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Phase I clinical trial of ICT-107

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Immune response correlation with progression-free survival in glioblastoma following dendritic cell immunotherapy (ICT-107) by Surasak Phuphanich and 9 co-authors, including Manish Singh, Keith Black and John Wu, J Clin Oncol 28:7s, 2010 (suppl; abstr 2097). To be presented at the 2010 ASCO Annual Meeting, June 06, 2010.

Related news releases:

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd. (IMUC) to Present Cancer Vaccine Candidate, International Business Times, June 02, 2010. Excerpt:

Data from the company’s recent clinical trial of ICT-107, the company’s dendritic cell-based cancer vaccine candidate, will be presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) June 4-8 in Chicago.

See also: Immunocellular brain cancer vaccine shows promise, Reuters, June 02, 2010. Excerpt:

"We are targeting specific antigens that are on cancer stem cells ... the only population of cells that can really propagate a tumor," said Dr. John Yu, director of surgical neuro-oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and ImmunoCellular's chief scientific officer.

Another related news release: Immunocellular Therapeutics Enters into Research Agreement with University of Pennsylvania to Support Phase II Clinical Trial of ICT-107, Business Wire, April 21, 2010.

To Read More: Phase I clinical trial of ICT-107
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When will biotechnology in India be properly regulated? – Daily News & Analysis

By Dr. Matthew Watson


The Hindu
When will biotechnology in India be properly regulated?
Daily News & Analysis
Bangalore: Who regulates research in biotechnology in India? Who takes care of discrepancies in drug pricing, genetic engineering in plants, or the safety ...
BT sector to grow 20%Business Standard
Biotech sector set to grow 20% to $5 bnLivemint
BT sector to become $5 bn industry soonExpress Buzz
Financial Express -mydigitalfc.com -Business Wire India (press release)
all 45 news articles »

To Read More: When will biotechnology in India be properly regulated? – Daily News & Analysis
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Life Technologies Spending $100 Million In Synthetic Biology – Forbes (blog)

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Forbes (blog)
Life Technologies Spending $100 Million In Synthetic Biology
Forbes (blog)
... says it will spend $100 million this year on the nascent field of synthetic biology, the pumped up form of genetic engineering involving multiple genes. ...
Life Technologies Invests In Craig VenterForbes (blog)
Say Hello To Life In The LabTimes of India

all 30 news articles »

To Read More: Life Technologies Spending $100 Million In Synthetic Biology – Forbes (blog)
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Vincenzo Natali explains why Splice is not an anti-science film – io9

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Reuters India
Vincenzo Natali explains why Splice is not an anti-science film
io9
Splice, opening Friday, deals with the abuse of science and the ways in which genetic engineering could go horribly wrong. But it's not an anti-science film ...
Poor Splice In A StorylineSee Magazine
REALLY Weird ScienceCleveland Scene Weekly
Splice Internet TrailerLatino Review
Mania -AHN | All Headline News -San Francisco Chronicle
all 149 news articles »

To Read More: Vincenzo Natali explains why Splice is not an anti-science film – io9
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InNexus Biotechnology Signs Collaboration Agreement with the National Cancer … – MarketWatch (press release)

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Phoenix Business Journal
InNexus Biotechnology Signs Collaboration Agreement with the National Cancer ...
MarketWatch (press release)
CHANDLER, Ariz., May 27, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- InNexus Biotechnology Inc. (TSX:IXS.V) (www.ixsbio.com), a drug development company commercializing the ...
InNexus working with Cancer InstitutePhoenix Business Journal

all 17 news articles »

To Read More: InNexus Biotechnology Signs Collaboration Agreement with the National Cancer … – MarketWatch (press release)
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Alzheimer’s: Forestalling the Darkness with New Approaches (preview)

By Dr. Matthew Watson

In his magical-realist masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude , Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez takes the reader to the mythical jungle village of Macondo, where, in one oft-recounted scene, residents suffer from a disease that causes them to lose all memory. The malady erases “the name and notion of things and finally the identity of people.” The symptoms persist until a traveling gypsy turns up with a drink “of a gentle color” that returns them to health.

In a 21st-century parallel to the townspeople of Macondo, a few hundred residents from Medellín, Colombia, and nearby coffee-growing areas may get a chance to assist in the search for something akin to a real-life version of the gypsy’s concoction. Medellín and its environs are home to the world’s largest contingent of individuals with a hereditary form of Alzheimer’s disease. Members of 25 extended families, with 5,000 members, develop early-onset Alzheimer’s, usually before the age of 50, if they harbor an aberrant version of a particular gene.

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Alzheimer - Macondo - One Hundred Years of Solitude - Health - Conditions and Diseases

To Read More: Alzheimer’s: Forestalling the Darkness with New Approaches (preview)
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Monsanto Cuts Roundup Prices as Knockoffs Flood Farm Belt – Wall Street Journal

By Dr. Matthew Watson


RTT News
Monsanto Cuts Roundup Prices as Knockoffs Flood Farm Belt
Wall Street Journal
Its pullback on Roundup increases pressure on Monsanto's seed-and-crop biotechnology business to make good on Mr. Grant's April guidance to investors that ...
Monsanto Repositions Roundup Business to Address Fundamental Market Changes ...PR Newswire (press release)
Genetically Modified Corn and Soy Breed SuperweedsCare2.com (blog)
Monsanto cuts profit forecastSt. Louis Post-Dispatch

all 186 news articles »

To Read More: Monsanto Cuts Roundup Prices as Knockoffs Flood Farm Belt – Wall Street Journal
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Ethics of genetic engineering and synthetic cells: Is it man vs. nature? – SDNN

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Telegraph.co.uk

To Read More: Ethics of genetic engineering and synthetic cells: Is it man vs. nature? – SDNN
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Genzyme gets FDA approval for Lumizyme – The Associated Press

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Boston Globe
Genzyme gets FDA approval for Lumizyme
The Associated Press
Federal regulators approved Genzyme's drug to treat a muscle development disease, sending shares of the Biotechnology company up 6 percent Tuesday. ...
Genzyme Gets FDA Approval For Lumizyme; Shares Up 6% - UpdateRTT News
Genzyme scores with drug's OKBoston Globe
Genzyme wins approval for Pompe disease drugBoston Herald
MarketWatch -istockAnalyst.com (press release)
all 159 news articles »

To Read More: Genzyme gets FDA approval for Lumizyme – The Associated Press
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International Stem Cell Corporation Moves International Cornea Development Program Forward

By Dr. Matthew Watson

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO), http://www.intlstemcell.com, today announced significant progress on its international development strategy for stem cell-derived human corneal tissue. Such tissue can potentially be used to replace cadaver-derived corneas in treatment of severe corneal vision impairment and to eliminate the need to use live animals in safety testing of drugs, chemicals and consumer products.

During a recent trip to Asia and Europe, an ISCO senior management team identified and interacted with a group of integrated eye hospitals and ophthalmology research institutions with world-class laboratory facilities, along with potential sources of research funding. One of these is Sankara Nethralaya (http://www.sankaranethralaya.org), one of India's leading not-for-profit clinical and research organizations dedicated to treatment of eye diseases.

Research during the past ten to fifteen years has demonstrated stem cell differentiation into a variety of human cell types. Rarely has it been possible to produce such integrated, functional human tissue, in this case, tissue that has characteristics compatible with human cornea in structure and function. This tissue technology may offer a first-in-class opportunity for high-quality, cost-efficient transplantation tissue for the 10 million people world-wide suffering from corneal vision impairment, particularly in Asia and Europe. It may also provide a much needed alternative to the use of live and extracted animal eyes in the $500+M market for safety testing of drugs, chemicals and consumer products.

During the coming months, ISCO expects to formalize relationships with a number of entities such as Sankara Nethralaya to provide ISCO's cornea development program with the scientific, facility and financial resources needed to advance the technology as rapidly as possible to clinical application. The ultimate goal is not only to address the clear unmet medical and safety testing needs, but also to be among the first pluripotent stem cell applications to achieve widespread commercialization.

Dr. Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath, President and Chairman Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya says: 'At Sankara Nethralaya, we see 1,600 eye patients and do over 100 eye surgeries a day. We employ sixty scientists and clinicians dedicated to the development and application of new state-of-the-art ophthalmic technologies. My senior team at Sankara Nethralaya and I look forward to helping ISCO advance its cornea technology that has potential to significantly reduce the severe quantitative and qualitative limitations in corneal donor tissue across the world today.'

Brian Lundstrom, ISCO's President, continues: 'The addition of Sankara Nethralaya to our international collaborative network will contribute substantial scientific and clinical ophthalmology expertise and resources and complement the instrumentation alliance with The Automation Partnership and the safety testing collaboration with Absorptions Systems. The next step is to organize an experienced therapeutic development team to establish the optimal development path with relevant regulatory authorities and create data needed to advance ISCO's stem cell-derived corneal tissue into clinical trials.'

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CORPORATION (ISCO.OB):
International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology. More information is available at ISCO's website,
http://www.internationalstemcell.com.

To subscribe to receive ongoing corporate communications please click on the following link: http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1468&to=ea&s=0.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Statements pertaining to anticipated technological developments and therapeutic applications, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiary, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "should," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates,") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
760-940-6383
kaldrich@intlstemcell.com
Or
Brian Lundstrom, President
760-640-6383
bl@intlstemcell.com

To Read More: International Stem Cell Corporation Moves International Cornea Development Program Forward
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Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s New Genetics Lab is Staffed and Operational – Zoo and Aquarium Visitor News

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Zoo and Aquarium Visitor News
Smithsonian's National Zoo's New Genetics Lab is Staffed and Operational
Zoo and Aquarium Visitor News
Some lab scientists use molecular genetics methods to diagnose and understand the dynamics of disease in natural populations to help figure out the best ...

and more »

To Read More: Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s New Genetics Lab is Staffed and Operational – Zoo and Aquarium Visitor News
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Workshop on protein engineering underway – Gulf Times

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Gulf Times
Workshop on protein engineering underway
Gulf Times
A two-day workshop on the application of protein engineering and proteomics in molecular genetics began yesterday under the aegis of the research and ...

To Read More: Workshop on protein engineering underway – Gulf Times
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Artificial life or plain genetic engineering? – Times of India

By Dr. Matthew Watson


The Hindu
Artificial life or plain genetic engineering?
Times of India
This can at best be called a massive bit of genetic engineering," he told TOI over telephone from Hyderabad. Dr Bhargava's contention was simple: "A cell ...
Venter Takes Genetic Engineering to 'Extreme New Level'Common Dreams (press release)
Creation of genes in lab raises hopes, concernsSan Francisco Chronicle
Synthetic cell research criticised as 'scientific folly'Irish Times
Examiner.com -Paris Post Intelligencer -Telegraph.co.uk (blog)
all 1,370 news articles »

To Read More: Artificial life or plain genetic engineering? – Times of India
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Biotech tax credit appears perfectly designed for cell therapy companies to recoup research dollars spent in 2009-10

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Stewart Lyman of Lyman BioPharma Consulting posted a great article in today's Xconomy summarizing some key points and links to more information about the rules governing the Therapeutic Discovery Project Credit which have now been released by the US Treasury Department. Today, a detailed fact sheet was released about the tax credit program and it seems almost perfectly designed for most cell therapy companies.

Lyman points out a few important details about the application schedule including:

1. The Formal IRS applications (Form 8942) will not be available until June 21st or thereabouts.

2. The application period opens on June 21 and ends on July 21. The postmark on the application is deemed to be the date of delivery. Preliminary review of the applications is to be completed by Sept. 30; this is to ensure that applicants are eligible taxpayers and that their applications are complete. Applicants will receive determinations as to whether or not they qualify for credits and/or grants, and how much they will receive, by Oct. 29.

By way of a little more background, the following is excerpted from a March Forbes.com article by Dean Zerbe:

What does the credit cover?

The credit/grant covers research in tax years beginning in 2009 and 2010. The taxpayer is provided a 50% credit/grant for qualified investments in "qualifying therapeutic discovery projects." What expenses count as qualified investments? The aggregate amount of costs paid or incurred in the taxable year for expenses necessary for and directly related to the conduct of a qualifying discovery project. What doesn't count? The pay of employees covered by 162(m)(3) of the tax code--think CEOs--doesn't count. Other excluded items: interest expenses; facility maintenance expenses (e.g. mortgage or rent payments, insurance, utility and maintenance and costs of employment of maintenance personnel); and certain indirect costs (basically general and administrative costs) as defined in the Treasury Regulations at 1.263A-1(e)(4).

What is a qualifying therapeutic discovery project?

According to the legislation, it's a project designed to do one of three things:

--Treat or prevent diseases or conditions by conducting pre-clinical activities, clinical trials and clinical studies, or carrying out research protocols for the purpose of securing federal government approval by the FDA.

--Diagnose diseases or conditions or to determine molecular factors related to diseases or conditions by developing molecular diagnostics to guide therapeutic decisions.

--Develop a product, process or technology to further the delivery or administration of therapeutics.

Finally, to qualify, a venture may not have more than 250 employees in all businesses of the taxpayer--meaning a small biotech project at a big company wouldn't qualify.

Which biotech companies might benefit?

Those that are investing significant resources in pre-clinical or clinical studies, which may take years to come to fruition to ultimately satisfy FDA requirements, could now recoup a significant portion of their expenses. Additionally, biotech start-ups focusing on the development of diagnostic assays or applications to advance therapeutics and treatments can also benefit. Finally, companies currently engaged in basic or applied research which may ultimately contribute to curing caner within the next 30 years may also be excellent candidates. Along these lines, companies studying signal transduction pathways, gene therapy and stem cell research seem like prime candidates.

The Cell Therapy Group will be collecting more information about the tax credit and service providers who might be recommended to assist in the application if needed. Contact CTG for more details or watch here for more information.

To Read More: Biotech tax credit appears perfectly designed for cell therapy companies to recoup research dollars spent in 2009-10
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James Franco: ‘Rise of the Apes’ This Summer! – Just Jared (blog)

By Dr. Matthew Watson


E! Online (blog)
James Franco: 'Rise of the Apes' This Summer!
Just Jared (blog)
The 32-year-old actor will begin shooting this July in the story of what happens when genetic engineering leads to ape intelligence so great that they ...
Criminally underexposed James Franco to star in Planet Of The Apes prequelA.V. Club
James Franco to Star in 'Planet of the Apes' PrequelTheCelebrityCafe.com
SF Set "Planet Of The Apes" Prequel Probably Won't Be SF ShotThe San Francisco Appeal
PerezHilton.com (blog) -Independent -E! Online (blog)
all 115 news articles »

To Read More: James Franco: ‘Rise of the Apes’ This Summer! – Just Jared (blog)
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Venter Takes Genetic Engineering to ‘Extreme New Level’ – Common Dreams (press release)

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Reuters
Venter Takes Genetic Engineering to 'Extreme New Level'
Common Dreams (press release)
"Craig Venter's lab has taken genetic engineering to an extreme new level. These new synthetic chromosomes mimic billions of years of evolution. ...
Creation of genes in lab raises hopes, concernsSan Francisco Chronicle
A step toward artificial life; man-made DNA powers cellSeattle Times
Scientists Create Synthetic OrganismWall Street Journal
The Voice of Russia -The Republic -Philadelphia Inquirer
all 938 news articles »

To Read More: Venter Takes Genetic Engineering to ‘Extreme New Level’ – Common Dreams (press release)
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An evolving concept of CSC in tumor biology

By Dr. Matthew Watson

An evolving concept of cancer stem cells in tumor biology: a lecture (34:38 min) by Jeremy N Rich. Webcast of the initial presentation at an Educational Session on Cancer Stem Cells and Treatment Resistance, AACR 101st Annual Meeting, April 17, 2010. [FriendFeed entry].

Comment: Dr. Rich's research has a primary emphasis on Glioma Cancer Stem Cell and Brain Tumors. An example of a recent publication: Integrin Alpha 6 Regulates Glioblastoma Stem Cells by Justin D Lathia and 10 co-authors, including Jeremy N Rich, Cell Stem Cell 2010(May 7); 6(5): 421-32. [PubMed citation][FriendFeed entry].

To Read More: An evolving concept of CSC in tumor biology
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James Franco: From Soap Star to Apes Man? – E! Online (blog)

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Digital Spy
James Franco: From Soap Star to Apes Man?
E! Online (blog)
Set in the present, Rise of the Apes adds genetic engineering to the familiar tale about apes who get smart and revolt against the human race. ...
James Franco To Star In 'Planet Of The Apes' PrequelMTV.com
PLANET OF THE APES prequel set to roll with James Franco inKik Axe Music
Harry Osborne Goes Ape!Comic Book Movie
Geeks of Doom (blog) -411mania.com
all 46 news articles »

To Read More: James Franco: From Soap Star to Apes Man? – E! Online (blog)
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Aspirin May Increase Risk of Crohn’s Disease

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Aspirin May Increase Risk of Crohn's Disease

(HealthDay News) -- A new British study finds that people who take aspirin every day have a higher risk of developing Crohn's disease, a potentially devastating digestive illness.

But it's still not very likely that aspirin users will develop the condition, and the study's lead author said patients should keep in mind that aspirin lowers the risk of heart disease.

"If the link with aspirin is a true one, then only a small proportion of those who take aspirin -- approximately one in 2,000 -- may be at risk," said study author Dr. Andrew Hart, a senior lecturer in gastroenterology at University of East Anglia School of Medicine. "If aspirin has been prescribed to people with Crohn's disease or with a family history by their physician, then they should continue to take it. Aspirin has many beneficial effects and should be continued." Read more...

Ayurtox for Body Detoxification

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Fall River casino faces long odds – Cape Cod Times

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Boston Globe (blog)
Fall River casino faces long odds
Cape Cod Times
Four city councilors have signed a resolution saying Fall River should reject the casino and stick with the biotechnology park already approved for the site ...
City offers Umass Dartmouth alternate BioPark sitesWicked Local Swansea
State gets tough on tribal casinoBoston Globe
Cahill slams gov, backs Fall River casino rampsBoston Herald
SouthCoastToday.com -Boston Globe -Boston Globe
all 71 news articles »

To Read More: Fall River casino faces long odds – Cape Cod Times
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