, one that modern cancer therapy has never had to face. We will prevail, and when the pandemic ends, we will all be proud of what we did for our patients and each other in this critical moment for humanity."

J Natl Compr Canc Netw. Published online March20, 2020. Full text

For more from Medscape Oncology, follow us on Twitter: @MedscapeOnc.

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Cancer Care and COVID-19 in Seattle, the First US Epicenter - Medscape

Immatics and Molmed become the subjects of very different deals – Vantage

How do companies seal a deal when executives cannot shake hands? Maybe the management teams of Arya Sciences and Immatics bumped elbows when the latter was bought by the blank cheque company on Tuesday in a deal worth $252m. As for the Japanese group AGCs 240m ($267m) offer for Italys Molmed, presumably execs could not meet in person at all given that Italy is still locked down.

Be that as it may an acquisition and a bid have been arranged somehow, proving that though the Covid-19 pandemic has had a deadening effect on deal-making it has not annihilated it altogether. The interesting aspect is how Immatics and Molmed both cell therapy players, albeit of different kinds will develop from here.

A stark mission

Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp was set up to do what its name suggests: its sole purpose is to effect a merger or similar combination with one or more businesses. It is controlled by the hedge fund Perceptive Advisors, and floated on Nasdaq in October 2018, raising $144m.

Immatics will receive $148m of cash from Aryas trust account, which holds the IPO proceeds plus interest, when the deal closes in the second quarter. Perceptive and other institutional investors, including Redmile and Wellington Partners, have committed a further $104m more in pipe funding.

Arya saysImmatics T-cell receptor-based candidates for solid tumours hold the kind of disruptive potential the investment vehicle was looking for. Immatics has two main product classes, adoptive cell therapies, which use natural or engineered T cells against cancer, and T-cell receptor bispecifics, which bind to tumour-specific peptides and to immunomodulating T-cell surface proteins.

Gaining access to the US capital markets will allow Immatics to advance its projects through the clinic. The group expects topline phase I/II data from three TCR projects and one bispecific by the end of this year.

Going public represents a long-held goal for Immatics. The company was already eyeing the US exchanges two years ago (Why Immatics could soon become the next listed cell therapy player, July 16, 2018).

Long term

Molmed could take a very different route if AGCs bid for it is accepted, becoming a part of a much larger whole. Japans AGC is the largest glass company in the world, but is also active in the fields of ceramics, electronics and chemicals.

AGC considers its life sciences business a strategic priority, and aims to get the units sales above 100bn by 2025. Buying Molmed it is offering 0.518 per Molmed share, at a premium of 110% will allow ACG to move into gene and cell therapies.

It will not get there fast. Molmed withdrew Zalmoxis, designed to reduce the risk or rejection of an imperfectly matched stem cell transplant, from sale in Europe after a confirmatory phase III trial failed last summer. Its next most advanced product is its Car-T project CAR44v6, in a phase I/II trial for acute myeloid leukaemia and multiple myeloma. This looks unlikely to yield data before 2023.

Molmed does have another string to its bow that could appeal to AGC: it is the first company in Europe to have obtained GMP manufacturing authorisation for cell and gene therapies ex vivo, and offers this to other groups. For example, it produces Strimvelis, Orchard Therapeutics gene therapy for the immunodeficiency disorder ADA-SCID.

Closure is odds-on, since Molmeds largest shareholder, Fininvest the holding company of the family of the former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has agreed to tender its 23% stake. Hopefully, in buying this very specialised company, AGC knows what it is doing.

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Immatics and Molmed become the subjects of very different deals - Vantage

Claudia Rodrigues is removed from the clinic where she was hospitalized because of the coronavirus – Crypto Dictation

The new coronavirus is spreading all over the world and, after arriving in Brazil, has changed the lives of most Brazilians. The government's recommendation is that people stay at home and take all recommended hygiene care, thus preventing the virus from spreading in the country.

The greatest concern of the government is with the people who are part of the group considered at risk, which are the elderly and people who already have some type of chronic disease. These people are the ones most likely to have complications if they become infected with the virus.

Actress Claudia Rodrigues is one of those people who are part of the risk group and who must have redoubled health care so that it does not become contaminated with covid-19. The actress has been battling multiple sclerosis for 20 years, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.

The actress has already been hospitalized several times in a serious condition in times of crisis of multiple sclerosis and at the moment was hospitalized in a clinic in the state of So Paulo, following the autoimmune treatment.

Due to government recommendations and fearing contamination by covid-19, the actress was taken home.

The treatment that actress Claudia Rodrigues performed at the clinic in So Paulo is very delicate, due to her health condition in relation to multiple sclerosis, and for that reason, extra care is needed with the artist, as she already has low immunity due to disease.

Due to the situation faced by the actress, her doctors and family members chose to redouble the artist's health care and for this very reason, they decided that it was better that she be taken home and that she should remain in isolation at her residence.

Adriane Bonato, who is Claudia Rodrigues' businesswoman, revealed that the actress is at her home and that she is performing exercises on the spot. The businesswoman reaffirmed that the artist has low immunity due to having undergone stem cell transplantation and that, for this very reason, she runs a very high risk in relation to the new virus.

According to Adriane, Claudia Rodrigues will remain at home for the next 30 days, preventing herself from being infected by the new coronavirus.

Like most Brazilians, many Celebrity are at home complying with government resolutions on social isolation to prevent the mass spread of the new coronavirus. Many artists are taking advantage of the large number of followers in their profiles to try to make the population aware of the importance of following the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and especially the recommendation to be quarantined at home.

Big names like Luciano Huck, Ana Maria Braga and many others have posted videos asking Brazilians for empathy and to remain in social isolation. The artists Preta Gil and Fernanda Paes Leme, who were diagnosed with the disease, are sharing their experiences with the new coronavirus. They are keeping followers informed about how the isolation is going and the symptoms they are feeling about the coronavirus.

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Claudia Rodrigues is removed from the clinic where she was hospitalized because of the coronavirus - Crypto Dictation

Stem cells can reverse damage caused by heart attack; repair mechanism discovered: Study – International Business Times, Singapore Edition

Revolutionary Gene-Editing Tool

Cardiovascular or heart disease (CVDs) is the leading cause of death across the world. Heart attacks resulting due to CVDs can cause death, and severe damage to cardiac muscle a muscle that forms the wall of the heart in survivors. However, researchers claim that they have discovered stem-cell activated mechanisms that promote healing after a heart attack.

According to the study by researchers from Mayo Clinic, stem cells were found to reverse the damage and restore cardiac muscle back to its condition before a heart attack. Human cardiopoietic cells obtained from stem cells within the bone marrow were found to hone in on damaged proteins and reverse intricate changes that a heart attack caused.

"The response of the diseased heart to cardiopoietic stem cell treatment revealed development and growth of new blood vessels, along with new heart tissue," said Dr. Kent Arrell, first author of the study, in a statement.

For the study, the researchers examined the diseased hearts of mice. The hearts of mice that received human cardiopoietic stem cell therapy were compared with those of that did not. Nearly 4,000 cardiac proteins were identified using a data science technique to map proteins found in the cardiac muscle. Over 10 per cent of the discovered proteins were found to suffer damage as a result of a heart attack.

"While we anticipated that the stem cell treatment would produce a beneficial outcome, we were surprised how far it shifted the state of diseased hearts away from disease and back toward a healthy, pre-disease state," said Dr. Arrell.

While the organs in the human body have the ability to repair their damaged cells, they may be unable to restore the loss entirely, and this holds good for cardiac cells as well. Dr. Andre Terzic, senior author of the study, said: "The extent of change caused by a heart attack is too great for the heart to repair itself or to prevent further damage from occurring."

He explained that upon the administration of cardiopoietic stem cell therapy to mice, a partial or complete reversal of nearly two-thirds of the damage caused by a heart attack was noted. Around 85 per cent of all cellular functional categories struck by the disease responded favorably to the treatment.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CVDs claim nearly 18 million lives every year, which translates to 31 per cent of all deaths. The findings of the study provide an improved understanding of the restoration of heart health using stem cells and provide a framework for wider utilization of stem cell therapy for the treatment of various conditions.

Stressing that the actual mechanism behind the repair of diseased organs by stem cells is poorly understood, Dr. Terzic added: "This study sheds light on the most intimate, yet comprehensive, regenerative mechanisms paving a road map for responsible and increasingly informed stem cell application."

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Stem cells can reverse damage caused by heart attack; repair mechanism discovered: Study - International Business Times, Singapore Edition