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Best Growth Report On Autologous Stem Cell Based Therapies Market Survey 2019 Industry Outlines, Future Trends, Forecasts And Regional Segmented…

By daniellenierenberg

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Best Growth Report On Autologous Stem Cell Based Therapies Market Survey 2019 Industry Outlines, Future Trends, Forecasts And Regional Segmented...

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Bayer Announces Recipients of the Pulmonary Hypertension Accelerated Bayer (PHAB) Awards at CHEST Annual Meeting 2019 – BioSpace

By daniellenierenberg

WHIPPANY, N.J., Oct. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer today announced recipients of the inaugural Pulmonary Hypertension Accelerated Bayer (PHAB) Awards, a U.S.-based research grant program created to support clinical research in pulmonary hypertension (PH), with a focus on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). The recipients will receive a combined total of $1 million in grants over a two-year period, making the PHAB Awards one of the largest industry-funded grant programs focused on PAH and CTEPH in the U.S. The eight award recipients were formally announced at a ceremony during the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Annual Meeting in New Orleans on Sunday, October 20, 2019.

"Supporting a new generation of researchers is imperative to ensure we continue the progress that has been made during the past decade in pulmonary hypertension and its related conditions," said Aleksandra Vlajnic, M.D., Senior Vice President & Head Medical Affairs Americas at Bayer. "Our hope is that the PHAB Awards program will encourage researchers to think creatively about solving the significant treatment and patient care challenges that remain, knowing Bayer is committed to providing the support needed to help bring those ideas to fruition. We want to congratulate all of the applicants on their winning proposals."

The recipients are:

The PHAB Awards recipients were selected by an independent Grants Review Committee, consisting of the following eminent PH leaders:

"I would like to thank and recognize the Grants Review Committee for their time and commitment, and the PH community in the U.S. for their overwhelming response to the inaugural PHAB Awards," said Sameer Bansilal, M.D., M.S., Medical Director, U.S. Medical Affairs at Bayer. "We look forward to an even greater response next year and encourage eligible applicants to start thinking about submitting their research proposals."

The PHAB Award eligibility, review and category criteria were modeled after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) system; entries were graded on significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, and environment.

For more information on the PHAB Awards visit: https://www.phab-awards.com/awards/or e-mail PHAB.awards@bayer.com.

Grants were made on the merits of the research, and research must be posted on ClinicalTrials.gov. Every effort should be made to publish or present study outcomes. If the research is not conducted the grant must be returned.

About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH, WHO Group 1) is defined by elevated pressure in the arteries going from the right side of the heart to the lungs. Typical symptoms of PAH include shortness of breath on exertion, fatigue, weakness, chest pain and syncope. PAH is caused by abnormalities in the walls of the pulmonary arteries.1,2

About Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH)Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH, WHO Group 4) is a progressive type of pulmonary hypertension, in which it is believed that thromboembolic occlusion (organized blood clots) of pulmonary vessels gradually lead to an increased blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, resulting in an overload of the right heart.3,4 CTEPH may evolve after prior episodes of acute pulmonary embolism, but the pathogenesis is not yet completely understood. The standard and potentially curative treatment for CTEPH is pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), a surgical procedure in which the blood vessels of the lungs are cleared of clot and scar material.5,6 However, a considerable number of patients with CTEPH (20%-40%) are not operable and in up to 35 percent of patients, the disease persists or reoccurs after PTE.7

About BayerBayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to http://www.bayer.us.

Our online press service is just a click away: http://www.bayer.us/en/newsroomFollow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pharma.bayerFollow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bayerus

Media Contact:David Patti, +1-973-452-6793Bayer, U.S. Product Communicationsdavid.patti@bayer.com

Forward-Looking StatementsThis release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at http://www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

References:1Galie et al. 2015 ESC/ERS Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension. Eur Heart. 2016;37:67119.2American Lung Association. Pulmonary Hypertension. Accessed November 22, 2017. http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pulmonary-hypertension.3Piazza G and Goldhaber SZ. Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. N Engl J Med. 2011; 364: 351-360.4 Simonneau G et al. Updated Clinical Classification of Pulmonary Hypertension. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2013; 62(25):5 D'Armini M. Diagnostic advances and opportunities in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Eur Respir Rev. 2015; 24: 253262.6 Kim et al. Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013; 62: D92-9.7 Mathai et al. Quality of life in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Eur Respir J. 2016 Aug; 48(2): 526537.

View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bayer-announces-recipients-of-the-pulmonary-hypertension-accelerated-bayer-phab-awards-at-chest-annual-meeting-2019-300940541.html

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More awareness needed on stem cell donation: expert – The Hindu

By daniellenierenberg

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), popularly known as bone marrow transplantation (BMT), is a curative modality for a number of benign and malignant blood disorders, said Dr. Murali Krishna Voonna, surgical oncologist and managing director of Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital and Research Institute.

Speaking at an awareness programme on stem cell donation organised here by the hospital, in association with Datri Blood Stem Cell Donor Registry, he said hematopoietic stem cells are immature cells that can develop into all types of blood cellswhite blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. They are found in the peripheral blood and bone marrow.

A sizeable population are diagnosed to have benign diseases such as thalassemia major, sickle cell anaemia and aplastic anaemia, and the HSCT is among the efficient curative measures. Acute leukaemia and other blood cancers also need this procedure, he said.

Highlighting that stem cell donation and a registry are vital, Dr. Muralikrishna explained for a successful hematopoietic stem cell transplant, the patients genetic typing (HLA typing) needs a close match with that of the donor. Every patient has 25% chance of finding a match within the family, he said.

Dr. Muralikrishna stated that in such cases, finding a donor is a pressing need. There are over 80 donor registries and more than 30 million registered donors across the globe, with a very few Indians being a part of it. This reduces the chances of finding a possible match for patients of Indian origin. Patients are more likely to find a possible match within their ethnicity, which means people sharing the same cultural linguistic and biological traits, he explained.

The problem can be solved if the donors enroll themselves with a registry which will store the stem cell details and the details. Pledging to donate stem cells is easy like swabbing the inner-cheek. The donors are contacted if patients have HLA matching, he said, adding that the stem cell donation was carried out only when a match was found for a patient, not when one pledge to donate.

A blood stem cell collection centre was inaugurated at the hospitals premises on the occasion. Earlier, to avail of such service and for HLA-typing, one has travel to Hyderabad and Chennai, Dr. Muralikrishna said.

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Students from over 50 universities across the UK help blood cancer charity – FE News

By daniellenierenberg

150,000 POTENTIAL STEM CELL DONORS ARE GIVING BLOOD CANCER PATIENTS HOPE THANKS TO ONE UNIVERSITY SOCIETY -1 in 4 stem cell donors are now recruited by Marrow university societies

Students from over 50 universities across the UK have helped blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan recruit an incredible 150,000 students to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, since the first Marrow group was created 21 years ago.

Marrow is the name given to blood cancer charity Anthony Nolans network of student volunteer groups.

The first Marrow society was created at the University of Nottingham, with the aim of recruiting students to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register. For many people with blood cancers or blood disorders, receiving stem cells from a stranger is their best chance of survival.

Research has found that younger donors are more likely to save the lives of patients, so the work done by Marrow is invaluable. Over a quarter of all stem cell donations that have occurred in the last two years were from donors recruited by Marrow. University students across the country are continually giving people with blood cancer and blood disorders a second chance of life.

Liam Du Ross, 24, from North Wales is a research chemist and signed up to the Anthony Nolan register in September 2014, while at Bangor University.

Liam said: I was at my university freshers fair and stopped to talk to the volunteers running the Marrow stall. I wanted to help someone in need, and I had already signed up to donate blood at this point, so the Anthony Nolan stem cell register seemed like the next step.

Earlier this year Liam received a call to say that he had been found to be a match for someone in desperate need of a stem cell transplant.

When I found out that I was a match for someone, I felt really lucky. I had absolutely no doubts about going through with the donation at all, the whole experience was a pleasure. The nurses involved in the process were exceptional, and they helped to put me at ease. I donated via PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection) so I was able to lie there and catch up on podcasts and TV shows!

I thought about my recipient a lot during my donation and how I would feel if I were in their situation. I would love to meet them one day and I hope they feel the same.

To anyone thinking of signing up to the register, I would say that you should absolutely sign up. If someone you knew was that person who needed a transplant, you'd want to doeverythingin your power to help them.

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Shaswath Ganapathi, 21, is a 4th year medical student at Birmingham University and the secretary of Birmingham Marrow. He decided to volunteer with Marrow after his friend, Rohan, sadly died from leukaemia last year. Shaswath and the other committee members hold events across their university, where they encourage students to sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, any of whom could go on to donate their stem cells in the future.

Shaswath said: The donors I have spoken to have said that its the most life changing thing they have ever done, and they would never have thought that spending a few minutes signing up at a stand and doing a quick cheek swab could lead to potentially saving someones life.

Aisling Cohn, Youth Programmes Manager at Anthony Nolan, said: Marrow really are the unsung heroes helping Anthony Nolan give hope to patients with blood cancer, by signing up an incredible number of potential donors to the stem cell register. Any one of these people could save the life of someone with blood cancer.

It costs 40 to add each new person to the Anthony Nolan register, any money raised by Marrow will directly help save lives. They really are lifesavers!

If a patient has a condition that affects their bone marrow or blood, then a stem cell transplant may be their best chance of survival. Doctors will give new, healthy stem cells to the patient via their bloodstream, where they begin to grow and create healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Marrow

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Students from over 50 universities across the UK help blood cancer charity - FE News

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Stem cell therapy is for animals too – SciTech Europa

By daniellenierenberg

Stem cell therapy for animals has seen breakthroughs

Stem cell therapy is increasingly becoming a more mainstream form of medicine. Usually applied to humans, the use of this regenerative treatment is now also being extended to animals including cats and dogs. Regenerative medicine, particularly stem cell treatment has seen many advancements in recent years with some groundbreaking studies coming to light.

Taking the cells from bone marrow, umbilical cords, blood or fat, stem cells can grow to become any kind of cell and the treatment has seen many successes in animals. The regenerative therapy has been useful particularly for treatment of spinal cord and bone injuries as well as problems with tendons, ligaments and joints.

Expanded Potential Stem Cells (EPSCs) have been obtained from pig embryos for the first time. The cells offer groundbreaking potential for studying embryonic development and producing transnational research in genomics and regenerative medicine, biotechnology and agriculture.

The cells have been efficiently derived from pig preimplantation embryos and a new culture medium developed in Hong Kong and Cambridge enabled researchers from the FLI to establish permanent embryonic stem cell lines. The cells have been discovered in a collaboration between research groups from the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) in Mariensee, Germany, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK and the University of Hong Kong, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, School of Biomedical Sciences.

Embryonic stem cells (ESC) are derived from the inner cells of very early embryos, the so-called blastocysts. Embryonic stem cells are all-rounders and can develop into various cell types of the body in the culture dish. This characteristic is called pluripotency. Previous attempts to establish pluripotent embryonic stem cell lines from farm animals such as pigs or cattle have resulted in cell lines that have not really fulfilled all properties of pluripotency and were therefore called ES-like.

Dr Monika Nowak-Imialek of the FLI said: Our porcine EPSCs isolated from pig embryos are the first well-characterized cell lines worldwide. EPSCs great potential to develop into any type of cell provides important implications for developmental biology, regenerative medicine, organ transplantation, disease modelling and screening for drugs.

The stem cells can renew themselves meaning they can be kept in culture indefinitely, and also show the typical morphology and gene expression patterns of embryonic stem cells. Somatic cells have a limited lifespan, so these new stem cells are much better suited for long selection processes. It has been shown that these porcine stem cell lines can easily be modified with new genome editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas, which is particularly interesting for the generation of porcine disease models.

The EPSCs have a high capacity to develop not only into numerous cell types of the organism, but also into extraembryonic tissue, the trophoblasts, making them very unique and lending them their name. This capacity could prove valuable for the future promising organoid technology, where organ-like small cell aggregations are grown in 3D aggregates that can be used for research into early embryo development, various disease models and testing of new drugs in petri dishes. In addition, the authors were able to show that trophoblast stem cells can be generated from their porcine stem cells, offering a unique possibility to investigate functions or diseases of the placenta in vitro.

A major hurdle to using neural stem cells derived from genetically different donors to replace damaged or destroyed tissues, such as in a spinal cord injury, has been the persistent rejection of the introduced material (cells), necessitating the use of complex drugs and techniques to suppress the hosts immune response.

Earlier this year, an international team led by scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine successfully grafted induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neural precursor cells back into the spinal cords of genetically identical adult pigs with no immunosuppression efforts. The grafted cells survived long-term, displayed differentiated functionality and caused no tumours.

The researchers also demonstrated that the same cells showed similar long-term survival in adult pigs with different genetic backgrounds after only short course use of immunosuppressive treatment once injected into injured spinal cord.

Senior author of the paper Martin Marsala, MD, professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine said: The promise of iPSCs is huge, but so too have been the challenges. In this study, weve demonstrated an alternate approach.

We took skin cells from an adult pig, an animal species with strong similarities to humans in spinal cord and central nervous system anatomy and function, reprogrammed them back to stem cells, then induced them to become neural precursor cells (NPCs), destined to become nerve cells. Because they are syngeneic genetically identical with the cell-graft recipient pig they are immunologically compatible. They grow and differentiate with no immunosuppression required.

Co-author Samuel Pfaff, PhD, professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Salk Institute for Biological Studies, said: Using RNA sequencing and innovative bioinformatic methods to deconvolute the RNAs species-of-origin, the research team demonstrated that pig iPSC-derived neural precursors safely acquire the genetic characteristics of mature CNS tissue even after transplantation into rat brains.

NPCs were grafted into the spinal cords of syngeneic non-injured pigs with no immunosuppression finding that the cells survived and differentiated into neurons and supporting glial cells at all observed time points. The grafted neurons were detected functioning seven months after transplantation.

Then researchers grafted NPCs into genetically dissimilar pigs with chronic spinal cord injuries, followed by a transient four-week regimen of immunosuppression drugs again finding long-term cell survival and maturation.

Marsala continued: Our current experiments are focusing on generation and testing of clinical grade human iPSCs, which is the ultimate source of cells to be used in future clinical trials for treatment of spinal cord and central nervous system injuries in a syngeneic or allogeneic setting.

Because long-term post-grafting periods between one and two years are required to achieve a full grafted cells-induced treatment effect, the elimination of immunosuppressive treatment will substantially increase our chances in achieving more robust functional improvement in spinal trauma patients receiving iPSC-derived NPCs.

In our current clinical cell-replacement trials, immunosuppression is required to achieve the survival of allogeneic cell grafts. The elimination of immunosuppression requirement by using syngeneic cell grafts would represent a major step forward said co-author Joseph Ciacci, MD, a neurosurgeon at UC San Diego Health and professor of surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Other recent advancements include the advancement toward having a long-lasting repair caulk for blood vessels. A new method has been for generating endothelial cells, which make up the lining of blood vessels, from human induced pluripotent stem cells. When endothelial cells are surrounded by a supportive gel and implanted into mice with damaged blood vessels, they become part of the animals blood vessels, surviving for more than 10 months.

The research was carried out by stem cell researchers at Emory University School of Medicine and could form the basis of a treatment for peripheral artery disease, derived from a patients own cells.

Young-sup Yoon, MD, PhD, who led the team, said: We tried several different gels before finding the best one. This is the part that is my dream come true: the endothelial cells are really contributing to endogenous vessels.

When cells are implanted on their own, many of them die quickly, and the main therapeutic benefits are from growth factors they secrete. When these endothelial cells are delivered in a gel, they are protected. It takes several weeks for most of them to migrate to vessels and incorporate into them.

Other groups had done this type of thing before, but the main point is that all of the culture components we used would be compatible with clinical applications.

This research is particularly successful as previous attempts to achieve the same effect elsewhere had implanted cells lasting only a few days to weeks, using mostly adult stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells or endothelial progenitor cells. The scientists also designed a gel to mimic the supportive effects of the extracellular matrix. When encapsulated by the gel, cells could survive oxidative stress inflicted by hydrogen peroxide that killed unprotected cells. The gel is biodegradable, disappearing over the course of several weeks.

The scientists tested the effects of the encapsulated cells by injecting them into mice with hindlimb ischemia (restricted blood flow in the leg), a model of peripheral artery disease.

After 4 weeks, the density of blood vessels was highest in mice implanted with gel-encapsulated endothelial cells. The mice were nude, meaning genetically immunodeficient, facilitating acceptance of human cells.

The scientists found that implanted cells produce pro-angiogenic and vasculogenic growth factors. In addition, protection by the gel augmented and prolonged the cells ability to contribute directly to blood vessels. To visualise the implanted cells, they were labelled beforehand with a red dye, while functioning blood vessels were labelled by infusing a green dye into living animals. Implanted cells incorporated into vessels, with the highest degree of incorporation occurring at 10 months.

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We Have Celeb Facialists on Speed DialThese Are the Retinol Serums They Love – Yahoo Lifestyle

By daniellenierenberg

Confession time: As a beauty editor who chats with industry-leading derms and celebrity estheticians more often than I talk to my parents (sorry, Mom and Dad!), I'm still confused about retinol. How does retinol differ from Retin-A? How and when it should be applied? Who should or shouldn't use it? Is this how Nancy Wheeler felt when she she stepped into the Upside Down for the first time? (I mean, we've all heard retinoid-related horror stories involving irritation, peeling, and the like.)

That said, at 26, I'm the exact age experts say to start using retinol, and considering my complexion is often bogged down with annoying congestion and dullness, adding the ingredient into my nightly lineup has been on my to-do list for a while now. There are tons of amazing formulas out there, and some of the best come in the form of easy-to-use serums. And since I'm lucky enough to have some of the best skin experts in the industry on speed dial, it only made sense to reach out for guidance.

From the basics on retinol to the exact serums the pros use on themselves, we have you covered. Keep scrolling for everything you ever wanted to know about retinol serums, plus the most important shopping picks to get you started.

According to celebrity esthetician Vanessa Hernandez, who has her own skincare practice in Brentwood, California, retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, and is a softer, more gentle version of Retin-A. As for its *many* benefits, it naturally exfoliates the top layer of skin, which in turn exposes a clear, glowing, more youthful complexion.

Oh, and we're not done: She tells us the buzzy ingredient can also help minimize the appearance of pores, soften fine lines, kill acne-causing bacteria, and promote cell turnover, plus it has been clinically proven to be one of the most effective products in the role of anti-aging.

As for how retinol serums are different than other retinoid-containing formulas, they don't require a prescription and are typically more gentle since they're paired with other ingredients to soothe and nourish the skin. They're also approved for daily use since they're less intense.

"Retinol serums are a great option if you are prone to congestion and breakouts since they won't have oils and will likely feel lighter on the skin in comparison to a retinol-containing cream," says Vanessa Lee, RN, founder of L.A. beauty concept bar The Things We Do.

"If you're dry and want something that feels richer on the skin and contains some kind of moisturizing ingredient, a retinol cream (versus a serum) may be a better choice for you," Lee adds. "They both aim for the same result, but the two different carriers of the retinol are suitable for different skin types. It's great to have choices!"

Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum ($72)

"Retinol serums should be used at night after you cleanse and before you moisturize," confirms celebrity esthetician Shani Darden. Since our skin is in repair mode overnight, that's the most beneficial time to use a retinol serum. Plus, retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it's best to leave it for nighttime only and make sure you're wearing sunscreen during the day.

If you have extra-sensitive skin, however, heed Lee's advice and apply your retinol OVER your moisturer of choice. "I usually educate patients on putting on treatment serums directly after washing the face, but vitamin A is a strong ingredient, and it can actually penetrate through your moisturizer," she tells us. "If you're extra sensitive, you can also use your favorite facial oil a few minutes after you place your retinol on."

That said, Lee also points out that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to skip retinol, since what we put on our skin can enter our bloodstreamand, in turn, baby's. But for the most part (and as long as you tread carefully with high-quality formulas!), anyone can use retinol serums.

"Even clients with sensitive skin can benefit from retinol if used less frequently and in lower doses," she explains. "You have the control, so it's all about getting started slowly, and graduating in frequency and/or strength as you continue. I recommend my patients to start using a gentle retinol serum once to twice a week for a few weeks, and using it up to three to four times a week as tolerated."

For best results, it's also imperative to keep an eye on your skin and how it's reacting to your retinol application. They're designed to be exfoliating (that's where the glowy magic comes from!), so if you get slightly dry or irritated while the dead skin cells are being shed from the retinol use, make sure to use a soothing serum or moisturizer, or even hydrocortisone 1% as a spot treatment.

Lee assures us that this is all par for the course when using retinolwith the right T.L.C., you'll still be able to reap all the amazing benefits. Oh, and make sure to wear a good sunscreen every single day! That's non-negotiable.

"I always look to see if retinol is within the first five to seven ingredients listed, which will ensure that retinol's a priority ingredient for the product," Lee advises. "However, because retinolcan go by so many names (retinyl acetate, propionic acid, retinol, etc.), and percentage or retinol disclosure isn't required for OTC products by the FDA, it can be a bit confusing on what to look out for in the ingredients."

Lee recommends choosing a retinol serum from a company you already love and trust, and have experience with as far as products go. Since most trustworthy skincare brands have some kind of retinol formula, she recommends starting your research there, and also discussing your options with a dermatologist or esthetician.

Below, Lee, Hernandez, and Darden share the best retinol serums they use or recommend to their clients. Keep scrolling!

The Things We Do Do Over Advanced Retinol Serum 2.5% ($72)

"This is a botanical retinol serum suitable for all skin tones, and it's 98% natural," Lee shares. "Women of color are more prone to PIH, and most efficacious retinol formulas cause a bit of dryness and irritation before the pretty results of regular use set in. This retinol is strong enough to guarantee results, but is strategically paired with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, organic jojoba, vitamin E, and gotu kola for gentle delivery and lowered risk of PIH."

Shani Darden Retinol Reform ($95)

"This is a great retinol that combines with fan-favorite, lactic acid, for major brightening and is stabilized at a low PH for even deeper exfoliation," Lee says. "Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that helps with brightening the skin as well as preventing acne, so pairing this with retinol is a winning combo."

"Retinol Reform was the first product I ever released," Darden notes. "I created Retinol Reform to provide all of the benefits of a prescription retinol without any of the drawbacks. It features lactic acid to provide immediate brightening benefits and retinol for more long-term results."

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum ($85)

"This is retinol serum has a combination of CoQ10, which helps UV exposed skin, and Hawaiian white honey, which is rich in phytonutrients to help protect the skin while exfoliating," Lee tells us.

Chantecaille Retinol Intense+ ($140)

"This retinol serum is a luxe option that combines pure retinol with magnolia bark, vitamin C, and coffee for extra firming and brightening," says Lee. "Chantecaille is known for its pure, botanical-based ingredients in skincare and makeup, and this retinol is not to be skipped."

Naturopathica Retinol Renewal Concentrate ($38)

"This serum is an option for a gentle retinol that yields the power of argan plant stem cells to aid repair in the skin while retinol is hard at work at increasing cell turnover," Lee notes. "This retinol is encapsulated and is suitable for sensitive skintypes."

Shani Darden Texture Reform Gentle Resurfacing Serum ($95)

"I created Texture Reform for those with more sensitive skin," says Darden. "It features retinyl palmitate to boost cellular turnover, which will improve skin texture, and it works gradually, making it safe for sensitive skin. It also has lactic acid to gently exfoliate, aloe to soothe the skin, and niacinamide to improve skin tone."

Environ Youth Essentia Vita Peptide Eye Gel ($92)

"This eye gel has retinyl palmitate along with vitamins C and E to minimize the appearance of fine lines and boost hydration," Darden explains.

SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex .25 ($62)

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SkinCeuticals .50 Retinol ($76)

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Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil With Vitamin A ($48)

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Next: Retinol Is Truly a Multipurpose IngredientHere's How to Use It

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Synthetic presentation of noncanonical Wnt5a motif promotes mechanosensing-dependent differentiation of stem cells and regeneration – Science Advances

By daniellenierenberg

INTRODUCTION

Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have become increasingly popular as a cell source for repairing bone and other musculoskeletal tissues due to their availability, accessibility, and multipotency (1). The lineage commitment of hMSCs has been shown to be regulated by various signals, including mechanical stimuli, soluble factors, and cellextracellular matrix (ECM) interactions, in their natural niche microenvironment (2). Meanwhile, the delayed reunion of fractured bone remains a major clinical complication of surgery despite advances in operative techniques. The direct injection of stem cells into bone defects generally leads to limited stem cell grafting and differentiation due to the lack of necessary biochemical cues in the defect sites (3). Developing osteoinductive biomaterial scaffolds by incorporating developmentally relevant signaling cues to support and guide the differentiation of implanted stem cells in situ will enhance the clinical outcomes of stem cell therapies (4). For instance, scaffolds have been decorated with a wide range of bioactive motifs, including growth factors, bioactive peptides, and small molecules, to boost their osteoinductivity (5, 6). In recent years, biomimetic/bioactive peptides have become increasingly popular as inductive motifs for the biofunctionalization of biomaterials due to their major advantages, including their ease of immobilization onto various biomaterials via bioconjugation, better stability than proteins, and low cost (7). We previously demonstrated that the decoration of a hydrogel scaffold with an N-cadherin mimetic peptide promoted the chondrogenesis or the osteogenesis of hMSCs by emulating the enhanced intercellular interactions (8, 9). Therefore, there is an acute demand for previously unidentified osteoinductive ligands, which can potentially be identified by examining developmentally relevant proteinaceous cues (10).

Wnt signaling pathways have been reported to be essential to many developmental events, especially osteogenesis and bone formation (11, 12). The canonical Wnt signaling pathways generally involve the preservation and nuclear translocation of -catenin, which further triggers the activation of downstream genes to initiate osteogenic differentiation (13). On the other hand, the -cateninindependent noncanonical Wnt signaling cascade is activated by noncanonical Wnt ligands, such as Wnt5a (14). Wnt5a activation has been reported to contribute to the regeneration of multiple tissues, including the articular cartilage, the colonic crypt, and the liver, via paracrine or autocrine regulation (1517). During in vitro osteogenesis, embryonic stem cells express Wnt5a early on, rather than canonical Wnt3a, and cells expressing Wnt5a or treated with exogenous Wnt5a show a substantially enhanced osteogenic yield (18). In trabecular bone and bone marrow, Wnt5a is mainly expressed and secreted by osteoblastic niche cells, including precursor cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes (19). Wnt5a has been reported to preserve the proliferation and differentiation potential of stem cells in bone marrow and induce osteoblast maturation (20). Wnt5a signaling is a substantial constituent of bone morphogenetic protein 2mediated osteoblastogenesis (21). Collectively, these findings indicate that Wnt5a is an essential cue for the development of bones.

Wnt5a signaling is mediated through the Disheveled (Dvl) segment polarity proteindependent mechanism, which activates the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) RhoA and its effector ROCKs (Rho-associated protein kinases) (22). RhoA-ROCK signaling plays a major regulatory role in the mechanotransduction signaling of cells by promoting focal adhesion formation (16), stress fiber assembly (23), and actomyosin contractility, and all these cellular events have been shown to enhance the osteogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). However, to the best of our knowledge, no prior studies have capitalized on the osteoinductive potential of noncanonical Wnt ligands to functionalize biomaterials or investigated the efficacy of such a developmental biologyinspired strategy to enhance the osteogenesis of MSCs and associated bone formation.

Recently, a Wnt5a mimetic hexapeptide, Foxy5 (formyl-Met-Asp-Gly-Cys-Glu-Leu), was shown to trigger cytosolic calcium signaling by activating -cateninindependent noncanonical Wnt signaling (24), and Foxy5 has recently been tested in a phase 1 clinical trial for treating cancer (www.clinicalTrials.gov; NCT02020291) (25). Here, we hypothesized that the functionalization of biomaterials with Foxy5 peptide can promote the mechanosensing and osteogenesis of hMSCs by activating noncanonical Wnt signaling (Fig. 1A). Our findings showed that this synthetic presentation of Wnt5a mimetic ligand activated noncanonical Wnt signaling, elevated the intracellular calcium, and promoted the mechanotransduction and osteogenesis of hMSCs, resulting in the enhanced bone regeneration in vivo. These findings emphasize the significance of the biofunctionalization of biomaterial scaffolds with developmentally guiding cues to enhance in situ tissue regeneration via grafted stem cells (26, 27).

(A) Porous, Foxy5 + RGD peptideconjugated MeHA hydrogels were developed by conjugating cysteine-containing functional peptides to MeHA molecules. (B) The porous scaffolds were used to copresent the adhesive ligand (RGD) and noncanonical Wnt5aactivating ligand (Foxy5) to synergistically induce the osteogenic lineage commitment of stem cells both in vitro and in vivo. (C) Rat MSC (rMSC)seeded hydrogels were used to fill calvarial defects for regeneration. (D) Micrographs of the 3D porous hydrogels with 200-m pores. The inset shows the microstructure of the MeHA porous hydrogel; scale bar, 50 m. (E) The Young modulus of the DTT-crosslinked MeHA hydrogels was verified using the Mach-1 mechanical tester. (F) The live/dead staining of the hMSCs seeded in the porous MeHA hydrogels showed the uniform distribution of the cells in the hydrogels. (G) Viable cell metabolic activity in the RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, and Scram + RGD hydrogels on day 7 of culture was characterized by alamarBlue assay. Data are shown as the means SD (n = 3).

To determine the effect of the Wnt5a mimetic peptide (Foxy5) on cellular behaviors, we grafted methacrylated hyaluronic acid (MeHA) with Foxy5 peptide (MDGECL, 1 mM) and arginylglycylaspartic acid (RGD) peptide (GCGYGRGDSPG, 1 mM) via Michael addition between the cysteine thiols of the peptide and the methacrylate groups of the MeHA (Fig. 1A and fig. S1). The peptide-functionalized MeHA (degree of methacryloyl substitution or methacrylation degree = 100 or 30%) (fig. S1) was then cross-linked to fabricate a three-dimensional (3D) porous hydrogel scaffold or a 2D hydrogel substrate for subsequent experiments (Foxy5 + RGD) (Fig. 1, B to D). Control hydrogels were fabricated with either RGD peptide alone (RGD) or the combination of scramble-sequenced Foxy5 peptide and RGD (GEMDCL, 1 mM, Scram + RGD). The RGD peptide was included in all groups to promote cell adhesion. The average Young moduli of the hydrogels from the RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, and Scram + RGD groups were determined to be 11.26, 10.82, and 10.96 kPa, respectively, indicating similar hydrogel stiffness in all groups (Fig. 1E). The storage moduli and loss moduli acquired from the frequency sweep analysis were not significantly different among the RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, and Scram + RGD groups (fig. S2A). Similarly, the surface roughness and the stiffness of 2D ultraviolet (UV)cross-linked hydrogels are not significantly different (fig. S2B). Our previous experience shows that the photocrosslinked MeHA hydrogels are typically stiffer than the dithiothreitol (DTT)cross-linked MeHA hydrogels given the same macromer content and methacrylation degree. This can be due to the semirigid nature of hyaluronic acid (HA) backbone, which may hinder the efficient crosslinking of HA-grafted methacryloyl groups by bifunctional crosslinkers (e.g., DTT). Therefore, by using the MeHA with the lower (30%) methacrylation degree to fabricate 2D hydrogels, the average Young moduli of the photocrosslinked hydrogels with 667 s of UV radiation were not significantly different from those of the DTTcross-linked MeHA hydrogels (100% methacrylation degree) (fig. S2, C and D). We believe that the results acquired from the 2D hydrogel substrates are representative and comparable with the data obtained from the 3D macroporous hydrogels. The 3D porous hydrogels used in this work have large pore sizes of around a few hundred micrometers, which are significantly larger than that of cells. The cells seeded in these 3D hydrogels are essentially still residing on top of the curved surfaces of the pores and are interacting with a more 2D-like rather than 3D microenvironment, and this is similar to the lining of osteoblasts on the surface of porous trabecular bone.

To evaluate the cytocompatibility of the peptide-functionalized hydrogels, we seeded hMSCs into the porous hydrogel constructs and allowed them to adhere for 4 hours, followed by further culture in basal growth media for another 7 days. Live/dead staining after 7 days of culture revealed that the majority of the seeded stem cells were viable and uniformly adhered to the RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, and Scram + RGD porous hydrogels (Fig. 1F). The alamarBlue assay showed that the seeded cells in all groups maintained consistent and robust metabolic activity in the porous hydrogel scaffolds for 7 days (Fig. 1G). These results indicate that the conjugated bioactive Foxy5 peptide was noncytotoxic, consistent with previous reports (24).

To further investigate the molecular events mediated by the noncanonical Wnt5a mimetic Foxy5 peptide, we used immunofluorescence staining to examine the expression levels of integrin V, integrin 1, phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase (p-FAK), and ROCK2 (fig. S3), which are essential elements for mediating mechanotransduction and have been reported to promote the osteogenic differentiation of stem cells. The staining intensities of integrin V and integrin 1 in the hMSCs cultured in the Foxy5 + RGD group appeared slightly higher but were not statistically different compared with that in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups (fig. S3, A and B). The staining intensity of p-FAK in the Foxy5 + RGD group was 92 and 33% higher than those in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups, respectively (fig. S3C). Consistent with the elevated expression of focal adhesion complex components, the Foxy5 + RGD group also showed ROCK2 staining intensity 135 and 34% higher than those in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups, respectively, after 7 days of osteogenic culture (fig. S3D). This enhanced expression of p-FAK and ROCK2 supports our speculation that the Foxy5 peptide presented by the biomaterial facilitates the mechanotransduction of the cells by activating noncanonical Wnt signaling to up-regulate the expression of focal adhesion complex molecules (p-FAK) and mechanotransduction signaling molecules (ROCK2).

We next explored the molecular signaling events by which the presentation of Foxy5 peptide via the hydrogel scaffold increased the mechanotransduction and consequent osteogenic lineage commitment of hMSCs (Fig. 2A). Noncanonical Wnt5a signaling has been shown to regulate the signaling of the Rho family of GTPases, such as RhoA, and studies have shown that RhoA is essential for actin cytoskeletal stability and associated actomyosin contractility via its downstream effectors, including ROCKs (22). Therefore, to examine the contribution of RhoA signaling and actomyosin contractility to the osteogenic effect of Foxy5 peptide presentation, we added Y-27632, an inhibitor of ROCKs, and blebbistatin, an inhibitor of nonmuscle myosin II (NMII), to the media in the Foxy5 + RGD group during the 7 days of osteogenic culture. The inhibition of ROCK with Y-27632 completely abolished the up-regulated osteogenic gene expression in the Foxy5 + RGD hydrogels. Blocking NMII activity also led to significantly down-regulated expression of the osteogenic genes alkaline phosphatase (ALP), type I collagen, and osteopontin (OPN) compared with the corresponding levels in the RGD group (fig. S4). Specifically, after 7 days of osteogenic culture, the expression levels of type I collagen, ALP, RUNX2, and OPN in the Y-27632Foxy5 + RGD group were down-regulated by 80.20, 97.96, 71.10, and 97.70%, respectively, compared with those in the Foxy5 + RGD group. The expression levels of type I collagen, ALP, RUNX2, and OPN in the blebbistatinFoxy5 + RGD group were down-regulated by 86.23, 98.54, 24.24, and 87.48%, respectively, compared with those in the Foxy5 + RGD group. These findings suggest that the pro-osteogenic effect of the Foxy5 peptide presentation can be attributed to the activation of RhoA signaling and associated actomyosin contractility.

(A) Schematic illustration of the seeding of hMSCs on the Foxy5/Scram + RGD peptidefunctionalized 2D hydrogel substrate. (B) Gene expression level of the RhoA signaling cascade (Wnt5a coreceptor Dvl2, RhoA, ROCK), downstream mechano-effector (NMII), and major focal adhesion adaptor protein (vinculin) in hMSCs in 3D porous hydrogels conjugated with RGD peptide alone (RGD), Foxy5 and RGD peptide (Foxy5 + RGD), or scrambled Foxy5 peptide and RGD peptide (Scram + RGD), respectively, after 7 days of osteogenic culture (n = 9). (C) Representative micrographs of fluorescence staining for F-actin (red), nuclei (blue), and RhoA (green) in hMSCs cultured on the 2D RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, and Scram + RGD hydrogels. Quantification showed a significantly higher RhoA staining intensity in the Foxy5 + RGD group than in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups (n = 20). a.u., arbitrary units. (D) Western blot bands and quantification of the expression level of mechano-responsive kinases ROCK2 and p-FAK (phosphorylated at the Ser722 sites) in each group (RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, Scram + RGD). (E) Representative merged fluorescence and bright-field micrographs of intracellular calcium in hMSCs cultured on RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, and Scram + RGD 2D hydrogels (stained with Fura-AM). (F) Quantification showed a significantly higher intracellular calcium level in the Foxy5 + RGD group than in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups. Scale bars, 50 m. Data are shown as the means SD (n = 9). Statistical significance: *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, and ***P < 0.001.

We further investigated the mechanism underlying the enhanced RhoA signaling and actomyosin contractility via Foxy5 peptidemediated noncanonical Wnt signaling. Gene expression analyses revealed the up-regulated expression of Dvl2, RhoA, ROCK2, vinculin, and NMII in the presence of conjugated Foxy5 peptides after 7 days of osteogenic culture (Fig. 2B). Specifically, the Foxy5 + RGD group showed Dvl2, RhoA, ROCK2, vinculin, and NMII expression levels that were increased by 43, 27, 65, 72, and 24%, respectively, compared with those in the RGD group. Meanwhile, the expression of ROCK1, which was speculated to contribute to F-actin instability, was down-regulated by 25% in the Foxy5 + RGD group compared with that in the RGD group. Furthermore, the expression of the canonical Wnt signalingrelated genes (Wnt3a, Frizzled 3, LRP5, LRP6, and -catenin) was significantly up-regulated in the Foxy5 + RGD group compared with that in the control groups (fig. S5), and this is consistent with a previous report showing that the activated noncanonical Wnt signaling up-regulated the expression of canonical Wnt signaling factors during osteoblastogenesis (28). The expression of these mechanotransduction-related genes and canonical Wnt signalingrelated genes in the Scram + RGD group was not significantly different from that in the RGD group (Fig. 2B and fig. S5). We further quantified the expression of RhoA, ROCK2, and p-FAK based on immunofluorescence staining and Western blot analysis. The Foxy5 + RGD hydrogels showed RhoA staining intensity 92 and 134% higher than that in the RGD group and Scram + RGD groups, respectively, after 7 days of osteogenic culture (Fig. 2C). Further analysis showed a significantly increased cytoplasmic distribution of RhoA, consistent with the more prominent F-actin cytoskeleton, in cells cultured on hydrogels conjugated with Foxy5 peptide compared with those cultured on the controls. The Western blotting results showed that the expression levels of ROCK2 and p-FAK, two key mechanotransduction signaling molecules, were significantly up-regulated in the Foxy5 + RGD hydrogels (Fig. 2D) by 83 and 75% compared with those in the RGD hydrogels, respectively, and by 39 and 35% compared with those in the Scram + RGD hydrogels, respectively (Fig. 2E). Together, these data suggest that Foxy5 peptide immobilized on hydrogels is capable of initiating noncanonical Wnt signaling via the up-regulation of Dvl2, which further activates downstream RhoA signaling, leading to enhanced F-actin stability, actomyosin contractility, and cell adhesion structure development. Furthermore, the canonical Wnt signaling has been shown to promote the osteogenesis of hMSCs directly through the up-regulation of -catenin and downstream osteogenic genes including RUNX2, Dlx5, and Osterix (29). The immobilized Foxy5 peptide may indirectly facilitate the canonical Wnt signaling via the up-regulation of Frizzled3, LRP5/6, and -catenin. More thorough examinations on the effect of Wnt5a mimetic ligands on both canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling are certainly worthy of further investigations in the future.

Our data reveal that the Foxy5 peptidemediated activation of noncanonical Wnt signaling is essential for regulating the expression and localization of critical signaling molecules involved in cell adhesion and mechanotransduction, including YAP, ROCK2, and p-FAK, which are essential for the osteogenesis of MSCs. The subtypes of ROCK, ROCK1, and ROCK2 have been shown to play distinct roles in regulating cytoskeletal tension. ROCK1 is a nonsecreted protein that destabilizes the actin cytoskeleton by regulating myosin light chain phosphorylation and peripheral actomyosin contraction, whereas ROCK2 is required for stabilizing the actin cytoskeleton by regulating cofilin phosphorylation (30). Previous studies have revealed that ROCK2 activity is effectively activated upon Wnt5a ligation to its receptors (22). We observed the up-regulation of ROCK2 expression and the down-regulation of ROCK1 expression, along with a significant increase in the focal adhesion levels in the MSCs presented with hydrogel-conjugated Foxy5 peptide. Therefore, the elevated ROCK2 activity results in enhanced cytoskeletal stability and more robust mechanotransduction signaling, both of which contribute to enhanced osteogenesis. When we inhibited ROCK activity in the Y-27632Foxy5 + RGD group using 10 M Y-27632, the expression of osteogenic genes was greatly reduced, thereby further confirming the important role of ROCK2 in Foxy5 peptideinduced osteogenesis.

Apart from RhoA activation, noncanonical Wnt5a activation has also been reported to lead to the mobilization of free intracellular calcium, which regulates multiple cellular behaviors, including the motility and differentiation of MSCs (31). To test the effect of Foxy5 peptide on the intracellular calcium level, we subjected hMSCs to Furaacetoxymethyl (AM) staining after being seeded on 2D peptide-conjugated MeHA hydrogels and cultured in osteogenic media. After 7 days of osteogenic culture, Fura-AM staining showed that cells on Foxy5 + RGD hydrogels exhibited 122 and 127% higher fluorescence intensity than those on RGD and Scram + RGD hydrogels, respectively (Fig. 2F). This finding suggests that the conjugated Foxy5 peptide is capable of activating noncanonical Wnt signaling to elevate the intracellular calcium level of MSCs, promoting osteogenesis.

Calcium-dependent noncanonical Wnt signaling pathways are known to participate in osteoblast differentiation, maturation, and bone formation (31, 32). Intracellular Ca2+ and calcium-binding/activatable signaling factors (calmodulin, calmodulin kinase II, calcineurin, etc.) are critical to the growth and differentiation of osteoblasts (33). Our biochemistry analysis and histological staining further showed that the amount of bone ECM production by hMSCs was significantly enhanced together with the intracellular calcium concentration in the hydrogels conjugated with the Foxy5 peptide, and this indicates that the elevated intracellular calcium level contributes to the enhanced osteogenesis of MSCs seeded in Foxy5 peptidefunctionalized hydrogels.

The guided lineage commitment of stem cells is a critical prerequisite for successful and efficient tissue regeneration, which is known to be modulated by the concerted actions of multiple microenvironmental signals (34). We next examined whether the hydrogels functionalized with the Wnt5a mimetic peptide could promote the osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs. We cultured hMSCs on 2D hydrogel substrates that were functionalized with RGD alone (RGD) or RGD with either Foxy5 peptide (Foxy5 + RGD) or scrambled Foxy5 peptide (Scram + RGD) in osteogenic induction media. Supplementation of the culture media with nonconjugated soluble Foxy5 peptide was previously reported to affect the chemotaxis of cancer cells (35). To compare the effects of the freely diffusing soluble form and the hydrogel-immobilized form of Foxy5 peptide on hMSCs, we included two control groups in which the osteogenic medium was supplemented with soluble, free, nonconjugated Foxy5 or scrambled Foxy5 peptide (free Foxy5 and free Scram) in the same amounts as those present in the conjugated hydrogels (Foxy5 + RGD and Scram + RGD).

Previous studies have demonstrated the critical role of YAP/TAZ-mediated mechanotransduction signaling in osteogenesis (36). We performed immunofluorescence staining for YAP and RUNX2 after 7 days of osteogenic culture. The hMSCs cultured on Foxy5 + RGD hydrogels consistently exhibited more YAP nuclear localization than those in all other control groups on 2D hydrogels (Fig. 3A). Specifically, quantification of the average nuclear-to-cytoplasmic staining intensity ratio (N/C ratio) of YAP in at least 20 representative cells from each group showed that the YAP nuclear localization in the Foxy5 + RGD group was 134 and 88% higher than that in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups, respectively (Fig. 3, A and D). Moreover, the addition of soluble Foxy5 peptide in the culture media (free Foxy5) failed to significantly increase the YAP nuclear localization as much as the hydrogel-conjugated Foxy5 peptide (only a 53% increase compared with the RGD group), whereas the free, soluble scrambled peptide had no significant effect (Fig. 3, A and C). This finding indicates that the hydrogel-conjugated Foxy5 peptide has significantly higher bioactivity than the unconjugated Wnt5a peptide directly added to the media in terms of promoting mechanosensing and osteogenesis. The immobilization of this ligand on the porous scaffold greatly enhanced the local effective concentration in the microenvironment of hMSCs, thereby facilitating the ligation of Wnt5a ligands to the receptors on the cell membrane. In contrast, the direct supplementation of the ligand resulted in its dilution in the entire volume of the media and therefore reduced the local effective ligand concentration. We also speculated that the immobilized ligands are unlikely to be internalized by cells upon ligation to membranous receptors, whereas the free ligands can be quickly internalized by cells and lose their activation function (37).

(A) Fluorescence micrographs of hMSCs stained for F-actin (red), nuclei (blue), and the mechanosensing marker YAP (green) or the osteogenic marker RUNX2 (green) (B) and ALP (blue in bright-field) (C), cultured on the RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, and Scram + RGD hydrogels. (D) Analysis of the nuclear localization of YAP determined by the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic fluorescence intensity ratio (N/C ratio) (n = 20) and (E) RUNX2 nuclear localization (n = 20) and (F) ALP expression of representative cells cultured on 2D hydrogels in the different experimental groups (n = 9). Scale bars represent 50 m in the fluorescence micrographs and 200 m in the bright-field images. Data are shown as the means SD. Statistical significance: *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, and ***P < 0.001 significant difference.

To examine the effect of YAP nuclear accumulation on the osteogenesis of hMSCs, we analyzed the early osteogenic lineage commitment by immunofluorescence staining for RUNX2, an essential osteogenic transcription factor, after 7 days of osteoinductive culture. Cells in the Foxy5 + RGD group showed RUNX2 nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio 97 and 116% greater than that in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups, consistent with the YAP nuclear localization results (Fig. 3, B and E). In contrast, the expression levels of RUNX2 in the free Foxy5 and free Scram groups were only slightly higher than those in the RGD group. Furthermore, staining for ALP, another key osteogenesis marker, showed that the average percentage of ALP-positive cells in the Foxy5 + RGD group was 55, 52, 94, and 77% higher than that in the RGD, Scram + RGD, free Foxy5, and free Scram groups, respectively (Fig. 3, C and F). These findings indicate that hydrogel-conjugated Foxy5 peptide promotes the mechanosensing-dependent osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs and that the immobilization of Foxy5 peptide on hydrogels is more effective than the continuous supplementation of media with soluble Foxy5 peptide to enhance the osteogenesis of hMSCs. To further examine the effectiveness of the immobilized Foxy5 peptide on the substrates with different stiffness, we analyzed the mechanosensing and the early osteogenic lineage commitment by immunofluorescence staining for YAP and RUNX2 on the 2D MeHA hydrogels with varying stiffness of 2, 5, and 14 kPa (38). Cells in the Foxy5 + RGD group showed significantly higher YAP and RUNX2 nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio than that in the RGD and Scram + RGD groups at each of the selected hydrogel stiffness levels (fig. S6). This indicates that the biomaterial-conjugated Foxy5 peptide promotes osteogenesis in a wide range of substrate stiffness, and we found that the pro-osteogenic effect of the conjugated Foxy5 peptide is more significant at low substrate stiffness (2 kPa) (fig. S6).

We next examined the effect of Foxy5 peptide conjugated to 3D porous hydrogels on the osteogenic differentiation of seeded hMSCs from three different donors after 7 days (Fig. 4, A and B, fig. S7A, and tables S1 and S2) and 14 days (fig. S7B) of osteogenic culture. The real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) data showed that the expression levels of type I collagen, ALP, RUNX2, and OPN in cells seeded in the Foxy5 peptidefunctionalized porous hydrogels (Foxy5 + RGD group) were up-regulated by 33, 57, 35, and 422%, respectively, compared with those in cells seeded in the hydrogels without Foxy5 functionalization (RGD group) (Fig. 4B) after 7 days of osteogenic culture. In contrast, presentation of the nonfunctional scrambled peptide (Scram + RGD group) had no significant influence on the expression levels of these osteogenic genes compared with corresponding levels in the RGD group. The pro-osteogenic effect of the conjugated Foxy5 peptide diminished after 14 days of culture (fig. S7B). The diminishing effect of Foxy5 peptide can be attributed to the decreasing membrane presence of available LRP5/6 in the osteogenically differentiating hMSCs (39, 40). In addition, the increasing extracellular matrix that accumulated around hMSCs over time may have also contributed to the effect of conjugated Foxy5 peptide. It is noteworthy that the declining expression of Wnt receptors and Wnt signaling are essential for the formation of mineralized matrix (39). Therefore, this diminished effect of Foxy5 peptide over time may be beneficial to the osteogenesis of seeded hMSCs and subsequent neobone formation. Consistent with the gene expression data, both Alizarin Red and von Kossa staining revealed more substantial calcification in the Foxy5 + RGD group than in the other control groups. Quantitative analysis showed that the Alizarin Red and von Kossa staining intensities in the Foxy5 + RGD group were 262 and 107% higher than those in the RGD groups after 14 days of culture, respectively (Fig. 4, C and D). Furthermore, we assessed the organic bone matrix synthesis of stem cells by type I collagen staining. The Foxy5 + RGD group exhibited 163 and 179% higher type I collagen staining than the RGD and Scram + RGD groups, respectively (Fig. 4, C and D). These findings suggest that Foxy5 conjugated to the 3D porous hydrogel scaffold significantly promotes the expression of both early- and late-stage osteogenic genes in hMSCs and inorganic/organic bone matrix synthesis.

(A) Schematic illustration of the seeding of hMSCs in the Foxy5/Scram + RGD peptidefunctionalized 3D hydrogel scaffolds. (B) Quantitative gene expression of osteogenic markers (type I collagen, RUNX2, ALP, and OPN) in hMSCs seeded in porous hydrogels conjugated with RGD peptide alone (RGD), Foxy5 and RGD peptides (Foxy5 + RGD), or Scram and RGD peptides (Scram + RGD) in osteogenic culture. (C) von Kossa staining, Alizarin Red S staining, and immunohistochemistry staining of type I collagen and (D) quantification of the staining intensities after 14 days of osteogenic culture. Scale bars, 50 m. Data are shown as the means SD (n = 9). Statistical significance: * P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, and ***P < 0.001.

In mature bone tissues, the unique osteoblastic microenvironment niche provides MSCs with the necessary biological cues, including stromal cellderived factor 1, angiopoietin 1, and OPN, derived from osteoblasts, osteoclasts, osteocytes, and endothelial cells in trabecular bone and bone marrow (19, 41). Many previous studies have reported the regulation of MSC signaling and lineage commitment by systemic hormones or localized growth factors (42). Fu et al. demonstrated that Wnt3a-mediated canonical Wnt signaling activation antagonizes the terminal osteogenic differentiation of MSCs, while Wnt5a-mediated noncanonical Wnt signaling mitigates the inhibitory effect of Wnt3a. In the natural osteoblastic niche, Wnt5a proteins are secreted by the surrounding tissues and bind to the Frizzled/Ror2 surface Wnt receptors of hMSCs via paracrine mechanisms (43). We used porous hydrogels functionalized with Wnt5a mimetic Foxy5 peptide to emulate this pro-osteogenic niche and promote the osteogenesis of hMSCs. In addition to Foxy5 peptide, RGD peptide was also conjugated to all hydrogels to provide adhesive motifs for the hMSCs because Foxy5 peptide alone cannot support effective cell adhesion. The promechanotransduction and pro-osteogenic effects of Foxy5 peptide were therefore not studied in the absence of RGD peptides, which is a limitation of the study. Nevertheless, integrin ligands are important components of the natural osteogenic niche in bones. The potential crosstalk between integrin signaling and Wnt signaling and the associated effects on stem cell differentiation certainly warrant further investigation.

We further evaluated the efficacy of the Foxy5 peptide conjugated to the hydrogel in assisting in vivo bone regeneration in rat calvarial defects. Rat MSCs (rMSCs) with trilineage differentiation potential (4446) were first seeded in porous hydrogels functionalized with RGD, Foxy5 + RGD, or Scram + RGD peptides and cultured in osteogenic media for 7 days prior to transplantation into the defects (Fig. 5A). The RT-qPCR data showed that the expression levels of type I collagen, ALP, RUNX2, OPN, Dvl2, RhoA, and vinculin in rMSCs of the Foxy5 + RGD group were all significantly higher compared with those in the control groups (RGD group, Scram + RGD) after 7 days of osteogenic culture (fig. S8, A and B). Eight weeks after transplantation, both hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and immunohistochemical staining for osteocalcin and type I collagen revealed enhanced osteoblastic marker expression and bone matrix formation in the Foxy5 + RGD group compared with the RGD, Scram + RGD, and blank groups (Fig. 5B). The average staining intensity for osteocalcin was 124, 114, and 240% higher and that of type I collagen was 105, 104, and 144% higher in the Foxy5 + RGD group than in the blank, RGD, and Scram + RGD groups, respectively (Fig. 5D). The average staining intensity for osteocalcin and type I collagen in the Foxy5 + RGD group was still around 30% lower than that in the native calvarial tissue (Fig. 5D). Furthermore, the microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) reconstruction data revealed considerably more new bone formation in the defects treated with hydrogels conjugated with Foxy5 and RGD peptides (Foxy5 + RGD group) than in those treated with the control hydrogels (blank, RGD, and Scram + RGD groups) (Fig. 5C). Quantitative analysis showed that the bone volumetototal tissue volume (BV/TV) ratio in the Foxy5 + RGD group was 107, 57, and 198% higher than that in the RGD, Scram + RGD, and sham blank groups, respectively. Notably, the average BV/TV ratio of healthy calvarial bone was determined to be 35.25% due to other skeletal components, such as fibrous connective tissues. The average BV/TV ratio in the Foxy5 + RGD group was 25.19%, suggesting a substantial recovery of approximately 71.49% of the healthy calvarial bone volume. These findings demonstrate that the functionalization of biomaterial scaffolds with this Wnt5a mimetic peptide can substantially enhance bone regeneration in vivo. No significant abnormalities in tissue structure or morphology were observed around the implantation site. We believe that the restricted bioactivity of the mimetic peptide (compared with that of the parent protein) and the immobilization of this Wnt5a ligand on the biomaterial for local implantation will limit potential undesired nonspecific actions that may arise due to peptide transportation to other off-target sites (47).

(A) Schematic illustration of the implantation of rMSC-seeded and peptide-functionalized porous hydrogels in rat calvarial defects. (B) H&E staining and immunohistochemical staining of the native healthy bone tissue and the calvarial defects treated with the RGD hydrogels, Foxy5 + RGD hydrogels, Scram + RGD hydrogels, and no hydrogels (blank) 8 weeks after implantation (n = 3). High-magnification images showing the defect/native bone boundaries highlighted in yellow and red boxes and defect center areas in blue boxes in the low-magnification images of H&E-stained sections. The dotted lines indicate the boundary between the defect and native bone. The newly formed bone was seamlessly integrated with the neighboring native bone in the Foxy5 + RGD group. Scale bars, 50 m. (C) Top view of 3D micro-CT images showing calvarial bone defects after 8 weeks in all groups (n = 3). (D) Bone volume (normalized to total tissue volume, BV/TV) in the calvarial defects in all groups after 8 weeks (n = 3). The bone volume of healthy rat calvarial bone is shown as the benchmark. Quantification of the immunohistochemical staining intensity of the osteogenic markers, including osteocalcin and type I collagen, showing the higher intensity in the Foxy5 + RGD group compared with those of the RGD and Scram + RGD control groups. Data are shown as the means SD (n = 9). Statistical significance: *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, and ***P < 0.001 significant difference.

MeHA macromolecules were synthesized from sodium hyaluronate powder (molecular weight, ~74 kDa; Lifecore, Chaska, Minnesota, USA), as previously reported (8). Briefly, 100 ml of 1% (w/v) sodium hyaluronate solution was reacted for 24 hours with 4 or 1.5 ml of methacrylic anhydride at pH 9.5, adjusted with 2 M NaOH solution. After complete dialysis and lyophilization, 100% methacrylation or 30% methacrylation was confirmed using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). The RGD peptide (GCGYGRGDSPG) and Foxy5 peptide (MDGCEL) (GenScript, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China) with a cysteine amino acid at the C-terminal end were conjugated to the MeHA backbone with a Michael addition reaction between the methacrylate groups and the thiol groups of each peptide in basic phosphate buffer (pH 8.0) containing 10 M tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine at 37C. The molar ratio of methacrylate to each peptide thiol was 100:3. RGD-functionalized, Foxy5-conjugated porous MeHA hydrogels were fabricated from 50 l of the peptide-conjugated MeHA solution (3% w/v, 100% methacrylation) after 2 hours, with 1.51 mol of DTT as the cross-linker to consume all residual methacrylic groups, in round polyvinyl chloride molds fully packed with a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) microsphere porogen ( 200 m). The constructs generated were immersed in acetone and shaken at 90 rpm to dissolve the PMMA porogen, sterilized with 75% ethanol for 1 day, and rinsed three times with sterile phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). In the directly Foxy5 peptidesupplemented MeHA (free Foxy5) group and the directly scrambled peptidesupplemented MeHA (free Scram) group, we only used the same Foxy5 + RGDfunctionalized MeHA solution or Scram + RGDfunctionalized MeHA solution (3% w/v, 100% methacrylation) to fabricate the porous hydrogels, respectively.

We used MeHA with 30% methacrylation supplemented with 0.05% (w/v) photoinitiator I2959 (Sigma-Aldrich, MO, USA) to make Foxy5 + RGDfunctionalized MeHA solution, Scram + RGDfunctionalized MeHA solution, or RGD-functionalized MeHA solution (3% w/v, 30% methacrylation) and to fabricate 2D hydrogels with different stiffness in polyvinyl chloride molds under 367, 467, 667, or 1067 seconds of UV exposure. All 2D hydrogels were sterilized before cell culture. The surface roughness and modulus were determined by atomic force microscopy (Bruker, MA, USA).

2D-biofunctionalized substrates were fabricated by polymerizing peptide-conjugated MeHA precursor solutions (3% w/v, 30% methacrylation) under UV light (wavelength, 365 nm; intensity, 7 mW/cm2) on methacrylated glass coverslips. The porous MeHA hydrogel constructs (height, ~1.5 mm; 1 mm) were polymerized in molds filled with 200-m PMMA microbeads to form an interconnected porous structure for in vitro experiments and for in vivo calvarial defect regeneration (Fig. 1, B and C) (9). Homogenous, interconnected spherical structures within the hydrogels were characterized through bright-field images captured using a fluorescence microscope (Nikon, Japan) (Fig. 1D). The Young moduli of the hydrogels were determined using a mechanical tester (Mach-1, Biomomentum Inc., Suite, Canada), and the strain-controlled frequency sweep mechanical tests were performed using a rheometer (Malvern Inc., Malvern, Britain).

Passage-4 hMSCs (Lonza, Walkersville, Maryland, USA) were expanded in basal growth medium [-minimal essential medium (MEM) supplemented with 16.7% (v/v) fetal bovine serum (FBS), penicillin-streptomycin (P/S; 100 U ml1), and 2 mM l-glutamine]. Growth medium (50 l) containing 5 105 hMSCs (108 cells ml1) was injected into one semidry, porous MeHA-RGD hydrogel, which was incubated at 37C for 4 hours to allow cell attachment to the hydrogels. Then, 1 ml of osteogenic medium [-MEM, 16.67% FBS, 1% P/S, 2 mM l-glutamine, 10 mM -glycerophosphate disodium, l-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (50 mg ml1), and 100 nM dexamethasone] was added to all the hydrogels, and the medium was changed every 2 days. In the control group, Foxy5 peptide or scrambled peptide solution was added directly to the hydrogels at the beginning of osteogenic culture. Samples were collected on days 7 and 14 to evaluate the degree of osteogenesis by traditional qPCR and immunofluorescence staining. Cell viability was determined by alamarBlue assay (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, California, USA) after 7 days in osteogenic culture. Live/dead staining was performed by adding 3 M calcein AM and 3 M propidium iodide (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA) to the hydrogels. After incubation for 30 min at 37C, the hydrogels were washed three times with PBS, and fluorescence images were captured using a confocal microscope (Nikon C2, Tokyo, Japan). The quantification of immunofluorescence staining results was conducted by using the ImageJ software [National Institutes of Health (NIH), Baltimore, Maryland, USA]. First, we adjusted the color images of the immunofluorescence staining to the 8-bit grayscale images, and then we selected the region of cells that best represent the overall staining intensity of the samples in the immunofluorescence staining results. The average grayscale values of the region of interest taken from at least 20 cells in each group were determined and compared to get the quantification results. The reported data of biochemical assays are the pooled results from three experiments.

All samples were homogenized in 1 ml of TRIzol reagent (Invitrogen), and total RNA was extracted according to the manufacturers protocol. The RNA concentration was measured using a NanoDrop One spectrophotometer (NanoDrop Technologies, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA). Total RNA (1 g) was reverse transcribed into cDNA using the RevertAid First Strand cDNA Synthesis Kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific). qPCR was performed on an Applied Biosystems StepOnePlus Real-Time PCR System with TaqMan primers and probes (Applied Biosciences, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA) specific for glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and other osteogenic genes, including those encoding RUNX2, ALP, and type I collagen. The sequences of the TaqMan primers and probes used are listed in table S2. The osteogenic gene expression levels were normalized to that of GAPDH, and the relative expression levels were calculated with the 2Ct method.

Hydrogel samples were fixed overnight in 4% paraformaldehyde at 4C, dehydrated in a graded series of ethanol, crystalized in a graded series of xylene, and embedded in paraffin. Histological sections (7 m) were stained for type I collagen using the VECTASTAIN ABC Kit and the DAB Substrate Kit (Vector Laboratories, Burlingame, California, USA). Briefly, hyaluronidase (0.5 g liter1) was applied to the rehydrated samples to predigest them at 37C for 30 min. The samples were then incubated with 0.5 N acetic acid for 4 hours at 4C to induce swelling, followed by incubation at 4C overnight with a primary antibody directed against type I collagen (antitype I collagen, diluted 1:200; sc-59772, Santa Cruz Biotechnology). Immunofluorescence staining for the osteogenic-related proteins (YAP and RUNX2) and cellular contractionrelated proteins (RhoA) was conducted as previously reported (9). The calcification of phosphates and calcium ions was identified with von Kossa staining and Alizarin Red S staining, respectively. Briefly, von Kossa stain was applied to the rehydrated sections, as previously reported. To stain with Alizarin Red S, 1 ml of 0.5% (w/v) Alizarin Red S solution (Sigma) was applied to each hydrogel sample; the samples were then incubated for 5 min at room temperature before being washed, dehydrated, cleared, and sealed. Images were captured using a bright-field microscope (Nikon). The quantification was conducted by using the ImageJ software (NIH). First, we adjusted the color images of immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining to the 8-bit grayscale images, and then we selected regions of interests of identical size that best represent the overall staining intensity of the samples in the IHC staining results. The average grayscale values of the region of interest taken from three parallel samples in each group were determined and compared to get the quantification results. The reported data of biochemical assays are pooled results from three experiments.

Strictly following the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 12-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups, shaved, and prepped for aseptic surgery. A midline skin flap was raised over the parietal bones and reflected caudally to expose the midsagittal and transverse sutures. The periosteum was incised along the midsagittal suture and the right or left transverse suture and removed to expose the parietal bone. A 5-mm-diameter defect was created using a trephine with normal saline irrigation during processing, and a section of the bone was removed to expose the dura mater. 3D porous peptidefunctionalized HA hydrogels (n = 3 per group) 5 mm in diameter and 1 mm thick were seeded with 1 million rMSCs with trilineage differentiation potential (46). After 7 days of in vitro osteogenic induction in the incubator, the hydrogels were implanted into the calvarial defects. All experimental animals were maintained until 8 weeks from the day of defect creation. After the rats were euthanized, the parietal bones were harvested and decalcified with 10% EDTA solution. The subsequent H&E staining and histological analysis were performed as described in previous publications (9).

All data are presented as the means SD. Statistica (Statsoft, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA) was used to perform the statistical analyses using two-way analysis variance (ANOVA) and Tukeys honest significant difference post hoc test of the means; the culture period and experimental groups were used as independent variables.

Acknowledgments: We are grateful for the technical support from J. Lai, S. Wong, and A. Cheung from the School of Biomedical Sciences (The Chinese University of Hong Kong). We thank M. Zhu and K. Zhang for proofreading the manuscript. We sincerely thank M. Wong, N. So, K. Wei, M. Zhu, B. Yang, H. Chen, K. Zou, K. Zhang, Y. Jing, D. Siu Hong Wong, X. Xu, E. Yingrui Deng, X. Chen, and W. Li for the valuable discussions, support, and love. Funding: Project 31570979 is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The work described in this paper is supported by a General Research Fund grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (project nos. 14202215 and 14220716). This research is also supported by project BME-p3-15 of the Shun Hing Institute of Advanced Engineering (The Chinese University of Hong Kong). This work is supported by the Health and Medical Research Fund, the Food and Health Bureau, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (reference no. 04152836). This research is supported by the Chow Yuk Ho Technology Centre for Innovative Medicine (The Chinese University of Hong Kong). The work was partially supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Theme-based Research Scheme (reference no. T13-402/17-N, Functional Bone Regeneration in Challenging Bone Disorders and Defects, 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2022). Author contributions: S.L. contributed to the animal experiments and analysis. M.Z. and J.X. contributed to the peptide synthesis and porous gel fabrication. Y.D. contributed to the cell culture and qPCR assay. X.C. contributed to the polymer synthesis and NMR characterization. K.W. contributed to the macromer synthesis and proofreading of the manuscript. R.L. contributed to the rest of the experiments and the manuscript. G.L. led the in vivo study of the project. L.B. led the project as the supervisor. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional data related to this paper may be requested from the authors.

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Synthetic presentation of noncanonical Wnt5a motif promotes mechanosensing-dependent differentiation of stem cells and regeneration - Science Advances

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Stem Cell Banking Market was valued at $1986 million in 2016 – Markets Gazette

By daniellenierenberg

A fresh report titled Stem Cell Banking Market has been presented by KD market insights. It evaluates the key market trends, advantages, and factors that are pushing the overall growth of the market. The report also analyzes the different segments along with major geographies that have more demand for Stem Cell Banking Market. The competition analysis is also a major part of the report.

The global stem cell banking market was valued at $1,986 million in 2016, and is estimated to reach $6,956 million by 2023, registering a CAGR of 19.5% from 2017 to 2023. Stem cell banking is a process where the stem cell care isolated from different sources such as umbilical cord and bone marrow that is stored and preserved for future use. These cells can be cryo-frozen and stored for decades. Private and public banks are different types of banks available to store stem cells.

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Increase in R&D activities in regards with applications of stem cells and increase in prevalence of fatal chronic diseases majorly drive the growth of the global stem cell banking market. Moreover, the large number of births occurring globally and growth in GDP & disposable income help increase the number of stem cell units stored, which would help fuel the market growth. However, legal and ethical issues related to stem cell collections and high processing & storage cost are projected to hamper the market growth. The initiative taken by organizations and companies to spread awareness in regards with the benefits of stem cells and untapped market in the developing regions help to open new avenues for the growth of stem cell banking market in the near future.

The global stem cell banking market is segmented based on cell type, bank type, service type, utilization, and region. Based on cell type, the market is classified into umbilical cord stem cells, adult stem cells, and embryonic stem cells. Depending on bank type, it is bifurcated into public and private. By service type, it is categorized into collection & transportation, processing, analysis, and storage. By utilization, it is classified into used and unused. Based on region, it is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

KEY MARKET BENEFITS

This report offers a detailed quantitative analysis of the current market trends from 2016 to 2023 to identify the prevailing opportunities.

The market estimations provided in this report are based on comprehensive analysis of the key developments in the industry.

In-depth analysis based on geography facilitates in analyzing the regional market to assist in strategic business planning.

The development strategies adopted by key manufacturers are enlisted in the report to understand the competitive scenario of the market.

KEY MARKET SEGMENTS

By Cell Type

Umbilical Cord Stem Cell

Cord Blood

Cord Tissue

Placenta

Adult Stem Cell

Embryonic Stem Cell

By Bank Type

Public

Private

By Service Type

Collection & Transportation

Processing

Analysis

Storage

By Utilization

Used

Unused

By Region

North America

U.S.

Canada

Mexico

Europe

Germany

UK

France

Spain

Italy

Rest of Europe

Asia-Pacific

Japan

China

Singapore

India

South Korea

Rest of Asia-Pacific

LAMEA

Brazil

Saudi Arabia

South Africa

Rest of LAMEA

KEY PLAYERS PROFILED

Cord Blood Registry

ViaCord

Cryo-Cell

China Cord Blood Corporation

Cryo-Save

New York Cord Blood Program

CordVida

Americord

CryoHoldco

Vita34

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Table of Content

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1. Report description1.2. Key benefits for stakeholders1.3. Key market segments1.4. Research methodology

1.4.1. Secondary research1.4.2. Primary research1.4.3. Analyst tools and models

CHAPTER 2: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

2.1. CXO perspective

CHAPTER 3: MARKET OVERVIEW

3.1. Market definition and scope3.2. Key findings

3.2.1. Top investment pockets3.2.2. Top winning strategies

3.3. Porters five forces analysis3.4. Top Player Positioning3.5. Market dynamics

3.5.1. Drivers

3.5.1.1. Large number of newborns3.5.1.2. Increase in R&D activities for application of stem cells3.5.1.3. Increase in prevalence of fatal chronic diseases3.5.1.4. Growth in GDP and disposable income

3.5.2. Restraints

3.5.2.1. Legal and ethical issues during collection of stem cells3.5.2.2. High processing and storage cost3.5.2.3. Lack of acceptance and awareness

3.5.3. Opportunities

3.5.3.1. Initiatives to spread awareness3.5.3.2. Untapped market in developing regions

CHAPTER 4: STEM CELL BANKING MARKET, BY CELL TYPE

4.1. Overview

4.1.1. Market size and forecast

4.2. Umbilical Cord Stem Cells

4.2.1. Key market trends and growth opportunities4.2.2. Market size and forecast4.2.3. Market analysis, by country4.2.4. Cord Blood

4.2.4.1. Market size and forecast

4.2.5. Cord Tissue

4.2.5.1. Market size and forecast

4.2.6. Placenta

4.2.6.1. Market size and forecast

4.3. Adult stem cells

4.3.1. Key market trends and growth opportunities4.3.2. Market size and forecast4.3.3. Market analysis, by country

4.4. Embryonic stem cells

4.4.1. Key market trends and opportunities4.4.2. Market size and forecast4.4.3. Market analysis, by country

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About KD Market Insights

KD Market Insights offers a comprehensive database of syndicated research studies, customized reports, and consulting services. These reports are created to help in making smart, instant and crucial decisions based on extensive and in-depth quantitative information, supported by extensive analysis and industry insights.

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Stem Cell Banking Market was valued at $1986 million in 2016 - Markets Gazette

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How Young India is fuelling the future of stem cell therapy and signing up to save lives – YourStory

By daniellenierenberg

Eighteen-year-old Aisha Choudhary was just like any other adolescent eyes filled with dreams and a heart brimming with energy. The only difference was she was battling a rare genetic disease, Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID). Diagnosed when she was six months old and undergoing medical treatment for years, she was iron-willed in playing the cards she was dealt.

Since one of the most effective cures for SCID is a stem cell transplant (grafting of the parent cells from which all blood cells develop), Aishas parents, Niren and Aditi, decided to opt for that treatment mode. But their cells were not a complete match with their daughters, and they had to look at external donors. However, due to a low number of voluntary, registered stem cell donors, Aisha could not get a compatible donor whose genetic markers were a close enough match to hers. With no other alternative treatment available, Aisha had a bone marrow transplant. But, it came with a side-effect that cost her life Pulmonary Fibrosis, a disease known to damage the lung tissues.

Aishas Choudhary's role has been played by Zaira Wasim in The Sky is Pink.

Aishas journey has been captured in The Sky is Pink, a recent Bollywood movie starring Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim, and Rohit Saraf.

The 18-year-olds life story is mirrored in the experiences of many who await stem cell donation as treatment for blood-related illnesses likeleukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia every year. With very few individuals signing up as donors and the probability of finding a match being a dismal 0.0008 percent in India (against a lean 16 percent abroad), fatalities are mounting year on year.

However, in recent times, there has been one small break in the clouds a number of youngsters, non-governmental organisations, and medical professionals have come forward and are working to spread awareness about stem cell donation and motivate a larger number of people to register as donors.

The stem cells in a human body mainly comprise red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. These are found in the umbilical cord of newborns and in the peripheral or circulating blood and bone marrow.

A stem cell donation is as simple and painless as a blood donation.

Certain diseases like blood cancer and leukemia tend to destroy the bone marrow or affect its functioning.For these, treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy are tried initially. However, in some cases, they do not prove effective for a cure. The only recourse then is replacing the patients stem cells with those of a healthy person.

One of the main criteria for a successful transplant is a good match between the stem cells of the donor and those of the patient. Therefore, a donor registry will administer a cheek swab test (tissue samples extracted from the cheek) on all potential donors to match cell characteristics. This procedure of pairing generic markers is called Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) in medical terms.

A cheek swab test in progress.

Each potential donors tissue is entered in the registry and given an identification number after the test is done. If the registry finds a match at any point in time, the donor is contacted to initiate the transplant.

There are many organisations today that are leading the charge in saving the lives of people suffering from serious blood disorders like cancer, thalassemia, and anaemia.

For instance, Datri, an Ahmedabad-based NGO, is working to create a wide and diverse database of potential stem cell donors by organising donation drives. Founded in 2009 by two doctors and an engineer, the organisation focuses on conducting awareness campaigns and helping individuals sign up on its registry as a committed and voluntary benefactor.

The team of the NGO Datri.

The idea for Datri was initially born in the minds of doctors Nezih Cereb and Soo Young Yang, who run a laboratory, Histogenetics, for determining tissue matches between patients and donors. Since pairing tissue types is imperative for any stem cell transplant, and confronting a severe shortage of donors, the doctor duo would run from pillar to post to meet hospitals requirements. Working with a number of the hospitals in India, they realised just how acute the shortfall was in people willing to donate stem cells. They recognised the immediate need to create a donor registry here.

Soon after, Raghu Rajagopal, an engineer from BITS Pilani and Director of ready-to-eat venture Millets and More, connected with them and they decided to start Datri.

Today, the functioning of the registry, its maintenance, and even the substantial costs involved in conducting the HLA matching are taken care of by the lab. In the last 10 years, Datri has gotten over four lakh people to register as donors and has saved around 600 lives through successful transplantation.

Every day, about 40 people are diagnosed with blood disorders in India. Though these can be cured through a stem cell transplant from a genetically matched donor, there is only a 25 percent chance of finding a match from within the family. Others have no option but to rely on unrelated donors. But the chances of getting a match is anywhere between one in 10,000 and one in two million. There is an urgent need to rope in as many potential donors as possible, which is precisely what Datri is trying to do, Raghu explains.

Another organisation that is dedicated to fighting blood disorders with stem cell treatment is DKMS-BMST. It was formed through a joint venture between two renowned NGOs DKMS, which is one of the largest international blood stem cell donor centres globally, and the Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST).

The team of DKMS-BMST.

DKMS was founded in Germany in 1991 by businessman Dr Peter Harf, after he lost his wife to leukemia. BMST was born in 1984 from the vision of Dr Latha Jagannathan, a medical director and managing trustee. Since both organisations had a common goal to find a matching donor for every patient with a blood disorder, they decided to come together to achieve it.

A group of youngsters registering to be stem cell donors.

So far, more than 37,000 people in India have registered as potential donors after attending DKMS-BMSTs donor drives.

In highly populous countries like India, thousands of people are in need of stem cell transplants every year to survive. Though donating stem cells is a painless and non-invasive process, it remains a lesser-known medical concept in India, with only 3.6 lakh people willing to play a part in it. Besides, the chances of stem cells of people of the same ethnicity matching are higher than those of individuals from different ethnic backgrounds. But, it is due to sheer lack of awareness that India lags severely in stem cell donations, say experts.

Students taking a cheek swab test at one of the colleges in Bengaluru.

Dr Govind Eriat, a reputed hematologist and bone marrow transplant specialist, says,

With a major hurdle to stem cell donation in India proving to be the myths surrounding the subject, the youth are coming forward to deconstruct common misconceptions.

For instance, 21-year-old Tejaswini Patel, a student of Information Science at New Horizon College of Engineering, Bengaluru, has been busting the false ideas on stem cell donation, starting among her family and friends. She says,

She adds, with a notable sense of pride, In the last two years alone, around 400 students from my college have registered themselves as donors.

(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)

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How Young India is fuelling the future of stem cell therapy and signing up to save lives - YourStory

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The Week That Wasn’t: Viagra BMTs, Pregnancy Stress, Breast Cancer Vaccine – Medscape

By daniellenierenberg

Stories of using the little blue pill for bone marrow transplants, how pregnancy stress is related to the baby's sex, and a vaccine for breast cancer proliferated on the Internet this week. Here's why you didn't read about them on Medscape.

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, seem to think Viagra has more to offer in medicine. In a recent study of mice, they tested whether the vasodilator couldspeed up the migration of hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor stem cells from the bone to the blood, where the cells could be harvested noninvasively.

The standard protocol for preparing bone marrow donors for the harvesting procedure, a 5-day regimen of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF),is "complex, costly, unsuccessful in a significant proportion of donors," the study authors write, and typically results in fatigue, nausea, and bone pain. Using a two-drug strategy, oral Viagra and a single injection of the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 (plerixafor), elicited the same mobilization of stem cells in 2 hours.

We didn't cover the study because it's still too early to say whether this strategy might be effective in people. After this mouse study, the next step is testing the approach in larger animals before human clinical trials.

A study of 187 healthy pregnant women age 18 to 45 years suggests that preterm mental and physical stress may be related to the baby's sex and increase the risk for preterm birth. In the study, 16% of women were physically stressed, as measured by higher blood pressure and calorie intake; and 17% were mentally stressed with high levels of depressionand anxiety; 66% of the women were in the healthy (nonstressed) group.

Women who were stressed during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to a girl. Typically, 105 males are born for every 100 females, but the study authors found that the male-to-female ratio decreased to 2:3 in psychologically stressed patients and 4:9 in physically stressed patients. Physically stressed mothers also gave birth an average of 1.5 weeks earlier than mothers in the healthy group, with 22% giving birth preterm compared with 5% in the healthy group.

The study authors say the findings demonstrate the importance of maternal mental health. Medscape has covered the consequences of maternal stress extensively, including preterm birth, neurobehavioral risks, and potential links to hyperactivity during the offspring's teen years. However, the sample size in this study was small: the mentally and physically stressed groups combined only included about 60 women. That's not sufficient to inform clinical practice in counseling women who want to get pregnant about how stress may affect the sex of their baby, so we didn't cover it.

News spread this week that Floridian Lee Mercker became the first woman to "beat" breast cancer with the help of a new vaccine. The vaccine, which stimulates the immune system to fight off early-stage breast cancer, was developed and administered by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. The vaccine is currently in an early trial.

Reports of Mercker's success raise hopes, but she's reportedly the first participant in the trial. The news report also says she underwent a double mastectomy after her diagnosis in March, so it's unclear what evidence of the vaccine's efficacy the researchers measured. Before this experimental vaccine is relevant to Medscape readers, we need to see additional detailed data from more patients in the clinical trial published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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ARMI summit: With synthetic meat within grasp, why not synthetic liver? – The Union Leader

By daniellenierenberg

MANCHESTER Now that the world has the Impossible Whopper, will the impossible liver be far behind?

Such possibilities are being broached this week as inventor Dean Kamen, founder of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, hosts the fourth semi-annual summit since launching ARMI in July 2017.

The three-day conference started Tuesday with a members-only day for BioFab USA and ARMI. It included a dinner at Kamens Bedford home.

Two public days of speeches and workshops are scheduled through Thursday. A total of 150 have signed up for the event.

Guests listen to a speaker at the Meeting in the Millyard at ARMI in Manchester on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019.

The keynote speaker on Wednesday was Jason Kelly, co-founder and chief-executive of Ginkgo Bioworks, a synthetic biology company that programs cells for customers in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and energy industries.

We program cells because they run on digital code in the form of DNA, Kelly told a crowd of scientists, entrepreneurs and regulators.

Much of ARMIs work has focused on the use of stem cells to generate replacements for human tissue, bones and organs. For example, one of ARMIs biggest accomplishments to date has been the Tissue Foundry; its first production was bone-ligament tissue grown together from bone-marrow stem cells.

But Kamen, who prides himself on introducing new technologies to a field, had Kelly speak about a different kind of cells synthetic cells.

Ginkgo Bioworks has partnered with Bayer to develop self-fertilizing crops, with Roche to develop antibiotics, and with Motif to produce animal-free protein ingredients. Kelly said synthetic cell production played a role in the Impossible Whopper, the plant-based patty that Burger King claims tastes like beef.

(According to the website of Impossible Food, the company that makes the patty, the company extracts DNA from soy plants and inserts it into genetically engineered yeast, which ferments to produce heme, the molecule that gives meat its taste.)

Ginkgo has made CNBCs Disruptor 50 List in the last three years and recently raised more than $430 million in venture capital. In doing so, Ginkgo has achieved what Kamen wants for ARMI to move from theoretical design and laboratory work to mass production.

Theyve learned how to scale it, Kamen said in his introduction. Kamen said he expects ARMI-linked production to start relatively quickly.

(Finding) talent is not the problem. Capital is the problem, Kelly said about tech startups. Many venture capitalists arent experts in the science-heavy world of what he calls tough tech. So they are wary about investing in something they cant grasp.

He advised startups to seek government grants Ginkgo would not have succeeded without them hustle the non-specialist investor and find third-party validation from agencies such as the FDA or the Standards Coordinating Body, a voluntary organization that sets standards for the regenerative medicine industry.

Kelly said the time is now for tough tech. He noted the work of SpaceX and Tesla, and he said Silicon Valley is embracing biotech.

People have run out of things to invent that end up as a square on your phone, he said.

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Bone marrow recipient comes face-to-face with CT donor for the first time – WTNH.com

By daniellenierenberg

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) The Gift of Life Marrow Registry organized the meeting Thursday between a bone marrow donor from Connecticut and the recipient whose life was saved by the donation.

Jennie Bunce, 25, of Redding donated her marrow. According to a representative for Gift of Life, Bunce was studying physical therapy and joined Gift of Life through a sorority event at North Carolinas High Point University in 2016.

I never win or get picked for anything, but it just felt like the right thing to do, Bunce told Gift of Life. Im just incredibly happy and grateful to be part of something so special. Its similar to holding the door open for someone or helping a friend in a time of need.

Across the country in Mesa, Arizona, father-of-6, Mark Roser, 33, was battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He found out about the diagnosis after he broke a hip in 2018 and had continued weakness. Roser was told he needed a bone marrow transplant to survive.

The hardest part was knowing, no matter how hard I worked, that what I did would not be a deciding factor in my ability to receive this gift, said Roser.

The match was made by Gift of Life in about six months, and the transplant took place in Phoenix.

She is a hero to all the people in my life, said Roser.

She gave me life, she gave my children a future with their dad, she gave my wife a chance to hold her husband, to have someone hold her back. She allowed me to go to work, to play, to see things from a different perspective. I am grateful for every moment I have, and its because of her.

According to Gift a Life, medical privacy laws dictate that recipients and donors must remain anonymous and wait at least a year before meeting.

The two came face-to-face for the first time Thursday in Bridgeport at the Boca Oyster Bar.

Since its start in 1991, the Gift of Life Registry 349,000 individuals who have donated blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life. The program has facilitated 16,800 matches and over 3,500 transplants.

To learn more about the organization and/or how to donate: https://www.giftoflife.org/.

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CAR-T Therapy May Be More Effective When Administered Earlier in the Multiple Myeloma Treatment Continuum – Cancer Therapy Advisor

By daniellenierenberg

Results of an ex vivo study evaluating the phenotypic and growth characteristics of T cells collected by leukapheresis from cohorts of patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma support use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T therapy earlier in course of the disease. The hypothesis-generating findings from this study were published in Blood Advances.

While CAR-T therapy targeted against the B-cellmaturation antigen (BCMA) has been associated with promising results inpatients with multiple myeloma, nearly all of the patients responding to thisapproach eventually develop progressive disease. Hence, strategies to optimizepatient selection for CAR-T therapy in the setting of multiple myeloma arebeing actively pursued.

Theratio of CD4 to CD8 T cells and/or the frequency of the CD81 CD45RO2 CD271 T-cell memory phenotype were usedin this study as surrogates for the clinical effectiveness of CAR-T therapysince previous studies ofCAR-T therapy in patients with chronic lymphocyticleukemia and multiple myeloma showed that of all baseline patient- anddisease-related characteristics considered, clinical response to CAR-T therapywas associated only with this T-cell ratio and/or the frequency of this subsetof memory T cells in the premanufacturing leukapheresis product.

Twocohorts of patients where compared in this study: 38 patients with newly diagnosedmultiple myeloma who had participated in clinical trials of induction therapy andon whom leukapheresis was performed before consolidation therapy and autologousstem cell transplantation (ASCT); and 25 patients with relapsed/refractorymultiple myeloma enrolled in a phase 1 clinical trial of anti-BCMA CAR-Ttherapy and on whom leukapheresis was performed during a washout period shortlyfollowing study enrollment.

Inboth patient cohorts, leukapheresis samples were exposed ex vivo to anti-CD3and anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies covalently linked to magnetic beads toprovide stimulatory/costimulatory signals for T-cell proliferation and theexpansion of functional T cells.

The 2 patient cohorts were similar with respect to median age (ie, 55 years; 58 years [relapsed/refractory]), although the time from multiple myeloma diagnosis was 222 days for those treated with induction therapy and 4.6 years for those with relapsed/refractory disease.

Inaddition, differences in the median number of prior lines of therapy (1 vs 7),and bone marrow cellularity occupied by myeloma plasma cells (13% vs 65%) wereobserved when the former and latter cohorts were compared at the time thatleukapheresis was performed.

Akey finding from this study was a significantly higher frequency of T cellswith the CD81 CD45RO2CD271 T-cell memory phenotype(43.9% vs 29.0%; P =.001), as well asa significantly higher median CD4/CD8 ratio (2.6 vs 0.87; P <.0001) in the postinduction versus the relapsed/refractorypatient cohort.

Inaddition, the CD4/CD8 ratio was also significantly higher in the postinductioncohort compared with responders to anti-BCMA CAR-T therapy from the relapsed/refractorycohort (2.6 vs 1.3; P= .0009); however,while higher in the postinduction cohort, the difference in the frequency of Tcells with the CD81 CD45RO2CD271 T-cell memory phenotypewas not statistically significant when these 2 groups were compared.

Regardingcapacity for ex vivo proliferation during manufacturing, significantly highernumbers of population doubling by day 9 (PD9) were observed for thepostinduction cohort compared with either the overall relapsed/refractorycohort or the group of responders within the relapsed/refractory cohort.

Ourresults suggest that CAR T cells manufactured from leukapheresis samplesobtained after response to induction therapy would be, on average, moreclinically effective than those obtained from heavily relapsed/refractorymultiple myeloma patients, the study authors concluded.

Reference

Garfall AL, Dancy EK, Cohen AD, et al. T-cell phenotypes associated with effective CAR T-cell therapy in postinduction vs relapsed multiple myeloma. Blood Adv. 2019;3:2812-2815.

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CHMP Issues Positive Opinion Recommending DARZALEX (Daratumumab) in Combination with Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone in Frontline Multiple Myeloma -…

By daniellenierenberg

Company Announcement

Copenhagen, Denmark; October 18, 2019 Genmab A/S (Nasdaq:GMAB) announced today that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a positive opinion recommending broadening the existing marketing authorization for DARZALEX (daratumumab) in the European Union. The recommendation is for the use of DARZALEX in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) as treatment for newly diagnosed adult patients with multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). The Type II variation application, based on the Phase III MAIA (MMY3008) study, was submitted to the EMA by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV in March 2019. In August 2012, Genmab granted Janssen Biotech, Inc. an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize daratumumab.

We are encouraged that the CHMP are recommending a broadening of the current DARZALEX marketing authorization in the European Union to include DARZALEX in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone as a possible treatment for patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. This would give patients another treatment option, in addition to the already approved combination of daratumumab plus bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone in this same setting, said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab.

About the MAIA (MMY3008) studyThe Phase III study (NCT02252172) is a randomized, open-label, multicenter study that includes 737 newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma who are not candidates for high dose chemotherapy and ASCT. Patients were randomized to receive either treatment with daratumumab in combination with lenalidomide (an immunomodulatory drug) and dexamethasone (a corticosteroid) or treatment with lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone. In the daratumumab treatment arm, patients received 16 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) weekly for first 8 weeks (Cycles 1 and 2), every other week for 16 weeks (Cycles 3 to 6) and then every 4 weeks (Cycle 7 and beyond) until progression of disease or unacceptable toxicity. Lenalidomide is administered at 25 mg orally on days 1 through 21 of each 28-day cycle, and dexamethasone is administered at 40 mg once a week for both treatment arms. Participants in both treatment arms will continue Rd until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint of the study is progression free survival.

About multiple myelomaMultiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and is characterized by an excess proliferation of plasma cells.1 Approximately 16,830 new patients were expected to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and approximately 10,480 people were expected to die from the disease in the Western Europe in 2018.2 Globally, it was estimated that 160,000 people were diagnosed and 106,000 died from the disease in 2018.3 While some patients with multiple myeloma have no symptoms at all, most patients are diagnosed due to symptoms which can include bone problems, low blood counts, calcium elevation, kidney problems or infections.4

About DARZALEX (daratumumab)DARZALEX (daratumumab) intravenous infusion is indicated for the treatment of adult patients in the United States: in combination with bortezomib, thalidomide and dexamethasone as treatment for patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma who are eligible for autologous stem cell transplant; in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant; in combination with bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant; in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, or bortezomib and dexamethasone, for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy; in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies, including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor (PI); and as a monotherapy for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior lines of therapy, including a PI and an immunomodulatory agent, or who are double-refractory to a PI and an immunomodulatory agent.5 DARZALEX is the first monoclonal antibody (mAb) to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) approval to treat multiple myeloma. DARZALEX is indicated in Europe in combination with bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant; for use in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, or bortezomib and dexamethasone, for the treatment of adult patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy; and as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, whose prior therapy included a PI and an immunomodulatory agent and who have demonstrated disease progression on the last therapy6. The option to split the first infusion of DARZALEX over two consecutive days has been approved in both Europe and the U.S. In Japan, DARZALEX is approved in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, or bortezomib and dexamethasone, for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and in combination with bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant. DARZALEX is the first human CD38 monoclonal antibody to reach the market in the United States, Europe and Japan. For more information, visit http://www.DARZALEX.com.

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Daratumumab is a human IgG1k monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds with high affinity to the CD38 molecule, which is highly expressed on the surface of multiple myeloma cells. Daratumumab triggers a persons own immune system to attack the cancer cells, resulting in rapid tumor cell death through multiple immune-mediated mechanisms of action and through immunomodulatory effects, in addition to direct tumor cell death, via apoptosis (programmed cell death).5,6,7,8,9,10

Daratumumab is being developed by Janssen Biotech, Inc. under an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize daratumumab from Genmab. A comprehensive clinical development program for daratumumab is ongoing, including multiple Phase III studies in smoldering, relapsed and refractory and frontline multiple myeloma settings. Additional studies are ongoing or planned to assess the potential of daratumumab in other malignant and pre-malignant diseases in which CD38 is expressed, such as amyloidosis, NKT-cell lymphoma and B-cell and T-cell ALL. Daratumumab has received two Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the U.S. FDA for certain indications of multiple myeloma, including as a monotherapy for heavily pretreated multiple myeloma and in combination with certain other therapies for second-line treatment of multiple myeloma.

About Genmab Genmab is a publicly traded, international biotechnology company specializing in the creation and development of differentiated antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Founded in 1999, the company has two approved antibodies, DARZALEX (daratumumab) for the treatment of certain multiple myeloma indications, and Arzerra (ofatumumab) for the treatment of certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia indications. Daratumumab is in clinical development for additional multiple myeloma indications, other blood cancers and amyloidosis. A subcutaneous formulation of ofatumumab is in development for relapsing multiple sclerosis. Genmab also has a broad clinical and pre-clinical product pipeline. Genmab's technology base consists of validated and proprietary next generation antibody technologies - the DuoBody platform for generation of bispecific antibodies, the HexaBody platform, which creates effector function enhanced antibodies, the HexElect platform, which combines two co-dependently acting HexaBody molecules to introduce selectivity while maximizing therapeutic potency and the DuoHexaBody platform, which enhances the potential potency of bispecific antibodies through hexamerization. The company intends to leverage these technologies to create opportunities for full or co-ownership of future products. Genmab has alliances with top tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Genmab is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark with core sites in Utrecht, the Netherlands and Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.

Contact: Marisol Peron, Corporate Vice President, Communications & Investor Relations T: +1 609 524 0065; E: mmp@genmab.com

For Investor Relations: Andrew Carlsen, Senior Director, Investor RelationsT: +45 3377 9558; E: acn@genmab.com

This Company Announcement contains forward looking statements. The words believe, expect, anticipate, intend and plan and similar expressions identify forward looking statements. Actual results or performance may differ materially from any future results or performance expressed or implied by such statements. The important factors that could cause our actual results or performance to differ materially include, among others, risks associated with pre-clinical and clinical development of products, uncertainties related to the outcome and conduct of clinical trials including unforeseen safety issues, uncertainties related to product manufacturing, the lack of market acceptance of our products, our inability to manage growth, the competitive environment in relation to our business area and markets, our inability to attract and retain suitably qualified personnel, the unenforceability or lack of protection of our patents and proprietary rights, our relationships with affiliated entities, changes and developments in technology which may render our products or technologies obsolete, and other factors. For a further discussion of these risks, please refer to the risk management sections in Genmabs most recent financial reports, which are available on http://www.genmab.com and the risk factors included in Genmabs final prospectus for our U.S. public offering and listing and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at http://www.sec.gov. Genmab does not undertake any obligation to update or revise forward looking statements in this Company Announcement nor to confirm such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances after the date made or in relation to actual results, unless required by law.

Genmab A/S and/or its subsidiaries own the following trademarks: Genmab; the Y-shaped Genmab logo; Genmab in combination with the Y-shaped Genmab logo; HuMax; DuoBody; DuoBody in combination with the DuoBody logo; HexaBody; HexaBody in combination with the HexaBody logo; DuoHexaBody; HexElect; and UniBody. Arzerra is a trademark of Novartis AG or its affiliates. DARZALEX is a trademark of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV.

1 American Cancer Society. "Multiple Myeloma Overview." Available at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiplemyeloma/detailedguide/multiple-myeloma-what-is-multiple-myeloma.Accessed June 2016.2 Globocan 2018. Western Europe Fact Sheet. Available at http://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/926-western-europe-fact-sheets.pdf Accessed March 20183 Globocan 2018. World Fact Sheet. Available at http://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/900-world-fact-sheets.pdf. Accessed December 2018.4 American Cancer Society. "How is Multiple Myeloma Diagnosed?" http://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiplemyeloma/detailedguide/multiple-myeloma-diagnosis. Accessed June 20165 DARZALEX Prescribing information, September 2019. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/761036s024lbl.pdf Last accessed September 20196 DARZALEX Summary of Product Characteristics, available at https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/EPAR/darzalex Last accessed October 20197De Weers, M et al. Daratumumab, a Novel Therapeutic Human CD38 Monoclonal Antibody, Induces Killing of Multiple Myeloma and Other Hematological Tumors. The Journal of Immunology. 2011; 186: 1840-1848.8 Overdijk, MB, et al. Antibody-mediated phagocytosis contributes to the anti-tumor activity of the therapeutic antibody daratumumab in lymphoma and multiple myeloma. MAbs. 2015; 7: 311-21.9 Krejcik MD et al. Daratumumab Depletes CD38+ Immune-regulatory Cells, Promotes T-cell Expansion, and Skews T-cell Repertoire in Multiple Myeloma. Blood. 2016; 128: 384-94.10Jansen, JH et al. Daratumumab, a human CD38 antibody induces apoptosis of myeloma tumor cells via Fc receptor-mediated crosslinking.Blood. 2012; 120(21): abstract 2974.

Company Announcement no. 50CVR no. 2102 3884LEI Code 529900MTJPDPE4MHJ122

Genmab A/SKalvebod Brygge 431560 Copenhagen VDenmark

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Stem cells treatment gives hope in fighting Autism, blood disorders – OrissaPOST

By daniellenierenberg

Bhubaneswar: The advanced treatment of using stem cells for treating Autism and other neurological ailments have come as a ray of hope for the people living with some of these ailments. Medical experts working in the sector claim that the use of the technology improved the lives of many.

According to experts who practice stem cell therapy, the results have been overwhelming. Many of the patients have either been able to fight a deadly disease with the help of stem cells while many have been able to improve their quality of lives by using it. However, the technology is still not used widely in state hospitals.

Medical experts claim that stem cells could be used to treat neurological disorders like Autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, brain stroke, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, head injury, cerebellar ataxia, dementia, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis while it has also been used to treat cancers like blood cancer with the help of bone marrow transplant when assisted by stem cell therapy.

However, treatment of Autism with stem cells is a new developing sector where visible changes are said to have been reported among children treated with this technology. However, the advanced technology which is now confined to only private sector is a bit expensive.

Autistic kids are usually treated with drugs for symptomatic relief, special education, occupational speech and behavioural therapies. In Autism, despite the best available medical and rehabilitative treatments satisfactory relief is still a far cry, said Dr Nandini Gokulchandran, Head Medical Services, NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute, Mumbai.

Dr Gokulchandran claims that she has treated many cases of Autism in kids with stem cells which helped in overcoming their limited abilities. Under the treatment regime, an insertion procedure is undertaken followed by training to improve the skills and abilities of autistic kids.

Another neurologist, Dr Richa Bansod said that in India it has been reported that 1 in every 250 children have Autism and this number in increasing with better recognition and awareness of the condition. On the other hand, stem cells are now been used to fight deadly diseases.

Dr Joydeep Chakaborty, an oncologist and stem cell expert from HCG Cancer Hospital, Kolkata said, Stem cells and bone marrow transplants are now being used to cure blood cancer in many cases. It is also widely used to treat blood disorders like Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Anaemia and others.

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Cell Therapy Market outlook with industry review and forecasts – Technology Magazine

By daniellenierenberg

Cell therapy market size is estimated to grow significantly during the forecast period from 2019 to 2025. The cell therapy industry should witness substantial expansion over the forecast timeframe due to technological advancements coupled with increasing utilization of cell therapy along with gene therapy as treatment to several conditions.

Increasing funding from private organization as well as government to encourage cell therapy clinical trials, inclusion of varied cell types such as mesenchymal stem cells, skeletal muscle stem cells, lymphocytes, dendritic cells, hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and pancreatic islet cells for cell therapy research will drive market size growth.

Bone marrow transplant or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is most commonly performed cell therapy. Growing utilization of this therapy for treating conditions such as blood cancer and other hematologic conditions should drive industry growth. Potential application of cell therapy includes treatment for urinary problems, cancers, repairing spinal cord injuries, autoimmune disease, rebuilding damaged cartilage in joints, immune system improvement, neurological disorders and infectious disease. Such wide-ranging applications of cell therapy should drive business growth over the coming years.

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Increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, government assistance and numerous companies investing heavily in stem cell therapy research and development should stimulate industry growth. Proven effectiveness of cell therapy products coupled with rendering favorable guidelines pertaining to cell therapy manufacturing should positively impact industry growth. However, high cost and stringent regulations related to practicing of stem cell therapy will hamper industry growth to certain extent during the forecast period.

Based on therapy type, the industry is segmented into allogenic and autologous therapies. Autologous segment is anticipated to witness significant growth due to lower risk of fatal complications and graft failure resulting in high survival rate should drive segment growth. Moreover, significant investment in autologous cell therapy research by companies such as Vericel Corporation should positively impact growth.

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Applications of cell therapy include cardiovascular, ocular, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, oncology, neurological, dermatology, wounds and injuries, and others. Oncology segment is estimated to witness lucrative growth due to strong pipeline including Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy that has delivered promising results such as full recovery in end-stage patients suffering from acute lymphocytic leukemia during clinical trials.

Based on end-user, the industry is bifurcated into hospitals, diagnostic centers, clinics, research institutes, regenerative medicine centers and others. Stem cell is core component of regenerative medicine. Increasing research conducted by regenerative medicine researchers on variety of stem cell types such as multipotent adult stem cells (hematopoietic stem cells found in umbilical cord blood and mesenchymal stem cells [MSC] found in adipose tissue), along with pluripotent stem cells such as the bioengineered cells called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) should drive segment growth.

North America cell therapy market will witness robust growth during the forecast period due to favorable regulatory framework to promote development of cellular therapy platform and presence of numerous companies engaged in cell therapy research. Rising awareness and growing healthcare expenditure should further propel industry growth.

Large patient population base suffering from chronic conditions along with development of healthcare infrastructure will drive Asia Pacific cell therapy market. Growing inclination towards advanced medicinal therapies will lead to growth of cell therapy market in the region.

Some notable industry players include, Vericel Corporation, Medipost, Cells for Cells, JCR Pharmaceuticals, Osiris Therapeutics, Kolon Tissuegene, NuVasive, Stemedica Cell Technologies, BioNTech IMFS, Anterogen, Pharmicell, Fibrocell Science, Novartis AG, Glaxosmithkline among others. Industry players are investing heavily in cell therapy research to develop innovative product and gain significant market share of lucrative market in future.

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Companion Animal Diagnostic Market: https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/companion-animal-diagnostic-market-industry-growth-analysis-forecast-by-2025-2019-10-18

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Artificial embryo without sperm or egg forms live fetus – ZME Science

By daniellenierenberg

For the very first time, scientists have made artificial embryos from scratch, without sperm or egg, and implanted them into female mice. The embryos developed into live fetuses, but these exhibited major malformations.

The team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center used extended pluripotent stem cells, which are cells that have the potential, like an embryo, to develop into any type of tissue in the body. These master cells are able to form all three major types of cell groups (ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm). Unlike simple pluripotent stem cells, the extended variety can develop into tissues that support the embryo, such as the placenta.Without this type of stem cells, embryos cannot develop and grow properly.

The researchers coaxed stem cells to form into all the cells required for the development of an embryo by bathing them into a solution made of nutrients, growth stimulants, and signaling molecules. The cells assembled into embryo-like structures, including placental tissue.

Next, the artificial embryos were implanted into the uteruses of female mice. Only 7% of the implants were successful but those embryos that did work actually started developing early fetal structures. There were major malformations, however, as the tissue structure and organization did not closely resemble that of a normal embryo.

Previously, other research groups had managed to grow artificial embryos but this was the first time that they were successfully implanted and developed placental cells.

In the future, the University of Texas researchers plan on refining their method in order to grow fetuses that are indistinguishable from normal ones. The goal is to replace real embryos and make artificial ones at scale. These embryo models could then be grown in dishes to study early mammalian development and accelerate drug development.

Some of the cells that the researchers used to grow into embryos originally came from the ear of a mouse. Theoretically, the same should be possible for human embryos, but why would we? Besides testing drugs, artificial embryos could be grown from the skin cells of an infertile person. Then, in the lab, these embryos could be studied in order to identify potential genetic defects that might cause infertility.

Even if such stem cell-derived embryos do not completely mimic normal embryo growth, there is still a lot we can learn about mammalian development. But, as is always the case with research that breaks the frontiers of what was once thought possible, our policies havent yet kept up with advances. There are serious ethical considerations to possibly making a person from a synthetic embryo. Although such a prospect is still science fiction, rapid developments such as the present study suggest that it is not impossible and we better prepare.

The findings were reported in the journal Cell.

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New universe of miniproteins is upending cell biology and genetics – Science Magazine

By daniellenierenberg

By Mitch LeslieOct. 17, 2019 , 2:00 PM

Mice put human runners to shame. Despite taking puny strides, the rodents can log 10 kilometers or more per night on an exercise wheel. But the mice that muscle biologist Eric Olson of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and colleagues unveiled in 2015 stood out. On a treadmill, the mice could scurry up a steep 10% grade for about 90 minutes before faltering, 31% longer than other rodents. Those iron mice differed from counterparts in just one small waythe researchers had genetically altered the animals to lack one muscle protein. That was enough to unleash superior muscle performance. "It's like you've taken the brakes off," Olson says.

Just as startling was the nature of the crucial protein. Muscles house some gargantuan proteins. Dystrophin, a structural protein whose gene can carry mutations that cause muscular dystrophy, has more than 3600 amino acids. Titin, which acts like a spring to give muscles elasticity, is the biggest known protein, with more than 34,000 amino acids. The protein disabled in the mice has a paltry 46. Although researchers have probed how muscles work for more than 150 years, they had completely missed the huge impact this tiny protein, called myoregulin, has on muscle function.

Olson and his colleagues weren't the only ones to be blindsided by Lilliputian proteins. As scientists now realize, their initial rules for analyzing genomes discriminated against identifying those pint-size molecules. Now, broader criteria and better detection methods are uncovering minuscule proteins by the thousands, not just in mice, but in many other species, including humans. "For the first time, we are about to explore this universe of new proteins," says biochemist Jonathan Weissman of the University of California, San Francisco.

Biologists are just beginning to delve into the functions of those molecules, called microproteins, micropeptides, or miniproteins. But their small size seems to allow them to jam the intricate workings of larger proteins, inhibiting some cellular processes while unleashing others. Early findings suggest microproteins bolster the immune system, control destruction of faulty RNA molecules, protect bacteria from heat and cold, dictate when plants flower, and provide the toxic punch for many types of venom. "There's probably going to be small [proteins] involved in all biological processes. We just haven't looked for them before," says biochemist Alan Saghatelian of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California.

The venom of this predatory water bug has more than a dozen small proteins.

Small proteins also promise to revise the current understanding of the genome. Many appear to be encoded in stretches of DNAand RNAthat were not thought to help build proteins of any sort. Some researchers speculate that the short stretches of DNA could be newborn genes, on their way to evolving into larger genes that make full-size proteins. Thanks in part to small proteins, "We need to rethink what genes are," says microbiologist and molecular biologist Gisela Storz of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland.

Despite the remaining mysteries, scientists are already testing potential uses for the molecules. One company sells insecticides derived from small proteins in the poison of an Australian funnel-web spider. And a clinical trial is evaluating an imaging agent based on another minute protein in scorpion venom, designed to highlight the borders of tumors so that surgeons can remove them more precisely. Many drug companies are now searching for small proteins with medical potential, says biochemist Glenn King of the University of Queensland in St. Lucia, Australia. "It's one of the most rapidly growing areas."

Other short amino acidchains, often called peptides or polypeptides, abound in cells, but they are pared-down remnants of bigger predecessors. Myoregulin and its diminutive brethren, in contrast, are born small. How tiny they can be remains unclear. Fruit flies rely on a microprotein with 11 amino acids to grow normal legs, and some microbes may crank out proteins less than 10 amino acids long, notes microbial genomicist Ami Bhatt of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. But even the largest small proteins don't measure up to average-size proteins such as alpha amylase, a 496amino-acid enzyme in our saliva that breaks down starch.

Few small proteins came to light until recently because of a criterion for identifying genes set about 20 years ago. When scientists analyze an organism's genome, they often scan for open reading frames (ORFs), which are DNA sequences demarcated by signals that tell the cell's ribosomes, its proteinmaking assembly lines, where to start and stop. In part to avoid a data deluge, past researchers typically excluded any ORF that would yield a protein smaller than 100 amino acids in eukaryotes or 50 amino acids in bacteria. In yeast, for example, that cutoff limited the list of ORFs to about 6000.

Relaxing that criterion reveals that cells carry vastly more ORFs. Earlier this year, Stanford postdoc Hila Sberro Livnat, Bhatt, and colleagues trawled genome fragments from the microbes that inhabit four parts of the human body, including the gut and skin. By searching for small ORFs that could encode proteins between five and 50 amino acids long, the researchers identified about 4000 families of potential microproteins. Almost half resemble no known proteins, but the sequence for one small ORF suggested that a corresponding protein resides in ribosomesa hint that it could play some fundamental role. "It's not just genes with esoteric functions that have been missed" when scientists overlooked small ORFs, Bhatt says. "It's genes with core functions."

For the first time, we are about to explore this universe of new proteins.

Other cells also house huge numbers of short ORFsyeast could make more than 260,000 molecules with between two and 99 amino acids, for example. But cells almost certainly don't use all those ORFs, and some of the amino acid strings they produce may not be functional. In 2011, after finding more than 600,000 short ORFs in the fruit fly genome, developmental geneticist Juan Pablo Couso of the University of Sussex in Brighton, U.K., and colleagues tried to whittle down the number. They reasoned that if a particular ORF had an identical or near-identical copy in a related species, it was less likely to be genomic trash. After searching another fruit fly's genome and analyzing other evidence that the sequences were being translated, the group ended up with a more manageable figure of 401 short ORFs likely to yield microproteins. That would still represent a significant fraction of the insects' protein repertoirethey harbor about 22,000 full-size proteins.

Weissman and colleagues found microproteins a second way, through a method they invented to broadly determine which proteins cells are making. To fashion any protein, a cell first copies a gene into messenger RNA. Then ribosomes read the mRNA and string together amino acids in the order it specifies. By sequencing mRNAs attached to ribosomes, Weissman and his team pinpoint which ones cells are actually turning into proteins and where on the RNAs a ribosome starts to read. In a 2011Cellstudy, he and his team applied that ribosome profiling method, also called Ribo-seq, to mouse embryonic stem cells and discovered the cells were making thousands of unexpected proteins, including many that would fall below the 100amino-acid cutoff. "It was quite clear that the standard understanding had ignored a large universe of proteins, many of which were short," Weissman says.

Saghatelian and his colleagues adopted a third approach to discover a trove of microproteins in our own cells. The researchers used mass spectrometry, which involves breaking up proteins into pieces that are sorted by mass to produce a distinctive spectrum for each protein. Saghatelian, his then-postdoc Sarah Slavoff, and colleagues applied the method to protein mixtures from human cells and then subtracted the signatures of known proteins. That approach revealed spectra for 86 previously undiscovered tiny proteins, the smallest just 18 amino acids long, the researchers reported in 2013 inNature Chemical Biology.

Being small limitsa protein's capabilities. Larger proteins fold into complex shapes suited for a particular function, such as catalyzing chemical reactions. Proteins smaller than about 50 to 60 amino acids probably don't fold, says chemist Julio Camarero of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. So they probably aren't suited to be enzymes or structural proteins.

However, their diminutive size also opens up opportunities. "They are tiny enough to fit into nooks and crannies of larger proteins that function as channels and receptors," Olson says. Small proteins often share short stretches of amino acids with their larger partners and can therefore bind to and alter the activity of those proteins. Bound microproteins can also shepherd bigger molecules to new locationshelping them slip into cell membranes, for instance.

A microprotein in the poison of the deathstalker scorpion has been fused to a fluorescent dye to make tumors emit near-infrared light. (1) A tumor seen in visible light (2)Same tumor in visible and near-infrared light

Because of their attraction to larger proteins, small proteins may give cells a reversible way to switch larger proteins on or off. In a 2016 study inPLOS Genetics, plant developmental biologist Stephan Wenkel of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues genetically alteredArabidopsisplants to produce extra amounts of two small proteins. The plants normally burst into flower when the days are long enough, but when they overproduced the two microproteins, their flowering was postponed. The small proteins caused that delay by blocking a hefty protein called CONSTANS that triggers flowering. They tether CONSTANS to other inhibitory proteins that shut it down. "A cell uses things that help it survive. If a short protein does the job, that's fine," Saghatelian says.

Those jobs include other key tasks. In 2016, Slavoff, Saghatelian, and colleagues revealed that human cells manufacture a 68amino-acid protein they named NoBody that may help manage destruction of faulty or unneeded mRNA molecules. NoBody's name reflects its role in preventing formation of processing bodies (P-bodies), mysterious clusters in the cytoplasm where RNA breakdown may occur. When the protein is missing, more P-bodies form, thus boosting RNA destruction and altering the cell's internal structure. "It shows that small proteins can have massive effects in the cell," Slavoff says.

Muscles appear to depend on a variety of microproteins. During embryonic development, individual muscle cells merge into fibers that power contraction. The 84amino-acid protein myomixer teams up with a larger protein to bring the cells together, Olson's team reported in 2017 inScience. Without it, embryonic mice can't form muscles and are almost transparent.

Later in life, myoregulin steps in to help regulate muscle activity. When a muscle receives a stimulus, cellular storage depots spill calcium, triggering the fibers to contract and generate force. An ion pump called SERCA then starts to return the calcium to storage, allowing the muscle fibers to relax. Myoregulin binds to and inhibits SERCA, Olson's team found. The effect limits how often a mouse's muscles can contractperhaps ensuring that the animal has muscle power in reserve for an emergency, such as escaping a predator. Another small protein, DWORF, has the opposite effect, unleashing SERCA and enabling the muscle to contract repeatedly.

Even extensively studied organisms such as the intestinal bacteriumEscherichia coliharbor unexpected small proteins that have important functions. Storz and her team reported in 2012 that a previously undiscovered 49amino-acid protein called AcrZ helps the microbe survive some antibiotics by stimulating a pump that expels the drugs.

And the venom produced by a variety of organismsincluding spiders, centipedes, scorpions, and poisonous mollusksteems with tiny proteins. Many venom components disable or kill by blocking the channels for sodium or other ions that are necessary for transmission of nerve impulses. Small proteins "hit these ion channels with amazing specificity and potency," King says. "They are the major components of venoms and are responsible for most of the pharmacological and biological effects."

Australia's giant fish-killing water bug, for instance, doesn't just rely on sharp claws and lancelike mouthparts to subdue prey. It injects its victims with a brew of more than 130 proteins, 15 of which have fewer than 100 amino acids, King and colleagues reported last year.

Unlike hulking proteinssuch as antibodies, microproteins delivered by pill or injection may be able to slip into cells and alter their functions. Captopril, the first of a class of drugs for high blood pressure known as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors was developed from a small protein in the venom of a Brazilian pit viper. But the drug, which the Food and Drug Administration approved for sale in the United States in 1981, was discovered by chance, before scientists recognized small proteins as a distinct group. So far, only a few microproteins have reached the market or clinical trials.

Cancer researchers are trying to capitalize on a microprotein in the poison of the deathstalker scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus) of Africa and the Middle East. The molecule has a mysterious attraction to tumors. By fusing it to a fluorescent dye, scientists hope to illuminate the borders of brain tumors so that surgeons can safely cut out the cancerous tissue. "It lights up the tumor. You can see the margins and if there are any metastases," King says. A clinical trial is now evaluating whether the dual molecule can help surgeons remove brain tumors in children.

How important small proteins will be for medicine is still unknown, but they have already upended several biological assumptions. Geneticist Norbert Hbner of the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin and colleagues found dozens of new microproteins in human heart cells. The group traced them to an unexpected source: short sequences within long noncoding RNAs, a variety that was thought not to produce proteins. After identifying 169 long noncoding RNAs that were probably being read by ribosomes, Hbner and his team used a type of mass spectrometry to confirm that more than half of them yielded microproteins in heart cells, a result reported earlier this year inCell.

Bacteria such as Escherichia coli also churn out many microproteins, although their functions remain unclear in many cases.

The DNA sequences for other tiny proteins also occur in unconventional locations. For example, some lie near the ORFs for bigger proteins. Researchers previously thought those sequences helped manage the production of the larger proteins, but rarely gave rise to proteins themselves. Some coding sequences for recently discovered microproteins are even nested within sequences that encode other, longer proteins.

Those genomic surprises could illuminate how new genes arise, says evolutionary systems biologist Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Researchers had thought most new genes emerge when existing genes duplicate or fuse, or when species swap DNA. But to Carvunis, microproteins suggest protogenes can form when mutations create new start and stop signals in a noncoding portion of the genome. If the resulting ORF produces a beneficial protein, the novel sequences would remain in the genome and undergo natural selection, eventually evolving into larger genes that code for more complex proteins.

In a 2012 study, Carvunis, who was then a postdoc in the lab of Marc Vidal at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues found that yeast translate more than 1000 short ORFs into proteins, implying that these sequences are protogenes. In a new study, Carvunis and her team tested whether young ORFs can be advantageous for cells. They genetically altered yeast to boost output of 285 recently evolved ORFs, most of which code for molecules that are smaller than the standard protein cutoff or just over it. For almost 10% of the proteins, increasing their levels enhanced cell growth in at least one environment. The results, posted on the preprint server bioRxiv, suggest these sequences could be on their way to becoming full-fledged genes, Carvunis says.

Slavoff still recalls being astonished when, during her interview for a postdoc position with Saghatelian, he asked whether she would be willing to go hunting for small proteins. "I had never thought that there could be this whole size of proteins that was dark to us until then."

But the bet paid offshe now runs her own lab that is searching for microproteins. Recently, she unleashed some of her postdocs and graduate students on one of the most studied organisms, the K12 strain ofE. coli.The team soon uncovered five new microproteins. "We are probably only scratching the surface," she says.

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UCLA opens CAR T-cell trial focused on the most common types of lymphoma, leukemia – The Cancer Letter Publications

By daniellenierenberg

publication date: Oct. 18, 2019

The UCLA Jonsson Comprehensine Cancer Center has launched a CAR T-cell immunotherapy trialthat will attack cancer cells by simultaneously recognizing two targetsCD19 and CD20that are expressed on B-cell lymphoma and leukemia.

By launching a bilateral attack instead of using the conventional single-target approach, researchers are hoping to minimize resistance and increase the life expectancy for people diagnosed with these cancers.

One of the reasons CAR T cell therapy can stop working in patients is because the cancer cells escape from therapy by losing the antigen CD19, which is what the CAR T cells are engineered to target, Sarah Larson, a health sciences clinical instructor in hematology/oncology at UCLA Health and the principal investigator on the trial, said in a statement One way to keep the CAR T cells working is to have more than one antigen to target. So, by using both CD19 and CD20, the thought is that it will be more effective and prevent the loss of the antigen, which is known as antigen escape, one of the common mechanisms of resistance.

Up to two-thirds of the patients who experience relapse after being treated with the FDA-approved CD19 CAR T-cell therapy develop tumors that have lost CD19 expression. UCLA researchers are identifying and testing new strategies like this one so many more patients can benefit from the therapy.

In preclinical studiesled byYvonne Chen, an associate professor of microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics at UCLA and the sponsor of the trial, the team was able to show that by simultaneously attacking two targets, the engineered T cells developed in her lab could achieve a much more robust defense compared to conventional, single-target CAR T cells against tumors in mice.

Chens team designed the CARs based on the molecular understanding of the CARs architecture, the antigen structure and the CAR/antigen binding interaction to achieve optimal T cell function. This design helps the T cells have dual-antigen recognition to help prevent antigen escape.

Based on these results, were quite optimistic that the bispecific CAR can achieve therapeutic improvement over the single-input CD19 CAR thats currently available, said Chen, who is also the co-director of the Jonsson Cancer Centers Tumor Immunology Program and a member of the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.

This first-in-humans study will evaluate the therapy in patients with non-Hodgkins B-cell lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia that has come back or has not responded to treatment. The goal is to determine a safe therapeutic dose.

Patients enrolled in the trial will have their white blood cells (T cells) collected intravenously then reengineered in the laboratory so the T cells can produce tumor-specific receptors (CARs), which allow the T cells to recognize and attack the CD19 and CD20 proteins on the surface of tumor cells. The new smarter and stronger T cells are then infused back into the patient and primed to recognize and kill cancer cells.

The trial is currently only offered at UCLA.

Results from STELLAR trial in MPM published in The Lancet Oncology

Novocure said the results from the STELLAR trial were published inThe Lancet Oncology.

The STELLAR trial was a prospective, single-arm trial including 80 patients that studied the use of Tumor Treating Fields, delivered via the NovoTTF-100L System, in combination with pemetrexed plus cisplatin/carboplatin as a first-line treatment for patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Data showed a median overall survival of 18.2 months (95 percent CI, 12.1 months-25.8 months) for patients treated with NovoTTF-100L and pemetrexed plus cisplatin or carboplatin. One- and two-year survival rates were 62.2 percent (95 percent CI, 50.3 percent-72.0 percent) and 41.9 percent (95 percent CI, 28.0 percent-55.2 percent), respectively. No serious systemic adverse events were considered to be related to the use of NovoTTF-100L. The most common mild to moderate adverse event was skin irritation beneath the transducer arrays.

The STELLAR trial demonstrated encouraging overall survival results with no increase in systemic toxicity observed in MPM patients treated with Tumor Treating Fields and standard chemotherapy, Giovanni Luca Ceresoli, head of pulmonary oncology at the Humanitas Gavazzeni Hospital in Bergamo, Italy, and principal investigator in the STELLAR trial, said in a statement. The median overall survival of 18.2 months is impressive given that MPM is a tumor with a dismal prognosis and few effective therapeutic options.

Median progression free survival was 7.6 months (95 percent CI, 6.7 percent-8.6 percent) for patients treated with NovoTTF-100L and pemetrexed plus cisplatin or carboplatin. There was a 97 percent disease control rate in patients with at least one follow-up CT scan performed (n=72). 40 percent of patients had a partial response, 57 percent had stable disease and 3 percent had progressive disease.

IASLC invites comments on Multidisciplinary Recommendations for Pathologic Assessment of Lung Cancer Resection Specimens Following Neoadjuvant Therapy

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer announced an open comment period for the IASLC Multidisciplinary Recommendations for Pathologic Assessment of Lung Cancer Resection Specimens Following Neoadjuvant Therapy paper.

The paper has been made available hereto provide an opportunity for public review of new draft recommendations. The open comment period runs from Oct. 14 to Nov. 7.

With the recent growing number of neoadjuvant therapy clinical trials for non-small cell lung cancer, there is a great need for standardization of specimen processing since major pathologic response has consistently been shown to be an important prognostic indicator.

The purpose of the paper is to outline detailed recommendations on how to process lung cancer resection specimens and to define pathologic complete response including major pathologic response and pathologic complete response following neoadjuvant therapy.

Currently there is no established guidance on how to process and evaluate resected lung cancer specimens following neoadjuvant therapy in the setting of clinical trials and clinical practice, Giorgio Scagliotti, past president of the IASLC and co-author of the paper, said in a statement. There is also a lack of precise definitions on the degree of pathologic response, including MPR or pCR.

IASLC is making an effort to collect such data from existing and future clinical trials. These recommendations are intended as guidance for clinical trials, although it is hoped they can be viewed as suggestions for good clinical practice outside of clinical trials, to improve consistency of pathologic assessment of treatment response.

The recommendations were developed by the IASLC Pathology Committee in collaboration with an international multidisciplinary group of experts in medical oncology, thoracic surgery and radiology.

We are crossing an exciting period of preclinical and clinical research around thoracic oncology. Targeted therapies and immunotherapy have greatly improved survival expectations in advanced disease and we believe they can equally generate benefit in the systemic therapy of earlier stages of the disease, Scagliotti said in a statement. Our initiative aims to use rigorous experimental conditions to analyze tissue specimens, collected in the context of already performed or ongoing neoadjuvant studies with targeted therapies and immunotherapy, to generate a diagnostic algorithm to be used in all subsequent studies in order to accelerate the scientific information about the clinical benefit produced by the neoadjuvant approach.

Expert second opinion improves reliability of melanoma diagnoses

Getting a reliable diagnosis of melanoma can be a significant challenge for pathologists.The diagnosis relies on a pathologists visual assessment of biopsy material on microscopic slides, which can often be subjective.

Of all pathology fields, analyzing biopsies for skin lesions and cancers has one of the highest rates of diagnostic errors, which can affect millions of people each year.

Now, a study led by UCLA researchers, has found that obtaining a second opinion from pathologists who are board certified or have fellowship training in dermatopathology can help improve the accuracy and reliability of diagnosing melanoma, one of the deadliest and most aggressive forms of skin cancer.

A diagnosis is the building block on which all other medical treatment is based,Joann Elmore, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and researcher at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a statement.All patients deserve an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately the evaluation and diagnosis of skin biopsy specimens is challenging with a lot of variability among physicians.

In the study, led by Elmore and colleagues, the value of a second opinion by general pathologists and dermatopathologists were evaluated to see if it helped improve thecorrect diagnostic classification.

To evaluate the impact of obtaining second opinions, the team used samples from the Melanoma Pathology Study, which comprises of 240 skin biopsy lesion samples. Among the 187 pathologists who examined the cases, 113 were general pathologists and 74 were dermatopathologists.

The team studied misclassification rates, which is how often the diagnoses of practicing US pathologists disagreed with a consensus reference diagnosis of three pathologists who had extensive experience in evaluating melanocytic lesions. The team found that the misclassification of these lesions yielded the lowest rates when first, second and third reviewers were sub-specialty trained dermatopathologists. Misclassification was the highest when reviewers were all general pathologists who lacked the subspecialty training.

Our results show having a second opinion by an expert with subspecialty training provides value in improving theaccuracy of thediagnosis, which is imperative to helpguide patients to the most effective treatments, said Elmore, whois also the director of the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program.

Elmore is now studying the potential impact of computer machine learning as a tool to improve diagnostic accuracy. She is partnering with computer scientists who specialize in computer visualization of complex image information, as well as leading pathologists around the globe to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnostic system.

Michael Piepkorn of the University of Washington School of Medicine is the studys first author. Raymond Barnhill of the Institut Curie is the co-senior author.

The study was published in JAMA Network Open and supported by NCI.

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The Best Fruit-Based Skincare Products You Need This Season – Men’s Journal

By daniellenierenberg

All-natural grooming product labels are starting to read like grocery shopping lists. Thats because fruit is more than a healthy snack. Many of them possess skin-saving properties that eliminate the need for lab-made chemicals. Heres what were slathering on.

(1) Brandless Avocado Basil Hand Cream ($4) rejuvenates dry paws with a blend of avocado (yes, its a fruit) and almond oils, plus shea butter.

(2) Citrus is a natural stimulant, so a swipe of Way of Will 02 Lime + Black Spruce Deodorant ($13) perks you up, while geranium extract nixes body odor.

(3) For city dwellers, Malin+Goetz Advanced Renewal Moisturizer ($76) uses antioxidant-rich apple stem cells to protect the face from urban grime.

(4) Cold-pressed oils from apricot kernels, sunflower seeds, sage leaves, and more in Caldera Labs The Good Serum ($97) are so moisturizing that a few drops can sub in for face lotion. Use twice daily to help with fine lines, too.

(5) Nondrying Ye Ol Goat Soap Lemon + Verbena ($14) mixes olive oil and goat milkfor skin elasticitywith antibacterial citrus extract.

(6) Lucky Bastard Co. Premium Lip Balm ($8) combines fruit oils (coconut, avocado, raspberry seed) with beeswax to create a hydrating seal. And the flat slider container wont bulk up your front pocket.

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