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Three of inspira: cosmetics entries are finalists in the Pure Beauty Global Awards 2020 – Cosmetics Business

By daniellenierenberg

4-Mar-2020

Ingredients | Skin Care

inspira: cosmetics produces and markets high-quality, contemporary cosmetic products for individual skin care worldwide

The German company is based in Aachen and was founded in 2000. The development of outstanding and highly effective products with excellent compatibility is a matter of course for inspira: cosmetics.

The products visibly improve the appearance of the skin and let the user look in the best possible way for his/her respective age.

Now Volker Kloubert, Managing Partner of inspira: cosmetics proudly announced: "We are more than happy and feel very honoured that 3 of our entries are finalists in the Pure Beauty Global Awards and we are looking forward to the award ceremony in May in Amsterdam. Lets keep fingers crossed!

The finalist products from inspira: cosmetics reflect the broad scope of cosmetics the brand is covering.

The male scent 4MEN ONLY is nominated in the category Best Male Fragrance. A masculine composition of oriental notes, combined with woods and musk. Adventurous and very sexy! For men only. The sophisticated fragrance was created by master perfumers in Grasse/France.

Finalist in the category Best Lip Product is the Volumizing Lip Remedy, a lip care stick in stylish silver metal packaging with high quality active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, shea butter, coconut oil, spearmint oil for a fresh taste and the Peptide Complex VOLULIP than can increase the lip volume by up to 82% in 4 weeks as it stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid in the lips.

Very important: NO burning sensation, the product is smooth as silk.

Age Reboot Serum is the new holistic anti aging serum in the inspira: med range using state of the art active ingredients to protect and rejuvenate the skin.

Phyto stem cells help the skin to adapt to changing environmental conditions like heat or cold and protect the cells whereas three different hyaluronic acids smooth the skin, even out wrinkles and EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) stimulates cell renewal.

In clinical studies the skin was rejuvenated by up to 10 years in four weeks of regular use.

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Eleven symptoms of blood cancer that everybody needs to know about… – Echo Live

By daniellenierenberg

FORMS of blood cancer, such as leukaemia or lymphoma, are the fifth most common cancer, and the third biggest cause of cancer deaths.

Yet warning signs can be so unlike those of other cancers, that its often diagnosed at a very late stage.

Research by UK blood cancer charity Bloodwise (bloodwise.org.uk) found more than a third of sufferers had to visit their GP three or more times with symptoms before being a hospital referral. This makes it the worst performing cancer in terms of early diagnosis.

Why is it so difficult to spot? Blood cancers, which stop blood stem cells from working normally and can make you weak and prone to infections, have three main types with many different variations. These variations have numerous diverse symptoms, which can often be mistaken for other less serious conditions.

Not all signs of blood cancer are easily identifiable, or are associated with typical symptoms of cancer, such as a lump or abnormal mole, says haematologist Dr Manos Nikolousis, a medical consultant with UK blood cancer charity DKMS.

Blood cancer often presents in ways which are most commonly associated with unrelated and less serious illnesses, like a cold or flu. In other circumstances, patients notice a change in their body which they cant quite put their finger on.

One of the treatments for blood cancer is a stem cell transplant that restores blood-forming stem cells in patients whove had theirs destroyed by very high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. But Nikolousis points out that only one in three blood cancer patients who need a transplant find a matching blood stem cell donor in their family. The remaining two-thirds have to rely on an unrelated donor, which significantly reduces their chance of finding a crucial match.

Here, Nikolousis outlines some blood cancer symptoms and warning signs...

Musculoskeletal pain in muscles, joints, tendons, bones or structures that support the limbs, neck or back.

One of the most common symptoms associated with blood cancer. The frequency and lasting impact of bruising can be a key warning sign, so its important to book an appointment with your GP if this develops.

Unexplained and persistent tiredness is one of the biggest tell-tale signs of blood cancer. People who have cancer-related fatigue find it incredibly challenging to complete simple tasks that we tend to take for granted.

The lymph nodes are small lumps of tissue that contain white blood cells. When inflamed, they can be felt as lumps under the skin; most commonly in the neck, armpit or groin area.

There may be new headaches that feel different. Theyre likely to occur frequently and be severe and long-lasting.

Persistent abdominal discomfort, presenting as a sharp pain or a sense of feeling full.

This can be described as a feeling of pins and needles/numbness that moves up to the legs, or from fingers to the arms.

This can feel like a fluttering, a sudden thump or a fast pounding sensation in the chest. It can also be felt in the neck or ear when lying down.

People may describe this as feeling mentally drained or dizzy.

Blood cancer patients may have continuous trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Persistent and irritable, this may be experienced all over the body, or in isolated spots.

These symptoms are common and dont automatically mean you have cancer. But if you notice any unusual or ongoing changes, its always best to see your doctor and get checked.

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Extending the Options for Patients with AML by Making It Personal – Curetoday.com

By daniellenierenberg

A wave of new targeted therapies expands the options in acute myeloid leukemia.

As a mother of three, I dont focus on myself a lot, says Hibbard, who lives in Yorba Linda, California, and was then 37. I was having a lot of bone pain in Vegas, but I have scoliosis, so I always have some pain. Everything just multiplied when I got back home.

She rushed to schedule a same-day appointment with her doctor. As someone in the medical field she works as an ultrasound technician Hibbard had no hesitation about learning what could be wrong. Her doctor appeared alarmed about how sick she looked and immediately ordered bloodwork.

Her platelet count was astoundingly low. A normal count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood; Hibbards hovered around 20,000. She initially assumed something had gone wrong with her intrauterine device, because she had recently experienced heavy vaginal bleeding abnormal uterine bleeding can be a symptom of certain hematologic cancers.

I thought I was anemic because I had lost a lot of blood. Cancer didnt even cross my mind until the doctor came in and told me I had leukemia, she says.

A week and half after returning from her vacation, Hibbard received a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This cancer of the blood and bone marrow affects more than 20,000 people each year in the United States.

For years, prognosis remained poor for patients with the disease, which has a 24% five-year survival rate for people ages 20 and older and 67% for those younger than 20, with limited treatment options. But the past two years brought an explosion of new medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat AML, particularly therapies targeting specific genomic mutations that may confer a worse prognosis.

For more than 45 years, the treatment for AML only involved intensive chemotherapy, and that was the only chance at a cure, says Amer Zeidan, an associate professor of internal medicine at Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut. But since 2017, weve had a revolution in the treatment of AML after many years of no approved agents. I give an analogy in (terms) of before Christ and after Christ because the landscape has changed so much.

WHAT DOES AN AML DIAGNOSIS MEAN?

Historically, chemotherapy for the treatment of AML involves two phases: induction therapy followed by consolidation therapy. Shortly after diagnosis, a patient will undergo induction therapy to rid the body of any signs of the disease.

Most often, patients receive the combination of cytarabine and an anthracycline drug such as Cerubidine (daunorubicin) or Idamycin (idarubicin). Approximately 75% of younger adults with AML and 50% of patients older than 60 achieve complete remission, or disappearance of overt leukemia in the bone marrow, after induction treatment. Once a patient has recovered, consolidation therapy, chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant kills any remaining leukemia cells.

Early signs of AML, which is typically associated with older age (more than 65 years), history of tobacco smoking and certain inherited genetic disorders, include weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, bruising and excessive bleeding. Because AML is generally widespread throughout the bone marrow and possibly other organs, it is not staged like other cancers. About half of patients who achieve remission after initial treatment will relapse.

Genomic testing revealed that Hibbard had a FLT3 mutation. The most common mutation in AML, FLT3 is found in 30% of all cases and associated with a particularly aggressive form of the disease and a higher risk of relapse. My oncologist told me, Bad news you have the FLT3 mutation. But the good news is that they just developed an inhibitor you can take, recalls Hibbard. He said it with a big smile on his face.

In April 2017, the FDA approved Rydapt (midostaurin), the first targeted therapy for AML, combined with chemotherapy to treat adults with a new diagnosis and a FLT3 mutation. The oral medication belongs to a group of drugs called FLT3 inhibitors, which block several enzymes that promote cell growth.

During Hibbards month in the hospital to receive induction chemotherapy, she experienced several life-threatening complications, including a blood clotting disorder, two strokes and a bout of sepsis. Believing she was on her deathbed; she made a video saying goodbye to her children.

Hibbard recovered, returned home and began treatment with Rydapt, which made her nauseated. The drugs other common side effects include low levels of white blood cells with fever (febrile neutropenia), inflammation of the mucous membranes and vomiting.

Hibbard achieved remission following more chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant and remains free of cancer. I was extremely excited about taking Rydapt because I felt truly blessed that there was an inhibitor for my mutation, since it was so aggressive, says Hibbard, who is now 39.

It smells horrible, and its a large pill, but I took it willingly because I knew it would improve my chances of survival.

RIGHT ON TARGET

Rydapt is one of eight drugs for AML that have gained FDA approval since 2017. Xospata (gilteritinib), another type of targeted therapy that inhibits FLT3, was approved in May2019 for adults who stopped responding to treatment or whose disease had relapsed.

The IDH inhibitors Idhifa (enasidenib) and Tibsovo (ivosidenib) target mutations in the IDH1 and IDH2 genes. Daurismo (glasdegib), Venclexta (venetoclax) and Vyxeos (CPX-351) expand the options for older patients who cant be treated with intensive chemotherapy because of its toxicities. Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin) can be given to patients who express the CD33 antigen.

We now have a better understanding of the biology behind AML, especially the molecular mutations that drive this disease, and we have developed treatment that targets these mutations, says Dr. Kevin Kelly, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. One of the most important mutations is FLT3, targeted by midostaurin and gilteritinib. These drugs specifically target the leukemia cells while being less toxic on the normal tissue of the body.In a large clinical trial, patients with new diagnoses who took Rydapt along with chemotherapy lived longer than those who received chemotherapy alone. After four years, 51.4% in the Rydapt group were still alive compared with 44.3% in the chemotherapy group.

Findings from the ADMIRAL trial showed that Xospata similarly extended survival. Patients who took the FLT3 inhibitor alone had a median overall survival of 9.3 months compared with 5.6 months for those given chemotherapy alone. Though encouraging, these are early findings from new files, and long-term follow-up could bring significantly different results, cautioned experts.

Side effects of Xospata include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain or sores in the mouth or throat, shortness of breath, muscle or joint pain and dizziness. The drug can also cause differentiation syndrome, a potentially fatal complication believedto be caused by release of cytokines from leukemia cells. It can be treated with steroids, but prompt recognition is key. Symptoms include fever, cough, trouble breathing, bone pain, rapid weight gain and swelling in the arms, legs, underarm, groin or neck.Differentiation syndrome is also a concern for patients treated with Idhifa and Tibsovo. Based on clinical trial results showing that 19% of patients had complete remission for a median of 8.2 months, Idhifa was approved in August 2017 for patients who relapsed or became resistant to treatment for AML. The targeted therapy homes in on mutations in the IDH2 gene, which are found in 8%-19% of patients with AML.

In July 2018, Tibsovo, which targets IDH1 mutations found in 7%-14% of patients with AML, was approved. Roughly two years later, the FDA allowed the drugs use as a first-line treatment for patients who arent eligible for intensive chemotherapy.Another type of targeted therapy, Mylotarg aims at AML cells expressing the CD33 antigen, found in more than 80% of patients. Reapproved by the FDA in September 2017 to treat patients with new diagnoses and those who relapsed or became resistant to therapy, the agent combines the unique targeting of a monoclonal antibody with the cancer-killing ability of a chemotherapy drug.

What is happening now in AML is similar to what already happened with multiple myeloma. Today, proteasome inhibitors and other biological drugs have almost completely replaced chemotherapy for almost all ages and subsets of myeloma, says Dr. Naval Daver, an associate professor in the department of leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. With these new targeted therapies, we can improve outcome and survival in AML while reducing the need for chemotherapy and even stem cell transplants.

OPTIONS FOR OLDER PATIENTS

The lack of treatment options for older patients with AML only about half of patients older than 60 receive intensive induction chemotherapy; the rest get either gentler chemotherapy that doesnt aim to cure or supportive care without any chemotherapy has meant that many are undertreated, with poorer clinical outcomes.

Fortunately, the approvals of Venclexta and Daurismo for patients aged 75 and older bring new options. Venclexta, which blocks BCL-2 proteins, was granted accelerated approved by the FDA based on promising results from early-phase clinical trials, but two larger, ongoing studies are examining its effectiveness and safety. The rate of complete remission was up to 54% for Venclexta plus decitabine but varied depending on which chemotherapy drug was given.

There has been dramatic progress in the treatment of AML in recent years, with one of the most important drugs being venetoclax for older AML populations, who have been one of the most difficult populations to treat, Daver says. It works synergistically with low-dose chemotherapy drugs already being used, which is a major breakthrough in the treatment of older patients with AML.

Daurismo targets the smoothened, or SMO, protein that fuels the growth and spread of AML. In a clinical trial, the median overall survival in older patients who received Daurismo along with chemotherapy was 8.3 months compared with 4.3 months for those who got chemotherapy alone.

Vyxeos (CPX-351) can also be used in older patients. It's August 2017 approval was for patients with two types of prognoses: newly diagnosed therapy-related AML, which occurs as a complication of cancer treatment in 8%-10% of patients within five years after chemotherapy or radiation, and AML with myelodysplasia-related changes, characterized by a history of certain blood disorders and other significant mutations within cancer cells. Patients with these types of AML tend to be older and have additional medical issues.

A study that compared Vyxeos with traditional chemotherapy showed that patients with new diagnoses who took Vyxeos lived longer, with a median overall survival of 9.56 months compared with 5.95 months, respectively.

In addition, an investigational oral therapy, CC-486, has shown a survival benefit in patients with newly diagnosed AML in the maintenance setting. In a phase 3 trial, researchers saw that the drug extended overall survival by 9.9 months compared with placebo.

We have new drugs available for subsets of the disease, which is why the management of AML is becoming more like personalized medicine, Zeidan says. I think we are going in the direction of more targeted therapy, lower toxicity agents, combinations of different oral agents and, hopefully, incremental improvement in outcomes. Im very optimistic about where the field is going.

The wealth of drug approvals certainly gives more hope to patients with AML, especially those with a previously poor prognosis and lack of treatment options. Rapid genetic testing is leading to the early classification of disease subtypes, pushing AML treatment into the realm of precision medicine. Several clinical trials in progress aim to test combinations of the newer agents, such as Venclexta with an IDH inhibitor.

Hibbard remains thankful for the targeted therapy she received. She believes that the trust she had in the newly approved Rydapt and the entire treatment process helped save her life.

I remember being terrified, with people praying over my bedside. But Im very pragmatic, so I was very much like, OK, now what do we do? Whats the next step? Hibbard says. That was my entire battle. Today I am more than a year post-transplant and grateful to kiss my kids goodnight every night.

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Omeros Corporation Reports Updated Results from Narsoplimab HSCT-TMA Clinical Trial and Highlights from Recent Clinical and CMC Meetings with FDA -…

By daniellenierenberg

Results Surpass FDA-Agreed Efficacy Threshold

Omeros Corporation (Nasdaq: OMER) today reports an update on clinical data from its pivotal trial of narsoplimab in the treatment of hematopoietic stem cell transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA), markedly exceeding the FDA-agreed threshold for the primary efficacy endpoint. While an overview of preliminary data submitted to FDA was made public on December 4, 2019 in a press release from the company, all patients have now completed treatment and trial enrollment has been closed. Narsoplimab is Omeros human monoclonal antibody targeting mannan-binding lectin-associated serine protease 2 (MASP-2).

In recent meetings with FDA focused on clinical as well as chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) data, FDA confirmed important aspects of Omeros rolling Biologics License Application (BLA) for narsoplimab in HSCT-TMA. The BLA continues on its clear path to completion.

The efficacy threshold agreed with FDA, the updated results from the 28-patient trial, and highlights of the recent FDA meetings are the following:

Primary Endpoint

15% is the FDA-agreed efficacy threshold for the primary endpoint (i.e., the complete response rate [CRR]) in the clinical trial

The CRR for the study population, and the lower limit of the 95 percent confidence interval (95% CI), significantly exceed the efficacy threshold:

54 percent CRR (95% CI = 34 percent to 72 percent, p-value < 0.0001) in patients who received at least one dose of narsoplimab

65 percent CRR (95% CI = 43 percent to 84, p-value < 0.0001) in patients who received the protocol-specified narsoplimab treatment of at least 4 weeks of dosing

As described in the December 4, 2019 press release, the FDA-agreed primary endpoint (the CRR) is the proportion of patients who fully achieve a rigorous set of response criteria, requiring both improvement in HSCT-TMA laboratory markers (platelet count and lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] levels) and improvement in clinical status comprised of organ (renal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and neurological) function and transfusions (platelet and red blood cells). The full response criteria are provided below.

Secondary Endpoints

Story continues

The 100-day survival (defined as survival from the day of HSCT-TMA diagnosis) is 68 percent in all treated patients, 83 percent in patients who received at least 4 weeks of narsoplimab treatment as specified by the protocol, and 93 percent in patients who responded to narsoplimab treatment. Experts familiar with the pivotal trial data would expect a 100-day survival rate of less than 20 percent in the trial population.

Preliminary results of the laboratory secondary efficacy endpoints (change from pre-treatment baseline for each laboratory value) continue to demonstrate meaningful improvement and meet statistical significance in platelet count, LDH and haptoglobin (p < 0.01 in all treated patients).

Safety

The most commonly reported adverse events in the trial were diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hypokalemia, neutropenia and fever all common in stem-cell transplant patients.

Six deaths occurred during the trial. These were due to sepsis, progression of the underlying disease, and graft-versus-host disease, all common causes of death in this patient population.

The treated population had multiple high-risk features that portend a poor outcome, including the persistence of HSCT-TMA despite modification of immunosuppression (which was a criterion for entry into the trial), graft-versus-host disease, significant infections, non-infectious pulmonary complications and neurological findings. Patients in the trial had a high expected mortality rate, with 93% of them having multiple risk factors.

"The efficacy and safety data from the pivotal trial with narsoplimab are encouraging," said Miguel-Angel Perales, M.D., Deputy Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service and Director of the Adult Stem Cell Transplantation Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. "Given the trials stringent response criteria across laboratory markers and organ function, the complete response rate seen with narsoplimab is remarkable, as is the 100-day survival. There currently is no approved treatment for HSCT-TMA. Current therapy is generally limited to supportive care and withdrawal of drugs critical for GVHD prophylaxis. Not only could narsoplimab become central to the treatment of HSCT-TMA, it might well allow us to maintain that needed GVHD prophylaxis."

Complete clinical trial data will be presented by Dr. Perales later this month at the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation in Madrid.

Recent FDA Meeting Highlights and CMC Updates

FDA confirmed that the number of HSCT-TMA patients enrolled is sufficient for the BLAs filing and review for approval. FDA agreed to stopping enrollment.

FDA requested near-term manufacturing dates for narsoplimab so that FDAs pre-approval inspections could be scheduled.

FDA and Omeros reached agreement on CMC requirements for stability data and release assays.

Omeros elected to accelerate the manufacturing schedule for a one-time set of five narsoplimab process validation and commercial lots. These lots were successfully manufactured by Omeros manufacturing partner Lonza, satisfy the BLA requirements and can be used for commercial sale following approval.

"The non clinical sections of our BLA have been submitted, our CMC campaign is progressing well with process validation and commercial lots already manufactured, and our pivotal trial is complete," stated Gregory A. Demopulos, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Omeros. "The efficacy threshold agreed with FDA reflects both the primary endpoints stringent response criteria and the poor outcomes expected in the patients enrolled in our trial. Of course, were very pleased that the response rates and confidence intervals seen with narsoplimab are well above that efficacy threshold. We look forward to continuing to work closely with regulators to make the drug commercially available to transplanters and their patients in the U.S. and internationally as quickly as possible."

In addition to its HSCT-TMA program, Omeros is enrolling its narsoplimab Phase 3 clinical trials for immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Narsoplimab has been granted, for both HSCT-TMA and IgA nephropathy, FDAs breakthrough therapy designation as well as orphan drug designations from FDA and the European Medicines Agency. The drug also holds FDAs fast-track designation for aHUS.

Primary Efficacy Endpoint

To be considered a responder, a patient must achieve the primary endpoint of complete HSCT-TMA response defined by improvement in laboratory markers and improvement in clinical status.

Laboratory Markers

Criteria for improvement in laboratory markers are LDH less than 1.5 x upper limit of normal AND improvement of platelet count measures:

For patients with baseline platelet count 20,000/L, response requires tripling over baseline platelet count, a post-baseline platelet count >30,000/L, and freedom from platelet transfusion

For patients with baseline platelet count >20,000/ L, response requires: an increase in platelet count by 50%, a post-baseline platelet count >75,000 /L, and freedom from platelet transfusion

Clinical Status

Criteria for improvement in clinical status requires at least one of the following:

Renal response requires >40% reduction in creatinine, or normalization of creatinine and >20% reduction in creatinine, or discontinuation of renal replacement therapy

Pulmonary response requires extubation and discontinuation of ventilator support, or discontinuation of non-invasive mechanical ventilation (continuous positive pressure ventilation)

Gastrointestinal response applicable only to patients with biopsy-proven gastrointestinal HSCT-TMA and requires improvement in gastrointestinal function as determined by the Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) criteria

Neurological response requires improvement in reversible neurological conditions (e.g., cessation of seizures), or stabilization of irreversible neurological conditions (e.g., stability of neurological deficits following stroke without further deterioration or subsequent strokes)

Freedom from transfusion only applicable if patient was undergoing transfusion at baseline

About Omeros Corporation

Omeros is an innovative biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing small-molecule and protein therapeutics for large-market as well as orphan indications targeting complement-mediated diseases, disorders of the central nervous system and immune-related diseases, including cancers. In addition to its commercial product OMIDRIA (phenylephrine and ketorolac intraocular solution) 1%/0.3%, Omeros has multiple Phase 3 and Phase 2 clinical-stage development programs focused on complement-mediated disorders and substance abuse. In addition, the company has a diverse group of preclinical programs including GPR174, a novel target in immuno-oncology that modulates a new cancer immunity axis recently discovered by Omeros. Small-molecule inhibitors of GPR174 are part of Omeros proprietary G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) platform through which it controls 54 new GPCR drug targets and their corresponding compounds. The company also exclusively possesses a novel antibody-generating platform.

About HSCT-TMA

Hematopoietic stem cell transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA) is a significant and often lethal complication of stem cell transplants. This condition is a systemic, multifactorial disorder caused by endothelial cell damage induced by conditioning regimens, immunosuppressant therapies, infection, GvHD, and other factors associated with stem cell transplantation. Endothelial damage, which activates the lectin pathway of complement, plays a central role in the development of HSCT-TMA. The condition occurs in both autologous and allogeneic transplants but is more common in the allogeneic population. In the United States and Europe, approximately 25,000 to 30,000 allogeneic transplants are performed annually. Recent reports in both adult and pediatric allogeneic stem cell transplant populations have found an HSCT-TMA incidence of approximately 40 percent, and high-risk features may be present in up to 80 percent of these patients. In severe cases of HSCT-TMA, mortality can exceed 90 percent and, even in those who survive, long-term renal sequalae are common. There is no approved therapy or standard of care for HSCT-TMA.

About Narsoplimab

Narsoplimab, also known as "OMS721," is an investigational human monoclonal antibody targeting mannan-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2), a novel pro-inflammatory protein target and the effector enzyme of the lectin pathway of complement. Importantly, inhibition of MASP-2 does not appear to interfere with the antibody-dependent classical complement activation pathway, which is a critical component of the acquired immune response to infection. Omeros controls the worldwide rights to MASP-2 and all therapeutics targeting MASP-2.

Phase 3 clinical programs are in progress for narsoplimab in hematopoietic stem cell transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA), in immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, and in atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). The FDA has granted narsoplimab breakthrough therapy designations for HSCT-TMA and for IgA nephropathy; orphan drug status for the prevention (inhibition) of complement-mediated thrombotic microangiopathies, for the treatment of HSCT-TMA and for the treatment of IgA nephropathy; and fast track designation for the treatment of patients with aHUS. The European Medicines Agency has granted orphan drug designation to narsoplimab for treatment in HSCT and for treatment of primary IgA nephropathy.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which are subject to the "safe harbor" created by those sections for such statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "can," "could," "estimate," "expect," "goal," "intend," "likely", "look forward to," "may," "on track," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "prospects," "scheduled," "should," "slated," "targeting," "will," "would" and similar expressions and variations thereof. Forward-looking statements, including statements regarding anticipated regulatory submissions, expectations regarding regulatory exclusivities, the timing and results of ongoing or anticipated clinical trials, and the therapeutic application of Omeros investigational product, are based on managements beliefs and assumptions and on information available to management only as of the date of this press release. Omeros actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements for many reasons, including, without limitation, availability and timing of data from clinical trials and the results of such trials, unproven preclinical and clinical development activities, regulatory oversight, intellectual property claims, competitive developments, litigation, and the risks, uncertainties and other factors described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 2, 2020. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, and the company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.

Dr. Miguel-Angel Perales has received compensation from Omeros for advisory services.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200302005938/en/

Contacts

Jennifer Cook WilliamsCook Williams Communications, Inc.Investor and Media Relations360.668.3701jennifer@cwcomm.org

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Omeros Corporation Reports Updated Results from Narsoplimab HSCT-TMA Clinical Trial and Highlights from Recent Clinical and CMC Meetings with FDA -...

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Techshots New Projects Will be on the Next SpaceX Mission Launch – 3DPrint.com

By daniellenierenberg

2020 is already promising to be a fantastic year for space exploration. The next generation of Artemis explorers can begin applying for the program that will be journeying to the Moon, Mars and beyond; the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to test key deployments made in space, and even the Orion spacecraft that will blast off to the Moon during Artemis missions has successfully passed its final tests. Furthermore, NASA and commercial space companies prepare for the colonization of orbit, rockets are taking payloads to the International Space Station (ISS) very often and 3D bioprinting is becoming an attractive and useful method to carry out experiments. The next one up is SpaceX mission CRS-20. Scheduled to launch at 11:50 PM Eastern Time (EST) on March 6 from Floridas Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the unpiloted cargo spacecraft is expected to arrive at the orbiting laboratory two days later with three Techshot-managed research campaigns.

The Indiana-based commercial research company is sending equipment and samples supporting plant, heart and cartilage research for NASA, Emory University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) to the ISS. According to the company, astronauts onboard the station will use Techshots 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) mounted inside the ISS U.S. National Laboratory (ISS National Lab) since last summer to manufacture human knee menisci for the 4-Dimensional Bioprinting, Biofabrication, and Biomanufacturing, or 4D Bio3program. Based at USU, 4D Bio3 is a collaboration between the USU and The Geneva Foundation, a non-profit organization that advances military medical research.

Funded by the U.S. Defense Health Program and managed by the Geneva Foundation, 4D Bio3promotes the development and application of advanced bioprinting, biofabrication, and biomanufacturing technologies for research pursuant to U.S. Department of Defense priorities and ultimately for translation to clinical medical defense care and training solutions.

This is our most diverse manifest to date, said Techshot President and CEO, John Vellinger. Throughout March well be conducting three major investigations in space for three customers using three very different Techshot-built research devices. Its going to be a busy month, but were excited to see the results.

Techshot owns BFF and the company built it at a cost of approximately seven million dollars. The starting point was an nScrypt printer, which now is highly modified by Techshot for use inside the ISS. In that relationship, Techshot handles all the space bioprinting, while nScrypt handles all the Earth-based bioprinting.

This first experiment for 4D Bio3 next month will be used as a test of the materials and the processes required to print a meniscus in space. Techshot engineers will upload a design file to BFF from the companys Payload Operations Control Center in Greenville, Indiana, and evaluate its success via real-time video from inside the unit. A second meniscus print will take place in BFF early next year and the item will then be returned to Earth for extensive testing and comparison to the nScrypt Earth-printed items. Last year nScrypt printed the same thing at a U.S. military base in Africa with their own printer.

Vincent B.Ho, Director of 4D Bio3 and professor and chair of radiology at USU said that meniscal injuries are one of the most commonly treated orthopedic injuries, and have a much higher incidence in military service membersreported to be almost 10 times that of the civilian population. We successfully biofabricated 3D human medial and lateral menisci in a pilot study performed in Africa last summer and anticipate learning valuable lessons on the challenges and benefits of biofabrication in microgravity by performing a similar experiment on the space station.

Besides BFF, there are four other Techshot owned and operated research machines inside the ISS today. Only the BFF is a bioprinter. The others are an X-ray machine for mice, two identical units called the Techshot Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform (MVP), and one called the ADvanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP), which is where cells printed in the BFF go to become conditioned and cultured into the tissue. The company has agreements with NASA and the ISS National Lab that permit Techshot to operate a commercial business in space. This is part of NASAs objective to make orbit more commercial, providing access to space for nearly anyone.

Another complex Techshot-managed experiment launching onboard SpaceX CRS-20 will test whether a heart-specific stem cell, called a cardiac progenitor, multiplies better in space and if more of them become heart muscle cells known as cardiomyocytes. This is part of Chunhui Xu, an associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine who studies heart cells, research that aims to improve treatments for congenital heart disorders and better the hearts ability to regenerate after injuries.

Preparing the experiments: under the vent hood, Biomedical Engineer Jordan Fite adds media to bags and fluid loops that will be used in the experiment in space (Image: Techshot)

Techshot explained that human cardiac tissues cant repair themselves once damaged from disease, due to this, repairing a failing heart by cell therapy requires a large number of cardiomyocytes, which can be converted from stem cells cultured in two dimensions in Earth-based laboratories. Without the pull of gravity, it is expected that culturing in three dimensions in space, inside specialized Techshot cell culture experiment modules, will increase the yield of high-quality heart muscle cells. The company expects that learning more about why this happens could lead to new strategies for reproducing the same results on a much larger scale on Earth, lowering costs and enabling more patients to receive needed cardiac cell therapies.

Astronaut handling Techshots BFF (Image: Techshot/NASA)

It is expected that once the cargo spacecraft reaches the station, the 12 Techshot experiment modules will be removed from the spacecraft and inserted by the crew into the companys Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform (MVP) unit number two mounted in the Japanese space laboratory known as Kibo.

We are thankful for Techshots engineers who designed the Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform hardware and will help us maintain constant communication with the astronauts during the flight operation. Their professionalism and collaboration with our team have contributed tremendously toward our overall research efforts, said Ho.

Besides the materials for the BFF meniscus print, SpaceX CRS-20 will also carry 12 Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System, or PONDS, plant growth devices that Techshot co-developed with Tupperware Brands, and that was first prototyped by NASA Kennedy Space Center. According to company officials, they will be growing red romaine lettuce inthe devices, installed inside two of the space stations identical plant growth chambers each called Veggie. The PONDS units are being tested in two different configurations, each representing approaches refined from two previous flight tests. For this demonstration, lettuce is expected to grow in space for 21 days. Besides the hardware built and own, Techshot also manages the space stations most complex greenhouse, called the Advanced Plant Habitat, and it manages two on-orbit research furnaces called PFMI and SUBSA.

Techshot has been working hard to get samples ready in a lab at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASAs Kennedy Space Center.

Product assurance associate Keri Roeder, program manager Nathan Thomas and mechanical engineer Grant Vellinger prepared samples for Techshot customer Emory University (Image: Techshot)

Founded more than 30 years ago, Techshot operates its own commercial research equipment in space and serves as the manager of three NASA-owned ISS payloads. The company is also working on other space 3D printing technologies. Last fall they tested a laser-based 3D metal printer in zero gravity inside an aircraft performing parabolic arcs over the Gulf of Mexico (sometimes unofficially nicknamed the vomit comet). However, officials suggest that this technology is still at least a couple of years from Techshot launching it to the space station.

NASA and dozens of companies continue to work together to develop the means for astronauts and space explorers to endure life in orbit, the Moon and other planets. This vision is enthralling for anyone who ever dreamed of going to space, even hopeful of the next generations that will be able to experience space travel and conduct research work in microgravity. Perhaps we are too hopeful of the future, but with so much going on, its difficult not to be.

The launch on Friday will be the last SpaceX launch under the current NASA CRS-1 contract, yet SpaceX will continue performing resupply missions under a new CRS-2 contract beginning with the next scheduled resupply mission in August this year. To watch the launch, which is scheduled to take place at 11:50 p.m. EST on Friday, March 6, and capture of the spacecrafts arrival at the ISS, you can tune into NASA TV using the video below:

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Canine Stem Cell Therapy Market Will Make a Huge Impact in Near Future – News Times

By daniellenierenberg

A synopsis of the global canine stem cell therapy market with reference to the global healthcare pharmaceutical industry

Despite the economic and political uncertainty in the recent past, the global healthcare industry has been receiving positive nudges from reformative and technological disruptions in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotech, in-vitro diagnostics, and medical imaging. Key markets across the world are facing a massive rise in demand for critical care services that are pushing global healthcare spending levels to unimaginable limits.

A rapidly multiplying geriatric population; increasing prevalence of chronic ailments such as cancer and cardiac disease; growing awareness among patients; and heavy investments in clinical innovation are just some of the factors that are impacting the performance of the global healthcare industry. Proactive measures such as healthcare cost containment, primary care delivery, innovation in medical procedures (3-D printing, blockchain, and robotic surgery to name a few), safe and effective drug delivery, and well-defined healthcare regulatory compliance models are targeted at placing the sector on a high growth trajectory across key regional markets.

Parent Indicators Healthcare Current expenditure on health, % of gross domestic product Current expenditure on health, per capita, US$ purchasing power parities (current prices, current PPPs) Annual growth rate of current expenditure on health, per capita, in real terms Out-of-pocket expenditure, % of current expenditure on health Out-of-pocket expenditure, per capita, US$ purchasing power parity (current prices, current PPPs) Physicians, Density per 1000 population (head counts) Nurses, Density per 1000 population (head counts) Total hospital beds, per 1000 population Curative (acute) care beds, per 1000 population Medical technology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging units, total, per million population Medical technology, Computed Tomography scanners, total, per million population

Research Methodology

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XploreMR utilizes a triangulation methodology that is primarily based on experimental techniques such as patient-level data, to obtain precise market estimations and insights on Molecule and Drug Classes, API Formulations and preferred modes of administration. Bottom-up approach is always used to obtain insightful data for the specific country/regions. The country specific data is again analysed to derive data at a global level. This methodology ensures high quality and accuracy of information.

Secondary research is used at the initial phase to identify the age specific disease epidemiology, diagnosis rate and treatment pattern, as per disease indications. Each piece of information is eventually analysed during the entire research project which builds a strong base for the primary research information.

Primary research participants include demand-side users such as key opinion leaders, physicians, surgeons, nursing managers, clinical specialists who provide valuable insights on trends and clinical application of the drugs, key treatment patterns, adoption rate, and compliance rate.

Quantitative and qualitative assessment of basic factors driving demand, economic factors/cycles and growth rates and strategies utilized by key players in the market is analysed in detail while forecasting, in order to project Year-on-Year growth rates. These Y-o-Y growth projections are checked and aligned as per industry/product lifecycle and further utilized to develop market numbers at a holistic level.

On the other hand, we also analyse various companies annual reports, investor presentations, SEC filings, 10k reports and press release operating in this market segment to fetch substantial information about the market size, trends, opportunity, drivers, restraints and to analyse key players and their market shares. Key companies are segmented at Tier level based on their revenues, product portfolio and presence.

Please note that these are the partial steps that are being followed while developing the market size. Besides this, forecasting will be done based on our internal proprietary model which also uses different macro-economic factors such as per capita healthcare expenditure, disposable income, industry based demand driving factors impacting the market and its forecast trends apart from disease related factors.

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Standard Report Structure Executive Summary Market Definition Macro-economic analysis Parent Market Analysis Market Overview Forecast Factors Segmental Analysis and Forecast Regional Analysis Competition Analysis

Target Audience Production Companies Suppliers Channel Partners Marketing Authorities Subject Matter Experts Research Institutions Financial Institutions Market Consultants Government Authorities

Market Taxonomy

The global canine stem cell therapy market has been segmented into:

Product Type: Allogeneic Stem Cells Autologous Stem cells

Application: Arthritis Dysplasia Tendonitis Lameness Others

End User: Veterinary Hospitals Veterinary Clinics Veterinary Research Institutes

Region: North America Latin America Europe Asia Pacific Japan Middle East & Africa

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10 things to know about stem cell therapy – Outlook India

By daniellenierenberg

10 things to know about stem cell therapy

New Delhi, March 3 (IANSlife) The usage of stem cells to cure or treat a disease or repair the injured tissue is defined as stem cell therapy. The best example of the stem cell treatment is seen in patients suffering from restoring the vision of the damaged eyes, grafting of the skin in severe burnt conditions. Stem cell treatments for brain or neural diseases like Parkinson''s and Alzheimer''s disease, multiple sclerosis, preventing heart strokes, curing diabetes, kidney disorders, autism, and spinal cord injuries are progressively making their way. Vipul Jain, CEO of Advancells and also a Serial entrepreneur, explains in detail the treatment, its uses, cost and effectiveness.

Q: What are stem cells?

Undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate and transform into any type of cells of the body when and where needed. They have an enormous potential to repair, heal and regenerate. Stem cells come from blood, bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and adipose tissue.

Types of stem cell therapy

Autologous stem cell therapy: Patient receives stem cells from his/her own body

Allogeneic stem cell therapy: Patient receives the stem cells donated by another individual

Autologous stem cell therapy is better than allogeneic stem cell therapy as chances of mismatching are not there and they pose the minimum risk of immune rejection. Also, no side effects or adverse effects are seen as a person''s own blood cells are used. They start the healing process immediately in a natural way.

What is stem cell therapy?

The usage of stem cells to cure or treat a disease or repair the injured tissue is defined as stem cell therapy. Stem cells can be obtained from the bone marrow, adipose tissues etc. Due to their tremendous potential to prevent and to treat various health conditions and to repair the injured tissues global research investigation is continuously being done as to explore the maximum advantage of these cell lines.

The best example of the stem cell treatment is seen in patients suffering from restoring the vision of the damaged eyes, grafting of the skin in severe burnt conditions. Stem cell treatments for brain or neural diseases like Parkinson''s and Alzheimer''s disease, multiple sclerosis, preventing heart strokes, curing diabetes, kidney disorders, autism, and spinal cord injuries are progressively making their way.

What are the sources of stem cell?

Depending upon the disease, different stem cell source can be used in a specific condition. The procedure may involve the extraction of stem cells from adipose tissue-derived stem cells with the combination of PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) or can be obtained from bone marrow that can differentiate into progenitor cells that differentiate into various other tissues which can help in the therapy.

Procedure of stem cell therapy

The stem cells are isolated from the bone marrow or adipose tissues followed by their processing and enrichment under sterile conditions. These activated stem cells are placed back into the patient''s body at the target site for repairing the damaged tissue. It is necessary that the stem cells are injected in the specific area of injury as only then the desired results will be achieved.

Adipose stem cells are preferred over bone marrow stem cells as they are easy to isolate and contain a higher number of stem cells.

Stem cells injection

The stem cells injections are gaining much interest because it is devoid of the painful procedure, takes less time in comparison to a surgery, there are no host and recipient rejections as stem cells are harvested from the patient''s body itself and a targeted delivery system is available.

The stem cells obtained are processed in a sophisticated stem cell lab and after activation are inserted back into the host with the help of intravenous, intramuscular, intra-arterial, intradermal and intrathecal injections as per the requirement of the treatment process.

What is the use of anesthetics and why? Usually, local anesthetics are used during a stem cell procedure to numb the area but sometimes general anesthesia is also given while extracting the stem cells from bone marrow. But it is necessary to find out what anesthetic your doctor uses during orthopedic stem cell treatments.

A number of anesthetics have been found to kill the stem cells thus; the treatment''s end result will greatly depend on the use of anesthetics. Some anesthetics very well sync with the stem cell and hence, aid in the treatment.

How good are the processing techniques in the onsite labs?

Stem cells are to be extracted and processed in a clean room, under aseptic conditions maintaining a controlled environment. The doctor should explain the entire process and the number of viable stem cells infused into the patient during the process. Also, the precision of the injections to provide good quality of stem cells at the site of injury will help in better and faster recovery of the patient''s damaged area.

Duration and cost of the therapy

Cost of the treatment and its duration varies from one patient to another. The disease which needs to be cured, the severity, age factor, health condition, etc, define the duration of the therapy. One may respond during the treatment phase itself while the other may show results after a few sessions or weeks. Depending upon the disease diagnosed, the stem cells extracted, duration of the therapy, other adjuvants used in the process, the cost of the stem cell therapy can vary.

Follow-up visits

It is essential that after the stem cell therapy the patient should visit the stem cell doctor for recuperation therapies. The primary goals of such therapy is the prevention of secondary complications, analysis of recovery of motor, sensory and all the bodily functioning, psychological support/counseling for depression, mood swings or anxiety etc. and reintegration into the community.

There can be different sets of precautions which need to be followed at various steps for the recovery of the damaged tissues. The treatment and post treatment conditions may vary from person to person depending upon the disease and the severity.

Success rate of stem cell therapy

Stem cell therapy has shown results in treating serious ailments like leukemia, grafting tissues, autism, orthopedic conditions and skin problems etc. Stem Cell Therapy has been successfully used in the treatment of around 80 serious disorders.

Survival rates among patients who received stem cell treatment are significantly high, whether the cell donors are related or unrelated to them. With the ongoing research around the world, scientists are exploring new possibilities in which a number of life threatening diseases can be prevented and cured hence, the stem cells have proved to be promising in the near future as many aspects are yet to be revealed.

--IANS

pg/adr/

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS

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Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market to Exhibit a Spectacular CAGR of 28.9%; Growing Initiatives by Government Authorities for Pre-Diagnosis to…

By daniellenierenberg

Pune, March 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market size is expected to reach USD 14.49 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 28.9% during the forecast period. The rising prevalence of rare diseases around the world will fuel demand for SMA treatment in the forthcoming years, which in turn will aid the growth of the market. As per the National Policy for the treatment of rare diseases, globally, around 6000 to 8000 rare diseases are estimated to exist with new rare diseases reported on a regular basis. Furthermore, 80% of all the rare diseases are genetically originated and therefore impact children inexplicably. The survey also revealed that 50% of new cases are in children and are responsible for 35% of deaths before the age of 1 year, 10% between the ages of 1 and 5 years and 12% between 5 and 15 years. Nonetheless, "the growing initiatives by government authorities for pre-diagnosis will impact the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market share positively during the forecast period", predicts our lead analysts at Fortune Business Insights.

For more information in the analysis of this report, visit: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/spinal-muscular-atrophy-treatment-market-100576

According to the report, published by Fortune Business Insights, titled "Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market Size, Share and Global Trend By Product (Nusinersen and Onasemnogen Abeparvovec), By Disease Type (Type 1 SMA, Type 2 SMA and Others), By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies and Others), and Geography Forecast till 2026" the market size stood at USD 1.72 billion. The SMA Treatment Market report executes a PESTEL study and SWOT analysis to reveal the stability, restrictions, openings, and threats in the smart building market. Combined with the market analysis capabilities and knowledge integration with the relevant findings, the report has foretold the robust future growth of the SMA treatment market, and all articulated with geographical and merchandise segments. Moreover, it also shows different procedures and strategies, benefactors and dealers working in the market, explores components convincing market development, generation patterns, and following systems. Additionally, the figures and topics covered in this report are both all-inclusive and reliable for the readers.

Market Driver:

R&D Initiatives by Key Players to Spur Sales Opportunities

The surge in research and development activities for the improvement of therapies and treatment options by key players will aid the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market growth during the forecast period. Various drug pipeline for advanced stages of clinical trials by major pharmaceutical companies will augment the healthy growth of the market. For instance, Genentech/Roche's pipeline candidate of Risdiplam, which recently received a priority review from the FDA and is expected to receive a decision on approval from the FDA by May 2020. Furthermore, the growing initiatives for pre-diagnosis and positive reimbursement policies will boost the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market trends in the foreseeable future. Moreover, the growing awareness regarding pivotal treatment options will create new opportunities for the market.

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Market Restraint:

High Cost of Products to Impede Market Expansion

The cost-intensive products and high prices associated with the rare disease therapies will subsequently obstruct the growth of the market. For instance, spinraza is expected to cost US$ 750,000 for the first year and will be repriced at US$ 375,000 after that. Apart from that, Novartis rare gene therapy, Zolgensma will come at a price of US$ 2.1 million for a one-time treatment. The expensive cost of therapies will restrict the adoption of treatment for many patients, which in turn will act as a restraint for the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market revenue.

Regional Insight:

Presence of Major Players to Influence Growth in North America

The market in North America stood at USD 854 million in 2018 and is likely to remain dominant during the forecast period. The growth in the region is attributed to the presence of prominent players in the region. The growing awareness regarding the prevalence of rare disease and pre-treatment initiatives will bolster accelerate the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment Market growth in North America.

List of the Major Players Operating in the Global SMA Treatment Market Include:

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Everything you need to know about Myeloma – IOL

By daniellenierenberg

By Partnered Content 16h ago

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Most of you reading this would have probably never heard of such a disease. My hope is, after taking time to read this, that you will know what myeloma is and have a better understanding of bone marrow cancer in general.

So, lets get started!

Your bone marrow is the factory where all your blood cells are made. This includes red blood cells (they carry the oxygen in your blood), white blood cells (your bodys defence against infections) and platelets (small fragments that prevent and stop bleeding).

The production of these cells by the bone marrow is very well controlled by your body, both in terms of the amount and the type of cells produced. If you have an infection, for instance, your body tells the stem cells in your bone marrow to make more white blood cells to help fight the infection. In such instances, an immature, baby cell gets produced in your bone marrow which then needs to go through various stages of growth and development to become a mature white blood cell. It is then released from the bone marrow into your bloodstream to go and do the job it was destined for, to fight the infection.

This process usually runs quite smoothly, but things can, unfortunately go horribly wrong. Sometimes your body makes a mistake in the production of a white blood cell, almost like a programming error which occurs in the DNA (blueprint) of the cell. It often recognizes its mistake and corrects it, but occasionally this abnormal cell has the ability to hide from your bodys defences, doesnt listen to your bodys commands anymore and can start to increase in number without anything controlling it. This causes a variety of problems and is then called cancer.

Depending on the type of white blood cell and where in its development the programming error occurs, a person can either develop a type of bone marrow cancer (usually leukaemia or myeloma) or lymphoma (glandular cancer), which is also a type of cancer that develops from an abnormal white blood cell.

That brings us to myeloma (also called multiple myeloma or plasma cell myeloma). Myeloma is a type of bone marrow cancer that develops when a programming error occurs in the development of a specific type of white blood cell, called a plasma cell. To understand myeloma better, it is important to understand what role a plasma cell plays under normal circumstances.

They are indeed an integral part of your bodys immune system. Any infection that you may develop gets recognized by your plasma cells. They respond by rapidly producing small proteins called antibodies, which are almost like homing missiles, programmed to go and destroy only that specific virus or bacteria that is making you ill.

After an infection, some of the antibodies remain in your bloodstream and if you are exposed to that exact virus or bacteria again, they are ready to attack immediately, thereby limiting the infection. This is the rationale behind childhood vaccination; to stimulate the production of antibodies which patrol your bloodstream and protect you when you get exposed to infections like measles, polio and many others.

If these plasma cells become cancerous however, they rapidly increase in number, taking over the bone marrow and producing a massive amount of an abnormal antibody which can cause a whole array of problems. This increase in antibody levels in the bloodstream can be measured with a blood test and is also used to monitor the response to treatment.. What are thesymptoms of myeloma?

The abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow overwhelms the normal bone marrow which most commonly leads to an inability to produce enough red blood cells. This is called anaemia. Symptoms of anaemia are related to the bodys inability to carry sufficient oxygen to your organs and include worsening fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness.

The abnormal plasma cells also have the ability to weaken your bones. This can either be a generalized loss of bone strength (called osteoporosis), or it can lead to numerous holes being eaten in your bones. This can be seen on an X-Ray or other types of scans. It often results in significant bone pain or even worse, severe fractures with minimal- or even no trauma at all.

Bones are rich in calcium, and if they are being eaten away, their calcium content is released into the bloodstream causing an elevated blood calcium level. This can lead to dehydration, kidney failure and numerous other symptoms.

As mentioned before, the plasma cells in the bone marrow releases a massive amount of abnormal antibodies into the bloodstream. They can clog up your kidneys and cause significant- and often irreversible kidney failure. This can seriously complicate the management of the disease.

These are by far the most common features of myeloma:

Anaemia, bone lesions or fractures, hypercalcaemia and kidney failure.There are numerous other symptoms which can occur, albeit less common.

Is myeloma treatable?

Myeloma is indeed a treatable condition, but there are a couple of important treatment principles to understand.

For most people, myeloma is not a curable disease. It can, however, be carefully managed and the aim of treatment is to provide a good quality of life for as many years as possible. No patients disease is the same and where we sometimes have patients with myeloma living in excess of ten years after being diagnosed, other patients are unfortunately less fortunate and have a form of the disease that is resistant to treatment which can take its toll after only a couple of months.

We perform DNA-tests on the cancer cells and look at various other blood results in an attempt to identify those patients with high-risk disease, who potentially need more intense treatment than others.

The goal of treatment is to destroy as many abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow as possible. This leads to recovery of the normal bone marrow and minimises the risk of any further complications, giving the body a chance to recover from any complications caused prior to treatment.

For many decades, the backbone of the treatment for myeloma was a combination of two different type of drugs: Chemotherapy and high dosages of cortisone. This is usually quite well tolerated.

The last couple of years, however, have seen an explosion of newer therapies for the treatment of myeloma. This started years ago with the discovery that Thalidomide, was extremely effective for the treatment of myeloma. Soon, more of these so-called novel therapies were developed, leading to a significant increase in the survival of patients who have access to these drugs.

The latest and most impressive of these treatments are certainly the development of monoclonal antibodies and CAR-T cells, both of which are extremely effective even in high risk or resistant myeloma. There is so much excitement about all the newer therapies, but access remains a challenge in theSouth African market.

A strong collaborative effort is required amongst pharmaceutical companies, government and medical schemes, to improve the current access of newer drugs. Nevertheless, some of these drugs have been around for many years and the costs have come down considerably, making it accessible to more people.

The initial treatment of myeloma generally consists of varying combinations of these drugs depending on the patients age, physical condition and of course, the available funding.

We usually use 3 different drugs in combination (a so-called triplet regimen) which has been proven to be very effective. Once the treatment is started, we take blood regularly to monitor the abnormal antibody levels in the blood which, as mentioned earlier, is a surrogate indicator of the number of cancer cells remaining in the bone marrow.

If we dont see a significant downward trend, the disease is likely resistant to that specific treatment combination and treatment should be adjusted accordingly. However, if the antibody levels come down significantly, we are on the right track and can continue with the same treatment until an optimal response is obtained or the development of side-effects forces us to make an adjustment.

After 4-6 months of treatment, the hope is to see no sign of any abnormal antibodies or cancer cells anymore (we call this a remission), or at least a dramatic reduction. We do however know that although we sometimes dont pick up any sign of residual disease, it is merely because the available tests are not sensitive enough. There will always be some cancer cells that remain.

As a general principle, however, the less residual disease, the longer it usually takes before it causes problems again. Because of this, we usually treat younger patients more aggressively in an attempt to obtain a deeper remission. The biggest difference in younger patients is the use of an autologous stem cell transplant as a 2nd phase of treatment to try and obtain or deepen a remission.

We harvest the patients bone marrow stem cells and keep them frozen until needed. We then administer a single high dose chemotherapy which destroys many of the remaining cancer cells, but in the process, it also destroys the normal bone marrow, without which you cannot survive. The patients stem cells are then thawed and given back to them like a blood transfusion.

After about two weeks of close monitoring in the hospital, the stem cells start to function and the patient subsequently has his/her own bone marrow back, hopefully with significantly less myeloma. The age cut-off for such a procedure is arbitrary because it largely depends on the physical condition of the patient. Most people in South Africa, however, use the age of 70 as a cut off, sometimes a bit older if the patient is in exceptional condition for his/her age.

The median age of people diagnosed with myeloma worldwide is about 70 years. The available data, however, suggests that the median age in South Africa is considerably younger, somewhere around the age of 60 years. Due to this, as well as the problems with drug availability in South Africa, we often rely quite heavily on stem cell transplantation as an important part of treatment. If enough stem cells are harvested and cryopreserved, such a transplant can be repeated on numerous occasions to improve disease control.

After a transplant, as well as for those patients who are not candidates for a transplant, a form of low-intensity maintenance therapy is often started as the next phase of treatment in an attempt to keep the disease under control for as long as possible. This duration varies considerably. We hope for a couple of years, but it is unfortunately sometimes just a couple of months before the disease worsens, after which more intense treatment needs to be restarted again and the above cycle repeats itself. The remission duration gives us a good indication regarding the nature and prognosis of the disease.

There is so much more detail about myeloma to share, but the bottom line is this: Although myeloma is not a curable cancer and can lead to devastating complications, there is good treatment available which can help many patients enjoy a good quality of life for many years.

It is important to diagnose myeloma early, so if you have some of the symptoms mentioned earlier, please contact your General Practitioner for further investigation. If any abnormalities are detected, your GP can refer you to aClinical Haematologist, who specialises in bone marrow cancers and are best equipped to treat your myeloma.

We are all very excited about the future of myeloma treatment and hope that the treating physicians, pharmaceutical companies and government can take hands to ensure proper treatment for all the people in South Africa who suffer from this disease.

This article was compiled by Dr. Hannes Koornhof (Chairman of SACHAS)MBChB, FCP (SA), Dip HIV Man (SA), Cert Clin Haematology (SA) PhysSponsored by JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICA(PTY) LTD/(EDMS) BPK. (Reg. No./Regnr. 1980/011122/07); No 2, Medical Road, Halfway House, Midrand, 1685.www.janssen.com.

Medical Info Line: 0860 11 11 17. EM-27036

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CytoDyn Reports Remarkable Outcomes for Additional Cancer Patients in mTNBC Trial; Following an Overwhelming Community Response, CytoDyn Expects to…

By daniellenierenberg

VANCOUVER, Washington, March 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CytoDyn Inc. (OTC.QB: CYDY), ("CytoDyn" or the "Company"), a late-stage biotechnology company developing leronlimab (PRO 140), a CCR5 antagonist with the potential for multiple therapeutic indications, announced today continued positive data for its mTNBC and MBC patients.

Metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC), an aggressive histological subtype, has a poor prognosis. In addition, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes to other organs in the body (typically the bones, liver, lungs, or brain). Both types of cancer pose significant challenges for patients due to their aggressiveness and limited treatment options. An integral part of CytoDyn's mission and purpose is to provide effective therapeutic solutions to these patients. Results of the first five patients are as follows:

Patient #1: Enrolled in mTNBC Phase 1b/2 - Injected on 9/27/2019. CTC (circulating tumor cells) dropped to zero in two weeks on 10/11/2019. Total CTC and EMT (Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition in Tumor Metastasis) dropped to zero after about one month of treatment with leronlimab (once-a-week 350 mg dose). Results from the patient's earlier CT scan indicated a more than 25% tumor shrinkage within the first few weeks of treatment with leronlimab. Most importantly, after more than five months of treatment with leronlimab and Carboplatin, the patient not only has zero CTC and zero EMT, but also zero detectible CAML (cancer-associated microphages like cells).

Patient #2: Enrolled in single IND. Patient is MBC with HER2+ stage 4 metastasis to lung, liver, and brain. Patient's radiologist cancelled 2nd round of treatment due to leronlimab's effect on shrinking the largest tumor in the brain by 56% and other lesions being stable. Leronlimab has and continues to be the only treatment in place for brain metastasis after radiation was administered to this patient in July 2019. Four and one-half months after successful radiation treatment, the patient received her first dose of leronlimab (700 mg) and no other drugs to treat the brain metastasis. The 56% shrinkage in the brain lesions occurred after only two once-weekly injections of leronlimab. After 10 weeks of treatment with leronlimab, this patient's CTC and EMT results were all zeros (results reported on 2/12/2020). The patient's CT scan in mid-February was reported as stable.

Patient #3: Enrolled on 1/3/2020. This patient's CAML counts decreased from 45 to 30. CTC+EMT are stable and there has been no change in the total number. Despite positive results, this patient stopped treatment due to complications with her implanted port, which was unrelated to leronlimab.

Patient #4: Enrolled on 1/7/2020. This patient's total CTC dropped by 75% in the first two weeks of treatment with leronlimab. After almost five weeks of treatment, the CTC remained at zero.

Patient #5: Enrolled on 2/4/2020. This patient has traveled from England to receive leronlimab. Initial response from treatment indicated tumor shrinkage and, importantly, CTC dropped to zero after three weeks of leronlimab treatment.

Patients #6 and #7: Enrolled and waiting for the first results post-baseline results.

Patients #8 through #10: Will be injected in early March.

Bruce Patterson, M.D., chief executive officer and founder of IncellDx, a diagnostic partner and advisor to CytoDyn, commented, "Patients continue to be actively enrolled in this trial based on the expression of CCR5 on lymphocytes and macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. The proposed mechanism of action (MOA) consisting of inhibition of Tregs and repolarization of macrophages has demonstrated a predictable, sustained response that has reduced the size of primary and metastatic tumors and reduced circulating tumor cells in all patients tested so far."

Nader Pourhassan, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of CytoDyn, added, "These findings are solidifying our belief of the four mechanism of actions (MOA) for leronlimab in the treatment of cancer, as previously verified through preclinical animal studies and in published papers. These MOAs indicate that leronlimab may potentially stop metastasis in many types of solid tumor cancers, trigger the body's immune response system to destroy the cancer tumor and perhaps more. This could represent the beginning of the transformation of CytoDyn from a potential leader in HIV therapy to providing potentially a new innovative treatment opportunity to patients with various forms of cancer and potentially NASH, GvHD, MS, and perhaps many more indications. With the possibility of our first approval in HIV late this year, we could have over 30 label expansion opportunities post-HIV approval."

About Triple-Negative Breast CancerTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer characterized by the absence of the three most common types of receptors in the cancer tumor known to fuel most breast cancer growthestrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR) and the hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) gene. TNBC cancer occurs in about 10 to 20 percent of diagnosed breast cancers and can be more aggressive and more likely to spread and recur. Since the triple-negative tumor cells lack these receptors, common treatments for breast cancer such as hormone therapy and drugs that target estrogen, progesterone, and HER-2 are ineffective.

About Leronlimab (PRO 140)The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have granted a "Fast Track" designation to CytoDyn for two potential indications of leronlimab for deadly diseases. The first as a combination therapy with HAART for HIV-infected patients and the second is for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. Leronlimab is an investigational humanized IgG4 mAb that blocks CCR5, a cellular receptor that is important in HIV infection, tumor metastases, and other diseases including NASH. Leronlimab has successfully completed nine clinical trials in over 800 people, including meeting its primary endpoints in a pivotal Phase 3 trial (leronlimab in combination with standard antiretroviral therapies in HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients).

In the setting of HIV/AIDS, leronlimab is a viral-entry inhibitor; it masks CCR5, thus protecting healthy T cells from viral infection by blocking the predominant HIV (R5) subtype from entering those cells. Leronlimab has been the subject of nine clinical trials, each of which demonstrated that leronlimab can significantly reduce or control HIV viral load in humans. The leronlimab antibody appears to be a powerful antiviral agent leading to potentially fewer side effects and less frequent dosing requirements compared with daily drug therapies currently in use.

In the setting of cancer, research has shown that CCR5 plays an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis. Increased CCR5 expression is an indicator of disease status in several cancers. Published studies have shown that blocking CCR5 can reduce tumor metastases in laboratory and animal models of aggressive breast and prostate cancer. Leronlimab reduced human breast cancer metastasis by more than 98% in a murine xenograft model. CytoDyn is therefore conducting aPhase 1b/2 human clinical trial in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and was granted Fast Track designation in May 2019. Additional research is being conducted with leronlimab in the setting of cancer and NASH with plans to conduct additionalclinical studies when appropriate.

The CCR5 receptor appears to play a central role in modulating immune cell trafficking to sites of inflammation and may be important in the development of acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and other inflammatory conditions. Clinical studies by others further support the concept that blocking CCR5 using a chemical inhibitor can reduce the clinical impact of acute GvHD without significantly affecting the engraftment of transplanted bone marrow stem cells. CytoDyn is currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical study with leronlimab to further support the concept that the CCR5 receptor on engrafted cells is critical for the development of acute GvHD and that blocking this receptor from recognizing certain immune signaling molecules is a viable approach to mitigating acute GvHD. The FDA has granted "orphan drug" designation to leronlimab for the prevention of GvHD.

About CytoDynCytoDyn is a biotechnology company developing innovative treatments for multiple therapeutic indications based on leronlimab, a novel humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the CCR5 receptor. CCR5 appears to play a key role in the ability of HIV to enter and infect healthy T-cells. The CCR5 receptor also appears to be implicated in tumor metastasis and in immune-mediated illnesses, such as GvHD and NASH. CytoDyn has successfully completed a Phase 3 pivotal trial with leronlimab in combination with standard anti-retroviral therapies in HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients. CytoDyn plans to seek FDA approval for leronlimab in combination therapy and plans to complete the filing of a Biologics License Application (BLA) in the first quarter of 2020 for that indication. CytoDyn is also conducting a Phase 3 investigative trial with leronlimab as a once-weekly monotherapy for HIV-infected patients and plans to initiate a registration-directed study of leronlimab monotherapy indication, which if successful, could support a label extension. Clinical results to date from multiple trials have shown that leronlimab can significantly reduce viral burden in people infected with HIV with no reported drug-related serious adverse events (SAEs). Moreover, results from a Phase 2b clinical trial demonstrated that leronlimab monotherapy can prevent viral escape in HIV-infected patients, with some patients on leronlimab monotherapy remaining virally suppressed for more than five years. CytoDyn is also conducting a Phase 2 trial to evaluate leronlimab for the prevention of GvHD and a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial with leronlimab in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. More information is atwww.cytodyn.com.

Forward-Looking StatementsThis press releasecontains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Words and expressions reflecting optimism, satisfaction or disappointment with current prospects, as well as words such as "believes," "hopes," "intends," "estimates," "expects," "projects," "plans," "anticipates" and variations thereof, or the use of future tense, identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. The Company's forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance, and actual results could vary materially from those contained in or expressed by such statements due to risks and uncertainties including: (i)the sufficiency of the Company's cash position, (ii)the Company's ability to raise additional capital to fund its operations, (iii) the Company's ability to meet its debt obligations, if any, (iv)the Company's ability to enter into partnership or licensing arrangements with third parties, (v)the Company's ability to identify patients to enroll in its clinical trials in a timely fashion, (vi)the Company's ability to achieve approval of a marketable product, (vii)the design, implementation and conduct of the Company's clinical trials, (viii)the results of the Company's clinical trials, including the possibility of unfavorable clinical trial results, (ix)the market for, and marketability of, any product that is approved, (x)the existence or development of vaccines, drugs, or other treatments that are viewed by medical professionals or patients as superior to the Company's products, (xi)regulatory initiatives, compliance with governmental regulations and the regulatory approval process, (xii)general economic and business conditions, (xiii)changes in foreign, political, and social conditions, and (xiv)various other matters, many of which are beyond the Company's control. The Company urges investors to consider specifically the various risk factors identified in its most recent Form10-K, and any risk factors or cautionary statements included in any subsequent Form10-Q or Form8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any responsibility to update any forward-looking statements to take into account events or circumstances that occur after the date of this press release.

CYTODYN CONTACTS

Investors: Dave Gentry, CEORedChip CompaniesOffice: 1.800.RED.CHIP (733.2447)Cell: 407.491.4498dave@redchip.com

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Spray-On Skin: ‘Miracle’ Stem Cell Treatment Heals Burns …

By daniellenierenberg

Pennsylvania state trooper Matt Uram was talking with his wife at a July Fourth party in 2009 when a misjudged spray of gasoline burst through a nearby bonfire and set him alight. Flames covered the entire right side of his body, and after he fell to the ground to smother them, his wife beat his head with her bare hands to put out his burning hair. It was only on the way to the ER, as the shock and adrenaline began to wear off, that the pain set in. "It was intense," he says. "If you can imagine what pins and needles feel like, then replace those needles with matches."

From the hospital, Uram was transferred to the Mercy Burn Center in Pittsburgh, where doctors removed all of the burned skin and dressed his wounds. It was on the border between a second- and third-degree burn, and he was told to prepare for months of pain and permanent disfigurement. Not long after this assessment, however, a doctor asked Uram if he would be willing to take part in an experimental trial of a new device.

The treatment, developed by German researcher Dr. Jrg Gerlach, was the world's first to use a patient's stem cells to directly heal the skin. If successful, the device would mend Uram's wounds using his body's ability to regenerate fully functioning skin. Uram agreed to the procedure without hesitation.

Five days after the accident, surgeons removed a small section of undamaged skin from Uram's right thighabout the size of a postage stampand used it to create a liquid suspension of his stem cells that was sprayed in a fine mist onto the damaged skin. Three days later, when it was time to remove the bandages and re-dress the wounds, his doctor was amazed by what he saw. The burns were almost completely healed, and any risk of infection or scarring was gone.

A study subsequently published in the scientific journal Burns described how the spray was able to regrow the skin across the burn by spreading thousands of tiny regenerative islands, rather than forcing the wound to heal from its edge to the inside. The technique meant "reducing the healing time" and "minimizing complications," with "aesthetically and functionally satisfying outcomes," the paper stated.

Dozens more burn victims in Germany and the U.S. were successfully treated with the spray following Uram's procedure, and in 2014 Gerlach sold the technology to RenovaCare. The medical technology startup has now transformed the proof-of-concept device from a complicated prototype into a user-friendly product called a SkinGun, which it hopes clinicians will be able to use outside of an experimental setting. For that to happen, RenovaCare is preparing clinical studies for later this year, with the aim of Food and Drug Administration approval for the SkinGun.

Once these obstacles are overcome, RenovaCare CEO Thomas Bold believes, the SkinGun can compete with, or even replace, today's standard of care.

Current treatment of severe burns involves transplanting healthy skin from one area of the body and stitching it to another in a process called skin grafting or mesh skin grafting. It is a painful procedure that creates an additional wound at the donor site and can cause restricted joint movement because the transplanted skin is unable to grow with the patient. It is able to cover an area only two to three times as large as the harvested patch. "The current standard of care is just horrible," says Bold. "We are part of regenerative medicineit is the medicine of the future and will be life-changing for patients."

Beyond regulatory matters, there are also limitations to the technology that make it unsuitable for competing with treatments of third-degree burns, which involve damage to muscle and other tissue below the skin. Still, stem cell researcher Sarthak Sinha believes that while the SkinGun may not be that advanced yet, it shows the vast potential of this form of regenerative medicine. "What I see as the future of burn treatment is not skin repair but rather functional regeneration of skin and its appendagessuch as hair follicles, glands and fat," says Sinha. "This could be achieved by engaging deeper layers of skin and its resident stem cells to partake in tissue regeneration."

Research is already underway at RenovaCare to enable treatment of third-degree burns, which Bold describes as "definitely within the range of possibility." Bold claims the adaptations to the SkinGun would allow it to treat other damaged organs using a patient's stem cells, but for now the company is focusing solely on burns and wounds to skinthe largest organ of the human body.

Uram's burns are now completely unnoticeable. There is no scar tissue or even pigment discoloration, and the regenerated skin even tans. "If I show someone where I was burnt, I bet $100,000 they couldn't tell," he says. "There's no scars, no residual pain; it's like the burn never happened. It's a miracle."

Uram is frustrated that the treatment is not available to other burn victims, particularly children. "I want to see the FDA get off their butts and approve this," he says. "A grown man like me to be scarred is OK, but think about the kids that have to live the rest of their lives with pain and scarring. That's not OK."

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Scientists Grapple with US Restrictions on Fetal Tissue Research – The Scientist

By daniellenierenberg

At several labs across the US, researchers use fetal tissue from humans to investigate everything from viral infections to the developing brain. Such studies have been ongoing for decades, as have politically fraught debates about this research, because it primarily relies on tissue donated after terminated pregnancies.

Last summer, President Donald Trumps administration announced that it would be placing restrictions on experiments involving fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions, which included banning government scientists from using this material for research and applying increased scrutiny for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant proposals from nongovernmental scientists.

Researchers say that the new restrictions on fetal tissue research have required them to change their plans for future work or to search for alternative sources of funding. Its impacted almost all of the facets of the lab, says Carolyn Coyne, a microbiologist at the University of Pittsburgh who uses fetal tissue to study how viruses penetrate the placenta.

Its affected pretty much every grant application that that weve written.

Mana Parast, University of California, San Deigo

One of the main concerns, according to several researchers who spoke to The Scientist,is the lack of clarity regarding what the NIH will require in grant applications for this work. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the NIH, has stated that it would put together a new ethics advisory board to review such proposals. Last week (February 20), HHS posted a notice indicating its intent to convene the NIHs fetal tissue ethics advisory board in 2020. In a written statement to The Scientist,the NIH states that it is in the process of setting up the Ethics Advisory Board for the purpose of evaluating research proposing the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortion.

Scientists are waiting to find out who will be appointed to the board and how it will evaluate proposals once it convenes. [Well] see whether the administration is going to act in good faith and appoint a decent ethics review committee, or if theyre going to ignore the value of the scientific and medical research that needs to be done in this area and let ideology weigh out over logic, says Lawrence Goldstein, a stem cell scientist at the University of California, San Diego, whose lab has worked with fetal cells in the past. The fetal tissue that were talking aboutif we dont use it for research, it will be discarded. Thats the choice. Discard the fetal tissue in the in the trash, or use it for valuable research.

This is not the first time such a ban has been put in place. In 1988, former US President Ronald Reagan placed similar restrictions on federal funding for fetal tissue studies, which stayed in place until President Bill Clinton overturned them during the first year of his term in 1993.

Fetal tissue used for research is primarily obtained from elective abortions, which women can consent to donate after deciding to terminate a pregnancy. This is because there are some major limitations to tissue obtained through other means, such as miscarriages, according to Anita Bhattacharyya, a stem cell scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madisons Waisman Center. Supply is limited and the underlying factors that lead to pregnancy loss can complicate experiments. On top of that, such events often happen unexpectedly, meaning that the collected tissue is not always intact. We would worry about using poor quality tissue as a foundation for the work we do, says Bhattacharyya, who uses donated fetal brain tissue to study brain development and disorders such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome.

Bhattacharyya says that although her lab currently has the tissue it needs to complete experiments from a prior grant, shes not comfortable submitting proposals for studies that require obtaining new fetal tissue. Its because I dont know whats going to happen. If I spend hours writing a grant that I think is really good science, and I send it to NIH . . . its going to get stuck there, Bhattacharyya explains. Were so busy as scientists that to just write a grant that isnt going to go anywhere is a waste of our time.

As such, her projects may suffer. According to Bhattacharyya, not only is brain development difficult to study in model organisms such as rodents, but fragile X and Down syndrome in particular are difficult, if not impossible, to model in animals. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can be generated by reprogramming cells from skin or blood in adults, have offered an alternative means of studying the development and disorders of the brain, yet researchers still need to validate the results they obtain, Bhattacharyya says. Really, the only way to do that is using fetal tissue.

In addition to cells and tissue from the fetus itself, the restrictions on NIH funding were also applied to other biological materials obtained in the process of abortions, such as umbilical cord, placenta, and amniotic fluid. While some of these can be useful to scientists when collected after birth, placental tissue obtained in this way has limitations. Full term placentas are actually aged tissues, explains Coyne. If were studying a full-term placenta post-delivery, the gnawing question is: Has that placenta changed from the placenta that exists in the first or second trimester?

Mana Parast, a stem cell and placental biologist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies placental development and disorders, tells The Scientist that while the policy change has left ongoing projects unscathed, its affected pretty much every grant application that that weve written since then. While Parasts team has used fetal tissue in the past, they are now focusing on using iPSC-based models. However, like Bhattacharyya, she notes that this isnt the perfect solutionas these models are fairly new and not yet broadly accepted, it is still necessary to validate them with cells from human placentas.

Coyne says that in addition to limiting access to grants for her research, the restrictions have also made it more difficult to procure tissue. A lot of major medical schools have federally funded tissue banks, Coyne explains. Our institutional tissue bank has been affected by this such that we cant obtain tissue from elective terminations anymore.

For researchers who have been able to obtain funding from alternative sources, such as philanthropists or private foundations, the effects of the restrictions have been minimal. Thomas Reh, a biologist at the University of Washington whose team uses fetal tissue to study the developing retina, says that his groups work is currently supported by a grant from the Open Philanthropy Project, a nonprofit organization. When the political climate gets more restrictive, private donors will often step in, Reh says. I wont say that works for everybody, or that it works all the time. At least in my own case, this is whats allowed me to sort of fill these gaps when [restrictions on fetal tissue] happen.

Its the next generation of trainees that are going to be most impacted, not just because they cant get funding, but if I were one of them, I would think to myself, is this really an area that I want to specialize in?

Carolyn Coyne, University of Pittsburgh

Andrew McMahon, a stem cell scientist at the University of Southern California, still has about a year left before he needs to apply for more funding, and hes started looking into potential alternatives to NIH. My understanding is that its not entirely clear at the moment what that process is going to be, McMahon says. Ive been using the time to obtain non-NIH funding to support aspects of the research that I would have tried to get NIH funding [for] in the future.

Private funds are not available to everyone, and can be more difficult for researchers in some fields to obtain than others. For some of the disorders that I work on, the major private funding foundation does not allow fetal tissue research, Bhattacharyya says. And sometimes the foundation funding can be quite a bit less than NIH funding.

For researchers in some states, nonprofits are not the only option. In California, the states stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has provided funding for stem cell studies using fetal tissue since it was founded in 2004. That fund is about to run out, but a bill that would provide $5.5 billion in funding to CIRM will come before voters in November.

That will hopefully provide funding for areas of fetal tissue research that involves stem cells, Goldstein says. But . . . its ridiculous to rely on one or two states to self-fund, because we dont have all of the best and brightest [scientists], and it means lots of students and postdocs will train in areas where federal training support will be unavailable to them.

Goldstein isnt the only one concerned that the most profound effect of the governments restrictions will be on early-career investigators and trainees. While established researchers may be able to circumvent the effects of the restrictions in the short term, the ramifications for trainees in this field will likely be much longer-lasting, Coyne says. Its the next generation of trainees that are going to be most impacted, not just because they cant get funding, but if I were one of them, I would think to myself, is this really an area that I want to specialize in and get into?

One scientist, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being harassed by anti-abortion activists, tells The Scientist that the restrictions have been a source of huge stress and anxiety for his lab, which he only established a few years ago. He adds that while his team has pivoted to using animal models and organoids generated from iPSCs, these are imperfect models of the developing human brain, which is the focus of his work.

It makes no sense to limit this research, given that the tissue from abortions will get discarded now that donation is not an option, Parast says. Were not talking about encouraging this procedurewere trying to use the material from patients who have already decided to undergo this procedure in order to be able to help other women.

Diana Kwon is a Berlin-based freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter@DianaMKwon.

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5 Reasons Science Says Your Health, Skin and Hair Needs Black Tea – The Better India

By daniellenierenberg

Made from the leaves of a shrub called Camellia sinensis, black tea is known for its high content of antioxidants and compounds that have several health and beauty benefits. Most of them can be reaped by drinking a cup or two per day. You could, alternatively also apply it topically on your hair and skin.

Heres how it helps and how you can make it a daily part of your diet:

Black tea is mainly rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols that help combat free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body that result from both natural and environmental factors, and over time, their build-up can damage or change cells in the body.

A cup of Darjeeling black tea has many bioactive compounds that reduce the risk of some cancers, heart diseases, lowers cholesterol and reduces blood sugar.

Most of our illnesses today stem from unregulated stress, courtesy of our fast-paced lifestyle. A cup of lavender bloom tea in the evening, will ensure that your stress levels are in check.

The handpicked tea leaves infused with lavender flowers, and rose petals work as a de-stressor and help you sleep better. The tea also builds immunity and improves digestion.

The massive antioxidants and caffeine content in black tea is beneficial in preventing hair fall, stimulating hair growth and adding shine and lustre to your mane.

For the most part, drinking a cup regularly is all you need to do to see the difference in your hair health.

However, you can also apply black tea extract (room temperature) to your scalp and hair as a conditioner after shampooing every once a week to reap its benefits.

The polyphenols and tannins in black tea are responsible for preventing skin infections, premature ageing, and reducing sunburns or blemishes.

Black tea is also known to reduce inflammation and flush out toxins; hence it also works to reduce under-eye puffiness and accelerate skin regeneration.

Just place a cotton ball soaked in cold black tea on the desired area of your face or body for a few minutes for a healthy glow, and drink a cup or two for overall skin health.

Along with a few lifestyle changes, consuming a cup of black tea regularly is known to aid in weight loss.

A prolonged period of inflammation in the body can induce obesity. Black tea helps prevent visceral fat and lowers the triglyceride levels by decreasing inflammation-inducing genes.

While other beverages such as coffee and green tea are great too if consumed in the right manner, this beverage takes it a notch higher with its incredible health benefits.

Also Read: Dark Chocolate Is Healthy! 5 Reasons to Make It a Part of Your Daily Diet

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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SpaceX set to launch Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral this week – Florida Today

By daniellenierenberg

FLORIDA TODAY's Rob Landers brings you some of today's top stories on the News in 90 Seconds. Florida Today

Get ready to rumble Friday night. And that's not just because it's Friday and it's time to party.

SpaceX is poised to launch its Falcon 9 rocket and cargo Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40 no earlier than 11:50 p.m. Friday.

From there it will head on a three-day journey to the International Space Station where Dragon will deliver science experiments, cargo and supplies to the crew onboard.

This will mark the aerospace company's 20th flight under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract as well as the last time SpaceX uses its Dragon 1 capsule before retiring it to make way to its newer, more advanced spacecraft: Dragon 2.

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The newer spacecraft is not only equipped to carry supplies to and from the space station, but it is also certified to refly up to five times (Dragon 1 for instance, was only certified for three re-flights) and can also carry humans, which could happen as soon as May for NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

"Some of the accomplishments of SpaceX under the CRS One program includesthe first U.S. Commercial provider toberth the ISS ... With that we're looking forward to SpaceX continuing on the CRS Two contract with SpaceX-21," said Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist for NASA's International Space Station Program Science Office during a media teleconference.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with cargo for the International Space Station on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Cape Canaveral hosted the liftoff. Florida Today

For this mission, Dragon 1 will deliver several science experiments including:

ACE-T-Ellipsoids: Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology will examine colloids small particles suspended within a fluid in microgravity to not only understand fluid physics more but to advance space-based additive manufacturing, an area of great interest to NASA and other agencies in the U.S.

MVP Cell-03: Emory University School of Medicine will study whether microgravity increases the production of heart cells from specific stem cells, called "human-induced pluripotent stem cells." Those specific cells have the potential to be used toreplenish cells that are damaged or lost due to cardiac diseases.

Flow Chemistry in Microgravity: Researchers from Boston University will study the effects of microgravity on chemical reactions as a step toward on-demand production of chemicals and materials in space.

Droplet Formation Study: Delta Faucet Company will study water droplet formation and water flow in microgravity to gain a better understanding on how to improve its showerhead technology in an effort to create better performance while also conserving water and energy.

Dragon will also deliver the European external payload hosting facility called Bartolomeo that will be an enhancement to the space station's European Columbus Module.

Contact Jaramillo at321-242-3668or antoniaj@floridatoday.com. Follow her onTwitterat@AntoniaJ_11.

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Stem Cell Therapy Market Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast up to 2017 2025 – Jewish Life News

By daniellenierenberg

TMRR, in its recent market report, suggests that the Stem Cell Therapy market report is set to exceed US$ xx Mn/Bn by 2029. The report finds that the Stem Cell Therapy market registered ~US$ xx Mn/Bn in 2018 and is spectated to grow at a healthy CAGR over the foreseeable period.

The Stem Cell Therapy market research focuses on the market structure and various factors (positive and negative) affecting the growth of the market. The study encloses a precise evaluation of the Stem Cell Therapy market, including growth rate, current scenario, and volume inflation prospects, on the basis of DROT and Porters Five Forces analyses. In addition, the Stem Cell Therapy market study provides reliable and authentic projections regarding the technical jargon.

In this Stem Cell Therapy market study, the following years are considered to project the market footprint:

The content of the Stem Cell Therapy market report includes the following insights:

Request For Discount On This Report @ https://www.tmrresearch.com/sample/sample?flag=D&rep_id=1787&source=atm

On the basis of solution, the global Stem Cell Therapy market report covers the following solutions:

Key Trends

The key factors influencing the growth of the global stem cell therapy market are increasing funds in the development of new stem lines, the advent of advanced genomic procedures used in stem cell analysis, and greater emphasis on human embryonic stem cells. As the traditional organ transplantations are associated with limitations such as infection, rejection, and immunosuppression along with high reliance on organ donors, the demand for stem cell therapy is likely to soar. The growing deployment of stem cells in the treatment of wounds and damaged skin, scarring, and grafts is another prominent catalyst of the market.

On the contrary, inadequate infrastructural facilities coupled with ethical issues related to embryonic stem cells might impede the growth of the market. However, the ongoing research for the manipulation of stem cells from cord blood cells, bone marrow, and skin for the treatment of ailments including cardiovascular and diabetes will open up new doors for the advancement of the market.

Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Market Potential

A number of new studies, research projects, and development of novel therapies have come forth in the global market for stem cell therapy. Several of these treatments are in the pipeline, while many others have received approvals by regulatory bodies.

In March 2017, Belgian biotech company TiGenix announced that its cardiac stem cell therapy, AlloCSC-01 has successfully reached its phase I/II with positive results. Subsequently, it has been approved by the U.S. FDA. If this therapy is well- received by the market, nearly 1.9 million AMI patients could be treated through this stem cell therapy.

Another significant development is the granting of a patent to Israel-based Kadimastem Ltd. for its novel stem-cell based technology to be used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other similar conditions of the nervous system. The companys technology used for producing supporting cells in the central nervous system, taken from human stem cells such as myelin-producing cells is also covered in the patent.

Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Regional Outlook

The global market for stem cell therapy can be segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. North America emerged as the leading regional market, triggered by the rising incidence of chronic health conditions and government support. Europe also displays significant growth potential, as the benefits of this therapy are increasingly acknowledged.

Asia Pacific is slated for maximum growth, thanks to the massive patient pool, bulk of investments in stem cell therapy projects, and the increasing recognition of growth opportunities in countries such as China, Japan, and India by the leading market players.

Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Competitive Analysis

Several firms are adopting strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, collaborations, and partnerships, apart from product development with a view to attain a strong foothold in the global market for stem cell therapy.

Some of the major companies operating in the global market for stem cell therapy are RTI Surgical, Inc., MEDIPOST Co., Ltd., Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., NuVasive, Inc., Pharmicell Co., Ltd., Anterogen Co., Ltd., JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., and Holostem Terapie Avanzate S.r.l.

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The Stem Cell Therapy market study answers critical questions including:

All the players running in the global Stem Cell Therapy market are elaborated thoroughly in the Stem Cell Therapy market report on the basis of R&D developments, distribution channels, industrial penetration, manufacturing processes, and revenue. In addition, the report examines, legal policies, and comparative analysis between the leading and emerging Stem Cell Therapy market players.

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Global Stem Cell Market Poised for Strong Growth as Global Regenerative Medicine Market Poised to Reach US$45 billion by 2025 – P&T Community

By daniellenierenberg

DUBLIN, Feb. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Stem Cell Banking - Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The growing interest in regenerative medicine which involves replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs, will drive market growth of stem cells. Developments in stem cells bioprocessing are important and will be a key factor that will influence and help regenerative medicine research move into real-world clinical use. The impact of regenerative medicine on healthcare will be comparable to the impact of antibiotics, vaccines, and monoclonal antibodies in current clinical care. With the global regenerative medicine market poised to reach over US$45 billion by 2025, demand for stem cells will witness robust growth.

Another emerging application area for stem cells is in drug testing in the pharmaceutical field. New drugs in development can be safely, accurately, and effectively be tested on stem cells before commencing tests on animal and human models. Among the various types of stem cells, umbilical cord stem cells are growing in popularity as they are easy and safe to extract. After birth blood from the umbilical cord is extracted without posing risk either to the mother or the child. As compared to embryonic and fetal stem cells which are saddled with safety and ethical issues, umbilical cord is recovered postnatally and is today an inexpensive and valuable source of multipotent stem cells. Until now discarded as waste material, umbilical cord blood is today acknowledged as a valuable source of blood stem cells. The huge gap between newborns and available cord blood banks reveals huge untapped opportunity for developing and establishing a more effective banking system for making this type of stem cells viable for commercial scale production and supply. Umbilical cord and placenta contain haematopoietic blood stem cells (HSCs). These are the only cells capable of producing immune system cells (red cells, white cells and platelet).

HSCs are valuable in the treatment of blood diseases and successful bone marrow transplants. Also, unlike bone marrow stem cells, umbilical cord blood has the advantage of having 'off-the-shelf' uses as it requires no human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue matching. Developments in stem cell preservation will remain crucial for successful stem cell banking. Among the preservation technologies, cryopreservation remains popular. Development of additives for protecting cells from the stresses of freezing and thawing will also be important for the future of the market. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 60.5% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 10.8% over the analysis period supported by the large and growing network of umbilical cord blood banks in the country. The Chinese government has, over the years, systematically nurtured the growth of umbilical cord blood (UCB) banks under the 'Developmental and Reproductive Research Initiation' program launched in 2008. Several hybrid public-private partnerships and favorable governmental licensing policies today are responsible for the current growth in this market.

Competitors identified in this market include:

Companies Mentioned

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/vgxw4q

About ResearchAndMarkets.comResearchAndMarkets.com is the world's leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

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Jimbo Fisher’s Kidz1stFund, Aggie Corps of Cadets team up for Be the Match bone marrow donor registry drive – Bryan-College Station Eagle

By daniellenierenberg

A bone marrow donor registry drive on Texas A&M Universitys campus brought more than 400 students to Duncan Dining Hall on Friday.

Participants swabbed their mouths to provide DNA samples and have their names added to Be the Matchs national bone marrow registry, which will help people in need of bone marrow connect with donors. The event was a collaborative effort between the A&M Corps of Cadets, the Kidz1stFund and Be the Match.

If anyone is matched, Community Engagement Representative for Be the Match Gulf Coast Benita Davis said they will need to have additional blood work done before donating.

A&M senior and Cadet 1st Lt. Mitchell Moore said his attendance on Friday was motivated in part by his interest in the medical field, since he is aiming to go to medical school.

Its minimum to no risk for you and not too much time, Moore said about donating. A small time on your part can make a huge difference and extend someones life by years.

A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher and Candi Fisher started Kidz1stFund in 2011 to raise money for research about fanconi anemia, which is a rare blood disorder that their teenage son was diagnosed with. Fisher stopped by Fridays event to speak with organizers and meet participants.

Its amazing how many great people there are in this world who are willing to help other people, Fisher said. These young men and women out here are actually saving lives.

Davis said donating is not as painful as many people often think, especially since about 80% of donations can be made with the nonsurgical method of giving peripheral blood stem cells. The other 20% of donations involve marrow being removed from the hip while the donor is asleep under general anesthesia. According to the Be the Match website, about one in 430 people on the registry end up donating.

The cadets in attendance on Friday were a reflection of who they are as people and students, according to Amy Thompson, assistant commandant, marketing and communications for the Corps of Cadets.

Selfless service is an A&M core value its also a core value for the Corps of Cadets, Thompson said. The commandant really supports and encourages cadets to seek out opportunities to be leaders in selfless service. This is one of those opportunities where we can do that on a very large scale and make a huge impact.

Corps Squadron 1 commander and A&M senior Jacob Svetz donated using stem cells about two years ago. He said he thinks everyone should sign up for the registry.

The few pin pricks that you get Its such a miniscule amount of pain compared to what that family and individual are suffering through, Svetz said. To put yourself into a position to be able to help that for me, it doesnt make sense not to.

Be the Match On Campus President and A&M senior Paige Boone said the organization hosts drives every month. The next one will be March 25 at A&Ms Rudder Plaza. Home swab kits are also an option. To get started, visit join.bethematch.org or text CORPS to 61474. Anyone ages 18 to 44 can participate.

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AgeX Therapeutics Researchers Publish Paper on the Age Reprogramming of Super-Centenarian Cells – Yahoo Finance

By daniellenierenberg

AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. ("AgeX"; NYSE American: AGE), a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, announced a new paper co-authored by two AgeX scientists that could lead to new insights into the fundamental mechanisms of aging and why super-centenarians not only live the longest, but also experience extraordinary healthspans; an extension of the healthy years of life that compresses morbidity to a very short period near the end of life. The paper, "Induced pluripotency and spontaneous reversal of cellular aging in supercentenarian donor cells," is published online in the peer-reviewed scientific journal "Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications" from Elsevier. The senior author is Dana Larocca, PhD, VP of Discovery Research at AgeX, and the first author is Jieun Lee, PhD, Scientist at AgeX.

"Clearly, we can learn a lot about aging and longevity from the longest of the long-lived, the supercentenarians, and we hope that this paper accelerates such research," commented Dr. Larocca. "Now that we have converted the cells of one of the longest-lived people in history, a deceased 114-year-old American woman, to a young pluripotent state, researchers can do so with cells from other supercentenarians. The goal is to understand specifically how these "extreme agers" manage to avoid the major chronic illnesses of aging better than any other age group including centenarians. We can essentially put their cells in a time machine and revert them to an earlier state, then study their biology to help unlock the mysteries of super-longevity. Scientists have long wondered, and now we know that we can indeed reset the developmental state and cellular age in the oldest of the old."

By way of comparison, the paper also describes undertaking a similar process with cells from two other donors: an eight-year-old with a rapid-aging syndrome commonly known as Progeria, and a 43-year-old, healthy disease-free control (HDC) subject. The paper notes that the supercentenarians cells reverted to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells at the same rate as the HDC subject and the Progeria patient. However, there may be some negative impact of extreme age on telomere resetting as this did not occur as frequently in the supercentenarian as in the other two donors.

The donated cells were from "the longevity collection," a cell bank established by the NIHs National Institute on Aging.

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 agreements 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 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q 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.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200228005122/en/

Contacts

Media Contact for AgeX:

Bill Douglass Gotham Communications, LLCbill@gothamcomm.com (646) 504-0890

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PAX1 is essential for development and function of the human thymus – Science

By daniellenierenberg

INTRODUCTION

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases characterized by severe T cell lymphopenia, causing increased susceptibility to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections since early in life (1). Most forms of SCID are due to genetic defects that are intrinsic to hematopoietic cells and can be successfully treated by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, SCID may also be caused by genetic abnormalities that are intrinsic to thymic epithelium development and function; in such cases, thymus transplantation, but not hematopoietic cell transplantation, is required to cure the disease. Only a few genetic abnormalities, including complete DiGeorge syndrome, and pathogenic variants affecting FOXN1 or CHD7, are known to cause SCID as a result of abnormal thymic development in humans (1).

PAX1 is a member of the paired box (PAX) family of transcription factors and plays a critical role in pattern formation during embryogenesis. It is expressed in the pharyngeal pouches that give rise to the thymus, tonsils, parathyroid glands, thyroid, and middle ear development during human embryogenesis (2). Pax1 deficiency in mice is characterized by anomalies of the vertebral column and variable degrees of thymic hypoplasia and thymocyte number and maturation (35). In humans, a homozygous pathogenic PAX1 p.Gly166Val variant (6) and a homozygous frameshift insertion (c.1173_1174insGCCCG) (7) have been identified in patients with otofaciocervical syndrome type 2 (OTFCS2), a rare disorder characterized by facial dysmorphism, external ear anomalies with preauricular pits and hearing impairment, branchial cysts or fistulas, anomalies of the vertebrae and the shoulder girdle, and mild intellectual disability. Recently, another homozygous pathogenic PAX1 variant (p.Cys368*) has been reported in two affected children from a consanguineous family of North African descent, who presented with OTFCS2 associated with T B+ SCID (8). However, limited information was provided on the immunological phenotype of these patients, and the functional consequences of the PAX1 variant were not investigated. Here, we provide an in-depth clinical, biochemical, and immunological description of multiple patients with OTFCS2 associated with SCID who carried biallelic deleterious PAX1 variants. By performing transfection experiments, molecular modeling, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and in vitro differentiation of control- and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to thymic epithelial progenitor (TEP) cells, we sought to assess the effects of human PAX1 deficiency on thymus development and function.

Patient 1 (P1) is a male infant born to parents whose families were from the same rural region in Germany (Fig. 1A). Bilateral microtia, malar prominence, narrow alae nasi, cupid bow lip, and retrognathia were noticed at birth (fig. S1, A and B). Imaging studies demonstrated severely stenotic external auditory canal on the right side and narrow left auditory canal (fig. S1C), congenital kyphosis at C3-C4 and L3 levels, moderate spinal canal narrowing (fig. S1, D to F), and traction on the cauda equina (fig. S1G). Diffuse erythematous rash (fig. S1H), lymphadenopathy, elevated serum immunoglobulin E (IgE), and eosinophilia were present, consistent with Omenn syndrome. On chest x-ray, the thymus shadow was not visible, and split cervical vertebral bodies, hooked distal clavicles, and a shallow dysplastic glenoid fossa were seen (fig. S1I). This infection history during infancy included Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, pneumonia, cellulitis, and diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile.

(A) Pedigrees and results of Sanger sequencing in patients with PAX1 variants and in healthy controls. For both family A and family B, results of Sanger sequencing in the heterozygous parents are also shown. (B) Schematic representation of the PAX1 protein and location of the variants identified in affected individuals.

P2 and P3 have been previously described (8) as patients V:1 and V:18, respectively, and are part of a large consanguineous family of Moroccan origin (Fig. 1A). At birth, P2 was noticed to have frontal and parietal bossing, hypertelorism, small nose with hypoplastic nasal root, low-set ears with agenesis of the left pinna and hypoplasia of the right pinna, scapular winging, and bilateral cryptorchidism. Imaging studies showed impaired development of internal auditory canals bilaterally and lack of a thymic shadow. P3 manifested similar facial dysmorphisms as P2, along with left facial nerve palsy, severe dorsal and lumbar scoliosis, and deafness. Imaging studies documented lack of thymic shadow, abnormal appearance of vertebrae, clavicles and shoulder blades, narrowing of both external auditory canals (fig. S1J), abnormalities of the middle ear, and presence of tubular structures with features of a dental element behind the mandibular condyle (fig. S1, K and L). Subject V:3 from the same family died early in life with a history of severe infections, but no formal medical records are available.

P4 and P7 are siblings born to consanguineous parents from Saudi Arabia. P7 was noticed to have severe bilateral microtia, postauricular sinuses, and micrognathia. He suffered from chronic diarrhea, recurrent respiratory infections, exfoliative dermatitis, regional dissemination of Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG-itis), and lymphadenopathy and died at 1 year of age.

P4 is a female with a history of chronic diarrhea, recurrent respiratory infections, and poor weight gain since the age of 1 month. Physical examination showed small malformed ears, a skin tag on the right ear, facial asymmetry, small nose with depressed nasal bridge, and small almond-shaped eyes. A skeletal survey showed wedge-shaped vertebral body at T11 and deficient posterior element of the sacrum at S4 and S5.

P5 and P6 were siblings born to consanguineous parents and belonged to the same extended family as P4 and P7. P5 had small, low-set malformed ears, triangular mouth, down-slanting palpebral fissures, a small nose with a depressed nasal bridge, and right facial palsy. She developed recurrent respiratory infections, chronic diarrhea, severe exfoliative dermatitis, and BCG-itis and was diagnosed with Omenn syndrome. She died at 8 months of age with progressive severe pneumonitis.

P6 was screened for immunodeficiency at birth because of the positive family history. She had malformed and low-set small ears, small chin, protruding forehead, and generalized eczema. A skeletal survey showed central depression of the vertebral bodies in the thoracic and lumbar spine. Her immunological workup was consistent with T B+ NK+ (natural killerpositive) SCID. She suffered from recurrent respiratory infections and chronic diarrhea and died at 9 months of age with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pneumonia.

The main immunological findings at presentation in P1 to P6 are shown in Table 1. In particular, P1 had significant T cell lymphopenia. His CD4+ lymphocytes were largely (98%) CD45R0+, no CD4+ CD45RA+ CD31+ cells were detected, and T cell proliferation to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) was impaired (fig. S2A). T cell receptor (TCR) excision circles (TRECs) were below the limit of detection, indicating lack of thymopoiesis. TCR V spectratyping revealed T cell oligoclonality (fig. S2B). Elevated serum IgE and eosinophilia were present, consistent with an Omenn syndrome presentation.

AEoC, absolute eosinophil count; ALC, absolute lymphocyte count; ANC, absolute neutrophil count; n.d.: not done; cpm, counts per minute.

Laboratory investigations in P2 at 2 weeks of age revealed profound T cell lymphopenia, markedly reduced proliferative response to mitogens, and increased serum IgE. An inguinal lymph node biopsy showed severe lymphoid depletion, with primary follicles without germinal centers, associated with nearly complete absence of CD3+ T cells, but presence of B and NK cells and sparse plasma cells, and increased number of CD68+ histiocytes and eosinophils (fig. S3). A diagnosis of T B+ NK+ SCID was established.

Severe T cell lymphopenia was observed in P3, P4, and P6, associated with virtually absent in vitro T cell proliferation to PHA in P4 and P6, consistent with a diagnosis of T B+ NK+ SCID (Table 1). Last, P5 was diagnosed as having Omenn syndrome based on generalized erythroderma, lymphocytosis, eosinophilia, hypogammaglobulinemia, increased IgE, and severely reduced in vitro T cell proliferation to PHA.

Because of severe immunological abnormalities, HSCT was attempted in P1 to P4 before the gene defect was known. Details of transplant, chimerism, and immune reconstitution are shown in Table 2. In all cases, a conditioning regimen was used. Two patients (P1 and P4) attained full donor chimerism. P2 failed to engraft, developed interstitial pneumonitis, and died 5.5 months after HSCT. In P3, initial engraftment was followed by secondary graft failure, and a second HSCT was performed, resulting in mixed chimerism. Although three of the patients attained either full or mixed donor chimerism, none of them achieved reconstitution of the T cell compartment. In P1, who exhibits full donor chimerism, all T cells have a CD45R0+ phenotype and therefore likely represent donor-derived T cells contained in the graft that have undergone peripheral expansion. P3 attained mixed chimerism but remained with persistent severe T cell lymphopenia. She developed Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, recurrent gastrointestinal infections, and liver failure and died of septic shock at the age of 4 years and 7 months. P4, who attained full chimerism but failed to reconstitute T cells, developed severe autoimmune hemolytic anemia, requiring multiple courses of rituximab and immunosuppressive therapy. Together, these data indicate that HSCT was unable to correct the profound T cell immunodeficiency of this disease.

ATG, anti-thymocyte globulin; PBSC, peripheral blood stem cells; URD, unrelated donor.

Before HSCT, karyotype analysis revealed no cytogenetic abnormalities in P1, P2, and P3. No evidence for copy number variation (CNV) was found by chromosomal microarray analysis in P1, and search for 22q11 deletion in P2 by in situ fluorescence hybridization was negative. No pathogenic variants in any of the known SCID-causing genes were identified in P4 by a targeted next-generation sequencing primary immunodeficiency gene panel. In an attempt to define the molecular mechanisms of the disease, whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed in P1, P2, and P4 independently (fig. S4 and table S1). In P1, a total of 153,376 variants were identified. Assuming autosomal recessive inheritance, and upon filtering for homozygous, rare, nonsynonymous changes in coding regions and splice sites, 38 variants were considered. Among these, functional annotation identified the PAX1 NM_006192.3 c.463_465del variant, predicted to cause an in-frame deletion of asparagine at position 155 (p.Asn155del) of the PAX1 protein, as the most likely cause of the disease. In P2, 87,423 variants were detected. Assuming an autosomal recessive inheritance, and upon filtering for homozygous, nonsynonymous, and rare (minor allele frequency < 0.01) variants falling in coding regions or splice sites, 18 such variants were considered. Functional filtering of these revealed the PAX1 c.1104C>A variant, predicted to cause a premature termination at codon 368 (p.Cys368*), as the most likely cause of the disease. In P4, 60,772 variants were detected. Upon filtering for homozygous, nonsynonymous, rare (in-house Saudi variant database <0.005) variants, which were restricted to exonic or splice sites, contained in an autozygome region identified on chromosome 20 by high-density genotyping, and shared with P5 and P6, only two variants were identified, including the PAX1 c.439G>C variant, predicted to cause a p.Val147Leu amino acid change.

Sanger sequencing confirmed homozygosity for the suspected pathogenic PAX1 variants in P1 to P6 (Fig. 1A). The Val147 and the Asn155 amino acid residues are in the DNA-binding paired box domain, and the Cys368 residue is in the transactivation domain of the PAX1 protein (Fig. 1B). All these positions are evolutionarily conserved (fig. S5). The scaled CADD (combined annotation dependent depletion) score (CADD-Phred) for the p.Val147Leu, p.Asn155del, and p.Cys368* variants is 28.1, 21.2, and 38, respectively, significantly higher than the mutation significance cutoff (MSC) score (9), which for the PAX1 gene is 12.06. Together, these data strongly support a pathogenic role of the PAX1 variants identified. Of note, while molecular and cellular studies to confirm the pathogenic role of the PAX1 variants were under way, another group independently attempted WES in P3 and in other family members (but not in P2) and reported the occurrence of the p.Cys368* variant in P3 (8).

To examine the effects of the PAX1 variants at the protein level, we transfected 293T cells with plasmids encoding for either wild-type (WT) or mutant PAX1 complementary DNA (cDNA) and analyzed protein expression by Western blot. In this assay, we also included the PAX1 p.Gly166Val variant, which had been previously reported in a patient with OTFCS2 (6). As shown in Fig. 2A, all mutant proteins were expressed at similar levels as WT PAX1, with the p.Cys368* mutant migrating as a lower molecular weight product, as predicted. To check whether the identified variants altered the subcellular localization of the PAX1 protein, 293T cells were transfected with PAX1 constructs with an N-terminal HA tag, and immunofluorescence was performed with tetramethyl rhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC)conjugated anti-HA antibody. As shown in Fig. 2B, both WT and mutant PAX proteins were detected in the nucleus, indicating that these variants do not affect subcellular localization.

(A) Western blot showing expression of WT and mutant human PAX1 proteins upon transient transfection in 293T cells. (B) Left: Intracellular protein localization upon transfection of HA-tagged WT and mutant PAX1 constructs into 293T cells, followed by staining with TRITC anti-HA. Right: Counterstaining with DAPI, demonstrating that the mutant PAX1 protein retains nuclear translocation capacity. Scale bar, 10 m. (C) Results of a luciferase reporter assay demonstrating reduced transcriptional activity of mutant PAX1 proteins, corresponding to the PAX1 variants detected in patients. The promoter region of Nkx3-2 was used to drive luciferase expression. Results of six independent experiments (each run in triplicate) are shown (means SEM). P value was calculated with one-way ANOVA and adjusted by Dunnetts multiple comparisons test. **P < 0.01; ***P < 0.0001.

Next, we tested the transcriptional activity of the PAX1 mutant proteins. Little is known on transcriptional targets of human PAX1; however, the Nkx3-2 promoter has been identified as a PAX1 target in mice (10). Therefore, we generated a reporter system in which luciferase expression is driven by the mouse Nkx3-2 promoter. In parallel, we generated both WT (Pax1WT) and mutant (Pax1Val138Leu, Pax1Asn146del, Pax1Cys359*, and Pax1Gly157Val) N-terminal HA-tagged mouse Pax1 constructs, which encode for mouse mutant PAX1 proteins corresponding to the human p.Val147Leu, p.Asn155del, p.Cys368*, and p.Gly166Val variants, respectively. Western blot analysis confirmed that the mutant mouse PAX1 proteins were expressed at similar levels as WT PAX1 (fig. S6). Upon cotransfection of the Nkx3.2-luciferase reporter plasmid and of either WT or mutant PAX1 expression plasmids into 293T cells, analysis of luciferase activity showed that the p.Val138Leu, p.Asn146del, and p.Cys359* PAX1 mutant proteins had significantly reduced reporter expression when compared with WT PAX1 (Fig. 2C and data file S1). A similar defect was also observed for the p.Gly157Val mutant, confirming previous findings (6). These data suggest that the human p.Val147Leu, p.Asn155del, and p.Cys368* variants do not affect protein stability or subcellular localization but alter PAX1 transcriptional activity.

The structure of the human PAX1 protein has not been solved experimentally. However, a crystal structure is available for the paired box domain of the highly homologous PAX6 protein (11). Sequence alignment between the paired box domain of PAX6 and PAX1 proteins reveals a high level of conservation with a similarity of 71%, with a 100% coverage of the region to be modeled as calculated with the BLOSUM80 matrix from PSI-BLAST (E = 1.3691 1020). As reported by Kelm et al. (12), this degree of homology often yields a model for the target (PAX1) with an accuracy of less than 1 root mean square deviation (RMSD) of atomic mobility to the experimentally solved structure of the template (PAX6). Because the p.Val147Leu and p.Asn155del mutants fall within the paired box domain of the protein, we assessed whether the reduced functional activity of the mouse p.Val138Leu and p.Asn146del (and by inference, the human p.Val147Leu and p.Asn155del) variants results from an altered structure and/or abnormal DNA binding. To do this, we first developed a structural model of the paired box domain of WT and mutant PAX1 bound to DNA, based on its homology to the published crystal structure of PAX6 [Protein Data Bank (PDB): 6PAX] (11) by the satisfaction of spatial restraints method using Modeler (13). Structural alignment revealed that the paired box domains of the PAX1 and PAX6 proteins are almost identical with a template modeling (TM) score of 0.99963 and RMSD of 0.08 as measured by the TM align algorithm (14). In addition, the high quality of the model is reflected by the fact that 99% of the residues are in the allowed regions of the (phi) versus (psi) angles of the Ramachandran plot, as shown in fig. S7 (15). Therefore, we used this model to derive a corresponding model for the p.Val147Leu and p.Asn155del variants and for the previously described p.Gly166Val PAX1 variant (6), using in silico site-directed mutagenesis and energy minimization refinement as previously described (16). As shown in Fig. 3A, the paired box domain of all three mutant PAX1 proteins retains a structure composed of two globular domains separated by a linker. These structural models were then used in MD simulations for both their free and DNA-bound forms to define how they differ in both structure and time-dependent dynamic behavior from the canonical WT PAX1 protein.

(A) Molecular modeling of the paired box domain of WT and mutant PAX1 proteins, showing the presence of two globular domain separated by a linker. Note that the asparagine residue at position 155 is adjacent to linker domain, and its deletion results in shortening of the last turn of the third helix in the first globular domain of the paired box domain. (B) Molecular superimposition of WT (in light blue) and mutant PAX1 variants after MD simulation, showing that both the Val147Leu and Asn155del variants predominantly affect the conformation of the C-terminal globular domain, whereas both globular domains are affected by the Gly166Val variant. (C) RMSF values of WT PAX1 and of the Val147Leu, Asn155del, and Gly166Val variants during MD simulations. RMSF values are used here as a measure of the flexibility of different regions of the protein during the MD simulations. The Y axes indicate the magnitude of the fluctuation, whereas the X axes indicate the specific location of each amino acid within the paired box domain.

Because the p.Val147Leu variant is located in the first globular domain, the p.Asn155del is also located in this domain and adjacent to the highly flexible linker, and the p.Gly166Val variant is within the linker, we initially performed 200-ps MD simulations of PAX1 in the absence of DNA to capture potential alterations of the rapid movement of this region of the protein in relationship to the N- and C-terminal helix-loop-helix domains. To gain additional insights into the behavior of the protein, we extended these simulations to 10 ns, in the absence or presence of DNA. When a harmonic restraint is applied to reduce the conformational changes in both globular domains during the 200-ps simulation, the linker is observed to move freely. In this situation, the molecular movement of WT PAX1 paired box domain resembles a barbell-shaped harmonic oscillator, where the globular domains move relative to each other without forming bonds that lock them together in space.

At the end of the 200 ps, in the absence of DNA, the linker of PAX1 shortens and the protein populates a conformational landscape where the globular domains come in close proximity to each other, with the linker located between the N-terminal helix 3 (H3) and the C-terminal helix 1 (H1), respectively (fig. S8). In the most extended conformation of the linker, the interglobular domain distance measured from the Gly158 -C to the Pro175 -C shortens from an original 38.946 to 21.414 (SD = 2.421, P = 0.0001). This shortening contributes to the differences in the RMSD curve, where in the first part of the simulation we observed significant changes due to this shortening, whereas the difference in conformational sampling decreases toward the end of the run. Identical results were obtained in 10-ns simulations. Thus, this H3-Linker-H1 state is likely the one that the PAX1 binding domain adopts when in conformational equilibrium before binding to DNA. In this manner, the linker would be free to contact the minor groove of the DNA and extend in a manner that allows the positioning of both globular domains for full binding. These results led us to set up simulations that would enable gathering information on potential differences in DNA binding among the WT and mutant PAX1 variants.

To investigate whether alterations in the structure or the dynamics of the PAX1 variants have the potential to affect the protein function as a transcription factors, we modeled these proteins in complex with DNA. For this purpose, we again used the bound form of PAX6 as a template. Figure S9 shows the energy-minimized structure of these models before MD simulations. Because the variants identified in the patients either change the sequence of the linker (p.Gly166Val) or the N-terminal globular domain (p.Val147Leu and p.Asn155del), we compared the structures of these variants with WT PAX1 after MD simulation. Because the structure of the DNA interacting with WT or mutant PAX1 proteins was the same in all models shown in fig. S9, we removed it to facilitate the observation of changes that occur in the PAX1 polypeptide chain. When compared with WT PAX1, the p.Val147Leu and the p.Asn155del variants associated with OTFCS2 + SCID differ in particular at the C-terminal second globular domain, as shown by molecular superimposition (Fig. 3B). This result is consistent with the measured root mean square fluctuation (RMSF) values, which shows that the second globular domain is highly flexible in the p.Val147Leu and p.Asn155del mutant proteins (Fig. 3C). By contrast, RMSF values in the first globular domain were lower in all mutant proteins (and especially so in the p.Asn155del and p.Gly166Val mutants) as compared with WT PAX1. Considering these changes, we evaluated potential alterations in the ability of these proteins to recognize and bind to DNA in silico. For this purpose, we analyzed the PAX1-DNA interface. As shown in Fig. 4, as compared with WT PAX1, a lower number of amino acid residues contacting DNA were present within the paired box domain of the p.Val147Leu and p.Asn155del PAX1 mutants. These alterations are more pronounced for the C-terminal region of the domain, which contacts the 3 half of the oligonucleotide and is necessary to maintain appropriate binding to DNA. This altered pattern of interaction with DNA observed in silico may contribute to the altered transcriptional activity of the PAX1 mutant proteins.

Nucleotide residues, in which the paired box domain of either WT or PAX1 mutant proteins establishes interaction, are shown in black. The amino acids contacting nucleotides of target DNA are indicated on the Y axis for each PAX1 protein. The red and green colors indicate loss and gain of DNA binding, respectively.

To gain insights into how pathogenic PAX1 variants may perturb the developmental program of thymic epithelial cells (TECs), we reprogrammed fibroblasts from a healthy control, P1, and P4 to iPSCs and subsequently differentiated these to TEP cells using a previously published protocol (17) with some modifications (see Materials and Methods). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) showed a comparable stemness profile in both control and patient iPSCs (fig. S10), and cytogenetic analysis confirmed their karyotypic integrity. iPSCs were then exposed in vitro to a cocktail of growth factors and molecules that provide essential cues to allow differentiation into definitive endoderm (DE) and eventually into TEP cells (fig. S11A).

To assess changes in the gene expression profile of cells during differentiation, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) in control cells collected in triplicate at iPS [day 0 (d0)], DE (d5), and TEP (d14) stages of cell differentiation. For each condition, between 15 and 20 million reads were obtained per well. As shown in fig. S11B, during differentiation of control iPSCs to DE and TEPs, we observed progressive changes of gene expression profile, with increased expression of stemness (OCT4, MYC, SOX2, TERT, DNMT3B, and NANOG), endoderm (EOMES, CXCR4, and SOX17), and epithelial (KRT8, CLDN1, EPCAM, LAMA1, and KRT19) genes at iPS, DE, and TEP stages, respectively. In addition, expression of ASXL1, HES1, SHH, GATA3, HOXA3, PSEN1, ZBTB1, HAND2, and MAFB genes, which are all part of the gene set Thymus development, was up-regulated at TEP stage (fig. S11B). Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) confirmed differential expression of genes involved in somatic cell maintenance and endoderm development, as well as in other pathways related to differentiation of tissues derived from the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches (fig. S11C).

To assess the reproducibility of the differentiation protocol, we differentiated the same control iPS line twice to TEP cells (named C1 and C2, respectively) in parallel to differentiation of P1 and P4 iPSCs to TEP cells in two distinct differentiation experiments. As shown in Fig. 5A, a similar pattern of changes in the gene expression profile was observed when differentiating control (C1) and P1 iPSCs or control (C2) and P4 iPSCs to TEP cells. In both experiments, control and patient cells showed increased expression of stemness genes at the iPS stage, whereas enhanced expression of epithelial marker genes and of other genes included in the Thymus development gene set was detected at TEP stage. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry analysis confirmed that both control and P1 TEP cells expressed cytokeratin 8 (KRT8), a marker of TECs (fig. S12) (18).

(A) Heatmap of differentially expressed genes between iPS and TEP stage as determined by RNA-seq. Each heatmap shows the top 3000 genes, which were differentially expressed between iPS and TEP cells, with a significance (q < 0.01) by the two-group comparison (t test). Genes whose expression was found to be up-regulated at the TEP stage included epithelial cell markers (EPCAM, KRT8, and KRT19) as well as several genes (PSEN1, HES1, ASXL1, HOXA3, HAND2, EPHB3, and GATA3), which appeared at the leading edge of GSEA of thymus development in (B). (B and C) GSEA on thymus development gene set by preranked genes according to signed log10 adjusted P value. The adjusted P value was acquired by DEseq2 analysis using normalized read count of RNA seq data. FDR, false discovery rate. (D) qRT-PCR analysis of FOXN1 and DLL4 expression at TEP stage of differentiation. Results are from five independent experiments for control and P1, and four independent experiments for control and P4, with triplicates in each case (mean SEM). The P value was calculated with two-tailed paired t test. P < 0.05 was considered to be significant. (E) Thymus development genes with evidence of differential expression between patient and control cells (adjusted P < 0.1 and concordant pattern of expression in both RNA-seq experiments). For this comparison, we considered genes that were part of the Thymus development gene set in MSigDB v7.0, and in the top 30 FOXN1 target genes reported in (19). The values displayed are the signed log10 adjusted P value for differential expression.

GSEA confirmed that upon differentiation of control iPSCs to TEP cells, genes involved in thymus development were more abundantly expressed at the TEP stage both in control and in PAX1 mutant cells (Fig. 5B). Despite similar changes in gene expression profile during differentiation of control- and patient-derived iPSCs to TEP cells, GSEA demonstrated that genes involved in thymus development were more abundantly expressed in control than in patient TEP cells (Fig. 5C). To gain additional mechanistic insights into the severe T cell immunodeficiency of P1 and P4, we performed multiple rounds of differentiation of control and patient iPSCs to TEP cells (five times for control and P1 and four times for control and P4 cells, respectively) and used qRT-PCR to analyze the expression of FOXN1, a master regulator of TEC development (19, 20), and to its target DLL4, a Notch ligand that plays a critical role in T cell commitment (21). FOXN1 expression was significantly reduced in P1 and P4 TEPs as compared with control cells, and a similar trend was observed for DLL4, although the latter significance was reached only when comparing P1 with control TEPs (Fig. 5D and data file S1). Analysis of RNA-seq data revealed several other genes that showed concordantly reduced expression in P1 and P4 TEPs versus control TEPs, reaching statistical significance in at least one of the patients TEP lines (Fig. 5E and table S2). These included STC2, CD83, ZAR1, and ANKMY1, which are known FOXN1 target genes (19); TP63, a regulator of TEC proliferation and aging (22, 23); BMP4, which has been implied in thymus development (24, 25) and in maintenance of TEPs (26, 27); and EYA1 and PAX9, which are involved in patterning of pharyngeal endoderm (28, 29). Together, these data indicate that multiple mechanisms contribute to the thymic defects associated with PAX1 deficiency. Consistent with this, and with the syndromic features manifested by the patients, we observed that several genes included in the Neural crest cell differentiation, Ear development, Cartilage development, Pharyngeal system development, and Skeletal system development gene sets also manifested differential expression in P1 and P4 versus control TEPs (fig. S13).

We have studied six patients from three unrelated families in whom biallelic, loss-of-function PAX1 variants underlie a clinical phenotype characterized by OTFCS2 and severe T cell immunodeficiency. The first example of a biallelic, rare PAX1 variant (p.Gly166Val) in a patient with autosomal recessive OTFCS2 was provided by Pohl et al. (6), who also showed reduced transcriptional activity of the mutant PAX1 protein. However, no data on the patients immunological phenotype were provided. More recently, Patil et al. (7) have described two siblings with a homozygous frameshift PAX1 variant causing OTFCS2; one of them lacked a thymic shadow on chest x-ray. Last, the clinical features of OTFCS2 and SCID have been recently reported by Paganini et al. (8) in two of the patients studied here (P2 and P3), but no immunological or mechanistic characterization was provided.

Several mouse models of PAX1 deficiency, due to distinct variants in the Pax1 gene, have been described, including the undulated (un), undulated extensive (unex), undulated short-tail (unS), and undulated intermediate (un-i) models (30). All of these mutant strains display thymic abnormalities, which are more severe in the unS model (30); however, none of them results in complete athymia. A more profound phenotype, with lack of thymus and parathyroids, associated with craniofacial and skeletal abnormalities, has been observed in Pax9/ mice (31). No cases have been reported of humans with biallelic PAX9 pathogenic variants, and heterozygous PAX9 variants in humans are associated with hypodontia but not with thymic defects (32). Together, these data suggest that the impact of PAX1 and PAX9 on thymus development may be different in humans and mice.

To gain insights into the molecular mechanisms by which PAX1 deficiency may cause syndromic SCID in humans, we have first investigated the expression, subcellular localization, and transactivation activity of PAX1 mutant proteins using transient transfection and luciferase reporter studies. Although transient transfection may result in protein overexpression and therefore cannot be directly compared with protein expression in vivo, the PAX1 p.Val147Leu, p.Asn155del, and p.Cys368* mutant proteins retained the capacity to translocate to the nucleus, and the equivalent murine mutant proteins showed decreased transcription factor activity in vitro. Similar results were obtained for the PAX1 p.Gly166Val (and the mouse equivalent p.Gly157Val) variants, confirming previous observations (6). To further investigate the mechanisms underlying the impaired transcriptional activity of the mutant PAX1 proteins, we have performed structural modeling, using the crystal structure of the PAX6 paired box domain as a template. The results suggest that the structural behavior of the paired box domain (consisting of two globular domains interconnected by a linker) was retained in the p.Val147Leu, p.Asn155del, and p.Gly166Val mutants. MD simulation studies have demonstrated that these variants alter the flexibility of the paired box domain and are predicted to alter binding of PAX1 to its target DNA. Our in silico studies suggest that the mutants differ in their ability to gain or lose binding to distinct nucleotides, with possible impact on the severity of clinical and immunological phenotype. Fine characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying such heterogeneity will require resolution of the crystal structure of the PAX1 paired box domain and precise identification of its human DNA target sequence(s).

By exposing control- and patient-derived iPSCs to defined differentiation cues, we have successfully differentiated iPSCs to TEPs. Comparison of gene expression profile in control- and patient-derived cells at the TEP stage of in vitro differentiation demonstrated altered expression of genes involved in thymus development in patient cells. In particular, qRT-PCR analysis revealed reduced expression of FOXN1, a master gene of thymus development, and of several FOXN1 target genes, including DLL4. Biallelic FOXN1 pathogenic variants in humans are responsible for a syndromic form of SCID that is the equivalent to what is observed in the nude mouse (33, 34). We have recently reported that FOXN1 haploinsufficiency in humans causes severe T cell lymphopenia at birth (35). The reduced levels of FOXN1 expression observed in patient TEPs (and, by inference, in the patients thymus) may therefore play a direct role in the severe T cell lymphopenia observed in these patients. However, analysis of gene expression profile in patient and control TEPs suggests that other mechanisms, besides reduced FOXN1 expression, may also contribute to impaired thymic development associated with PAX1 deficiency. In particular, reduced TP63 expression may cause impaired TEC proliferation and hence thymic hypoplasia. Moreover, we observed that both P1 and P4 TEPs displayed significantly reduced expression of BMP4 as compared with control TEPs. Conditional deletion of Bmp4 from the pharyngeal endoderm before Foxn1 expression disrupts thymus morphogenesis in mice (24). Furthermore, recent studies have indicated that BMP4 plays a critical role in maintenance of TEC progenitors (27), and reduced BMP4 expression might alter replenishment of the TEC compartment. Future studies based on precise enumeration of TEPs generated in vitro from patient- and control-derived iPSCs may help test this hypothesis. In any case, these data suggest that PAX1 deficiency causes early and more global effects on the development of tissues derived from the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches, including the thymus. Consistent with this hypothesis, patient TEPs were concordant in the abnormal expression of a number of genes involved in skeletal, cartilage, pharyngeal, neural crest, and ear development. Abnormalities in these pathways during differentiation of tissues derived from the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches are likely to contribute to the broad range of malformations observed in the patients reported here.

Last, we have reported that HSCT, which was attempted in four of the six patients, failed to correct the T cell immunodeficiency, despite engraftment in three of them. PAX1 deficiency should be added to the list of severe T cell immunodeficiencies characterized by a primary thymic defect, which also includes complete DiGeorge syndrome, CHARGE syndrome, and FOXN1 deficiency (1). Thymus transplantation represents the treatment of choice to correct the immunodeficiency in these disorders (3638). By contrast, use of unmanipulated HSCT may allow engraftment of donor-derived postthymic T cells that may expand in the recipient, as also observed in P1 in this study, but does not permit de novo generation of a polyclonal repertoire of nave T cells (39). In summary, we have provided mechanistic insights into the pathophysiology of OTFCS2 associated with severe T cell immunodeficiency, an autosomal recessive condition caused by PAX1 variants, and have demonstrated the thymic-intrinsic nature of the immunodeficiency of this condition.

The scope of the study was to identify the molecular basis of a syndromic form of SCID and to perform genomic, molecular, biochemical, structural modeling, and in vitro disease modeling studies to analyze deleterious effects of the PAX1 variants identified. All patients provided written informed consent, according to protocols approved by the local Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Research studies were performed under National Institutes of Health (NIH) IRB-approved protocol 16-I-N139. For P4, public disclosure of secondary genomic findings was not permitted by the protocol and consent form approved by the local IRB.

WES was performed on P1 and his healthy parents and on P2 and P4 without parental samples. Detailed methods for capture, library preparation, and bioinformatic analysis are described in the Supplementary Materials. Candidate variants were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and described according to Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) guidelines. For P1 and P2, WES data have been deposited to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Sequence Read Archive (SRA) Submission Portal, with the following ID: PRJNA601119.

Flow cytometry studies were performed on either a 10-color Gallios (Beckman Coulter, Brea, CA) or an 8-color Canto II (BD Biosciences, San Jose, CA) cytometer, and results were analyzed using Kaluza software v1.5 (Beckman Coulter, Brea, CA). T cell proliferation studies were performed using Edu-based (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA) flow cytometry method in P1, and tritiated thymidine (3HTdR) incorporation in P2, P4, P5, and P6. TCR V repertoire spectratyping was carried out using a fragment length method on a capillary electrophoresis system (ABI 3730xl DNA Sequencer, Applied Biosystems Inc., Thermo Fisher, Waltham, MA), and data were analyzed using the GeneMarker (v.2.4.0) software (SoftGenetics, State College, PA). All reference values for interpretation were established in the laboratory using healthy pediatric donors recruited via an IRB-approved protocol.

293T cells were plated as 4 105 cells per well in a 12-well plate. After 24 hours, cells were transfected with 1.2 g of pCMV-HA-N vector containing either WT or mutant PAX1 cDNAs, with the Lipofectamine 3000 transfection kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific) following the manufacturers instructions. After 24 hours, cells were collected, lysed, and transferred onto a nitrocellulose membrane. Immunoblotting was performed with rat anti-PAX1/Pax1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) (clone 5A2) (40), followed by staining with horseradish peroxidase (HRP)conjugated goat anti-rat IgG (ab97057; Abcam, Cambridge, MA). After stripping, the membrane was reblotted with rabbit anti-actin mAb (clone 13E5; Cell Signaling Technology, Danvers, MA), followed by Amersham enhanced chemiluminescence anti-rabbit IgG, HRP-linked whole antibody (NA934; GE Healthcare, Helsinki, Finland).

To analyze PAX1 subcellular localization, 293T cells were cultured in polylysine-coated -Slide 8 well (ibidi, Fitchburg, WI) and transfected with 100 ng of pCMV-HA-N vector containing either WT or mutant PAX1 cDNA, with the Lipofectamine 3000 transfection kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific) following the manufacturers instructions. After 24 hours, cells were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) for 30 min at room temperature, washed twice in PBS, and then blocked for 1 hour with 10% donkey serum and 0.1% Triton X-100 with PBS at room temperature. Cells were incubated with mouse anti-HA-TRITC mAb (clone H9037; MilliporeSigma, St. Louis) diluted 1:200 in PBS and with 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) at room temperature for 1 hour in the dark. Images were obtained with a Leica SP8 (690/730) confocal microscope.

For immunofluorescence analysis of KRT8 expression by TEPs, cells were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde with PBS for 30 min at room temperature, washed twice in PBS, blocked for 1 hour in 10% donkey serum and 0.1% Triton X-100 with PBS at room temperature, and incubated overnight at 4C with mouse anti-KRT8 antibody (ab2530, C-43) (Abcam, Cambridge, MA) diluted 1:200 in PBS, then for 1 hour at room temperature in the dark with donkey anti-mouse IgG (H+L) Alexa Fluor 488 (ab150105; Abcam) at 1:500 dilution in PBS, and with DAPI (Thermo Fisher Scientific) at 1:1000 dilution in PBS. Images were taken with a Leica SP8 (690/730) confocal microscope.

The promoter region of the mouse Nkx3-2 gene was amplified and cloned into the firefly reporter plasmid pGL4.10 luc2 vector (Promega, Madison, WI), as described (6, 10). To generate expression plasmids containing the mouse Pax1WT, Pax1V138L, Pax1N146del, Pax1G157V, and Pax1C359* coding sequences, the coding sequence of mouse Pax1 (NM_008780.2) was amplified by RT-PCR from isolated adult mouse thymus RNA and cloned into a pCMV-HA-N vector (Addgene, Cambridge, MA) with the In-Fusion HD EcoDry Cloning Kit (Clontech, Mountain View, CA). Pax1 mutant variants were generated by site-directed mutagenesis, and the PCR products were ligated with the Quick Ligation Kit (NEB, Ipswich, MA) and cloned by Turbo competent cells (NEB, Ipswich, MA). The correct sequence of the constructs was confirmed by Sanger sequencing.

The transcriptional activity of WT and mutant PAX1 mouse proteins was assessed in a luciferase reporter assay. 293T cells were cultured in Dulbeccos modified Eagles medium (DMEM) containing 10% fetal bovine serum with antibiotics and plated in 24-well plates 24 hours before transfection. Transient transfections were performed in triplicate with TransIT-293 Transfection Reagent (Mirus, Madison, WI) according to the manufacturers instructions. Cells were cotransfected with 30 ng of either WT or mutant Pax1 expression plasmids, 15 ng of firefly reporter plasmid Nkx3-2-pGL4.10 luc2, and 3 ng of pRL-TK vector (Promega, Madison, WI) for normalization. After 48 hours, cell extracts were collected and frozen in lysis buffer overnight at 20C. After thawing, firefly and renilla luciferase activities were measured using a Dual-Luciferase Reporter Assay Kit (Promega, Madison, WI) and Paradigm Detection platform (Beckman Coulter, Indianapolis, IN). To correct for variations in transfection efficiency, firefly luciferase activity was normalized to renilla luciferase activity. The luciferase activity of pCMV-HA-N vector, which had no Pax1 cDNA, was assumed to have 0% activity, whereas the Pax1WT vector was assumed to have 100% activity.

The three-dimensional complex structures of WT and mutant PAX1 models bound to DNA were generated by homology-based methods (16) using the previously solved structure of the highly homologous protein, PAX6 (PDB: 6PAX) (11). Intermolecular interactions of the PAX1 paired box domain of WT/mutant PAX1 to DNA complex were calculated in the Receptor-Ligand function of Discovery Studio Client 4.0 using the default parameters (BIOVIA, San Diego, CA). The MD simulations were performed as described (16).

Primary skin fibroblasts from P1, P4, and a healthy control (BJ fibroblast line, American Type Culture Collection) were reprogrammed to iPSCs by infection with the nonintegrating CytoTune Sendai viral vector kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific) as described (41).

For differentiation, iPSCs were transferred to plates coated with Corning Matrigel human embryonic stem cell (hESC)qualified Matrix. After four to five passages, the cells were plated on Matrigel-coated 24-well plates at a density of 2.5 105 cells/cm2. For differentiation to DE and TEPs, iPSCs were exposed to various factors and differentiation cues, according to the protocol by Parent et al. (17), with some modifications. In particular, between d1 and d5, iPSC differentiation was carried out in RPMI 1640 medium (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA) supplemented with 1% penicillin/streptomycin, 1% l-glutamine, and increasing concentrations of KSR (0% on d1, 0.2% on d2 and d3, and 2% on d4 and d5). In the period d6 to d14, cells were differentiated in DMEM/F12 with 1% penicillin/streptomycin, 1% l-glutamine, and 0.5% (v/v) B-27 supplement (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA). During this period of time, the following factors were added to the culture: activin A, 100 ng/ml (d1 to d5); Wnt3a, 25 ng/ml (d1) or 50 ng/ml (d8 to d14); all-trans retinoic acid (RA), 0.25 M (d6 to d8) or 0.1 M (d9 to d14); BMP4, 50 ng/ml (d6 to d14); LY364947, 5 mM (d6 to d9); FGF8b, 50 ng/ml (d8 to d14); and KAAD-cyclopamine, 0.5 mM (d8 to d14). Supplements and factors were from Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA (B27, KSR); R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN (activin A, Wnt3a, BMP4, and FGF8b); and MilliporeSigma, St. Louis, MO (RA, KAAD-cyclopamine, LY364947).

Microgram quantities of total RNA were isolated using the RNeasy Kit (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany) from triplicate samples of control-, P1-, and P4-derived iPSCs, as well as from the corresponding iPSC-derived cells at DE and TEP stages. RNA integrity was tested by microfluidic electrophoresis on a TapeStation system (Agilent, Santa Clara, CA). RNA purity and concentration were assessed using the NanoDrop One UV-Vis Spectrophotometer (Thermo Fischer Scientific, Waltham, MA). Directional, mRNA-seq libraries for experiment 1 were produced using TruSeq Stranded mRNA Library Prep Kit for NeoPrep (catalog no. NP-202-1001) from Illumina (San Diego, CA). Directional, mRNA-seq libraries for experiment 2 were produced using New England Biolabs product NEBNext Poly(A) mRNA Magnetic Isolation Module (catalog no. E7490L), New England Biolabs product NEBNext Ultra II Directional RNA Library Prep Kit for Illumina (catalog no. E7760L), and NEBNext Multiplex Oligos for Illumina (Dual Index Primers Set 1) (catalog no. E7600S) (New England Biolabs, Ipswich MA), with an input of 100 ng of total RNA per sample.

Sequencing was performed on an Illumina NextSeq 500 system, running Illumina NextSeq Control Software System Suite version 2.1.2 and RTA version 2.4.11. The final library pool was sequenced via 1 75base pair (bp) run configuration using the product NextSeq 500/550 High Output v2 sequencing kit, 75 cycles (catalog no. FC-404-2005). Between 15 106 and 20 106 reads were obtained from each sample. RNA-seq FASTQ files were aligned to the reference human genome assembly (GRCh38) with STAR v2.6.0 (42). The transcript annotation (GTF) file was obtained from GENCODE (release 28) (43). The binary alignment files (.bam) were then used to generate a matrix of read counts with the featureCounts program of the package Subread v.1.6.2 (44). Exonic fragments were grouped at the level of genes, based on the GENCODE 28 annotation file. Normalization and differential expression analysis for RNA-seq data were performed with the DESeq2 (45) package in R (46).

Independent pairwise analyses were performed on triplicate samples of cells at each stage of differentiation (iPSC, DE, and TEP). To handle the lower power associated with small numbers of samples, DESeq2 uses an empirical Bayesian procedure to stabilize the log fold change estimates. The Wald test was then applied to the log fold change in each gene, followed by multiple-testing adjustment with the method of Benjamini and Hochberg (47).

For the heatmap of gene expression, t test and hierarchical clustering were computed by Qlucore Omics Explorer 3.3 (Qlucore, Lund, Sweden) for iPSC and TEP stage comparison (Fig. 5A), with cutoff q values of less than 0.01. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and hierarchical clustering were used for the three-stage (iPSC, DE, and TEP) comparison (fig. S11B). Normalization and differential expression analysis of the RNA-seq data used for GSEA were performed with DESeq2 package in R v.3.5.1. RNA-seq data have been uploaded to the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), under accession no. GSE138784.

GSEA was performed with the GSEA software (48) (http://www.broadinstitute.org/gsea) using a preranked dataset of gene expression differences, 1000 permutations, and the softwares classic enrichment statistic option. Genes were ranked based on the DESeq2 output by taking the signed log10 adjusted P value for differential expression. Gene sets for enrichment analysis correspond to Gene Ontology (GO) Biological Processes and were obtained from the Molecular Signatures Database version 7.0 (GMT file: c5.bp.v7.0.symbols.gmt).

RNA was isolated from control, P1, and P4 cells at iPSC and TEP stages of differentiation, using RNeasy kit (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany). cDNA was synthesized by a qScript cDNA Synthesis kit (Quantabio, Beverly, MA) according to the manufacturers protocol. qRT-PCR was performed on a 7500 RT-PCR system (Applied Biosystems, Waltham, MA) using PerfeCTa SYBR Green FastMix, Low ROX (Quantabio, Beverly, MA). Gene expression was quantified by normalization to the housekeeping gene TBP for each sample. Primers used for individual genes are reported in the Supplementary Materials.

Statistical analysis was undertaken in GraphPad Prism (v8.0). For luciferase reporter assay, P values were calculated with one-way ANOVA and adjusted by Dunnetts multiple comparisons test. The data are means SEM of six independent experiments (WT, n = 6; Val138Leu, n = 3; Asn146del, n = 5; Cys359*, n = 5; Gly157Val, n = 5; empty, n = 6). For qRT-PCR data, Students t test (paired, two-tailed) was performed. The data are means SEM in Fig. 5D, and means SD in fig. S10. P < 0.05 was considered to be significant. Statistical analysis of RNA-seq data is described above.

Acknowledgments: We thank E. Thorland for interpretive assistance with the CNV analysis and B. Bigio for uploading WES data. WES data have been deposited to the NCBI SRA Submission Portal, with the following ID: PRJNA601119. RNA-seq data have been uploaded to the NCBI GEO, under accession no. GSE138784. Funding: This work was supported by the Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH and by the Angelo Nocivelli Foundation. Y.Y. was supported by JSPS Research Fellowship for Japanese Biomedical and Behavioral Research at the NIH and had travel support from The ITO Foundation for the Promotion of Medical Science. R.U. was supported by NIH/NIDDK R01 DK52913, Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment and the Linda T. and Johm A. Mellowes Endowed Innovation and Discovery Fund. L.M.F. is funded by the Division of Intramural Research of the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, at the National Institutes of Health. A.A. is supported by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. Author contributions: Y.Y. performed experiments and wrote the manuscript. R.U. performed structural modeling and MD simulation studies. L.M.F. supervised analysis of RNA-seq and GSEA data. F.O.-C., T.G.M., and S. Ganesan assisted with RNA-seq studies. S. Giliani and S.M. performed Sanger sequencing and Western blot analysis and analyzed WES data. K.Z., A.M.A., H.A., F.Z., C.A.V., and B.B. performed and analyzed WES. A.K.D. generated iPSCs. A.J., R.W.M., A.H.F., C.A., B.K.A.-S., and H.A.-M. provided clinical care and description of the patients. F.F. performed lymph node pathology. M.P.B., M.L.H., and C.M. performed and interpreted imaging studies. J.L.C. and R.S.A. contributed to supervision of the project and to writing of the manuscript. L.D.N. was responsible for the entire research project and wrote the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: Fibroblast and iPSC lines from P1 and P4 are available upon request but are contingent upon approval of material transfer agreement by the NIAID, NIH. WES data have been uploaded to the NCBI SRA Submission Portal, with the following ID: PRJNA601119. The RNA-seq dataset for this study has been uploaded to the NCBI GEO, under accession no. GSE138784. The GEO accession includes links to the NCBI SRA database, from which the raw data will be accessible in FASTQ format, under accession no. SRP225226.

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PAX1 is essential for development and function of the human thymus - Science

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Moisturizers Worth the Money – NewBeauty Magazine

By daniellenierenberg

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream ($265)

In the nearly two years since its launch, Augustinus Baderssignature moisturizer, aptly named The Rich Cream, has seen moresuccess than perhaps any beauty product before it. Alexa Chung, Margot Robbie,and Ashley Graham are all fans, and Victoria Beckham loves the brand so muchthat she even collaborated with Bader to create a serum for her eponymousbeauty line. The Rich Cream, developed by Dr. Bader, a German stem cell andbiomedical scientist, is said to promises to reduce signs of aging and skindamage, leaving skin restored, regenerated, and glowing with health. The keyto the moisturizers magic is TFC-8, Dr. Baders proprietary Trigger Factor Complexthat is essentially a blend of more than 40 amino acids, vitamins, andsynthesized molecules. The complex helps activate the skins stem cells,pushing them into healing mode to promote everyday turnover and furthermoresoften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even tone and texture, andhydrate the skin. Starting at $265 for a 50ml bottle, The Rich Cream is farfrom cheap, but its benefits are well worth the large price tag.

For a more affordable alternative, try the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter($42). Among thelightweight moisturizers selling points is its use of argan oil, areplenishing ingredient also found in Augustinus Baders Rich Cream that helpsprotect skin from free radicals.

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Moisturizers Worth the Money - NewBeauty Magazine

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