Volume 1.10 | Jun 29

Pancreatic Cell News 1.10, June 29, 2010.

TOP STORY

Twelve New Genes Linked to Type 2 Diabetes ShareThis
Twelve new genes associated with type 2 diabetes have been identified in the largest study yet of the connections between differences in people’s DNA and their risk of diabetes. [Press release the University of Oxford discussing online prepublication in Nature Genetics ]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Gestational Diabetes Linked to Serotonin and Dietary Protein
The cause of diabetes during pregnancy is directly controlled by serotonin and is influenced by the amount of protein in the mother’s diet early in pregnancy, according to new findings. [Press release from the University of California, San Francisco discussing online prepublication in Nature Medicine]

A One-Two Punch: Embryonic Cell and Adult Pig Islet Transplants Cure Diabetes in Rats
In a step toward curing diabetes in humans, scientists have alleviated the disease in rats using transplants from both embryonic and adult pigs. [Press release from Washington University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in the American Journal of Pathology]

A New Therapeutic Intervention for Patients with Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Based on their results and previous reports, the authors speculated that active toll-like receptor 4 signal pathway may be partly involved in up-regulating hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1alpha in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor microenviroment via NF-kappaB pathway, and promoted progression of PDAC. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in the World Journal of Gastroenterology]

Artificial Pancreas Improves Overnight Glucose Control for Range of Real-Life Situations, Latest Data Show
Research into whether an “artificial pancreas” can effectively control blood glucose levels in children and adults with type 1 diabetes continues to make rapid advances, leading those in the field to predict that technology could become commercially available within the next few years. [Press release from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation discussing research presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association]

Popular Diabetes Medications not Associated with Increased Risk of Acute Pancreatitis
The study revealed that patients initiating treatment with either Byetta® or Januvia® were no more likely to develop acute pancreatitis than patients initiating treatment with other antidiabetic drugs. [Press release from Medco Health Solutions, Inc. discussing research presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association]

Building a Substitute Pancreas for Diabetics
Implants containing specially wrapped insulin-producing cells derived from embryonic stem cells can regulate blood sugar in mice for several months. [Press release from MIT Technology Review discussing research presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research]

STEMSOFTStemLab_645x110_gif

CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

DIABETES

Twelve Type 2 Diabetes Susceptibility Loci Identified Through Large-Scale Association Analysis
By combining genome-wide association data from 8,130 individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and 38,987 controls of European descent and following up previously unidentified meta-analysis signals in a further 34,412 cases and 59,925 controls, researchers identified 12 new T2D association signals with combined. [Nat Genet]

Serotonin Regulates Pancreatic Beta Cell Mass During Pregnancy
Researchers show that serotonin acts downstream of lactogen signaling to stimulate beta cell proliferation. [Nat Med]

The Transcription Factor MafB Antagonizes Antiviral Responses by Blocking Recruitment of Coactivators to the Transcription Factor IRF3
Higher expression of MafB in human pancreatic islet beta cells might increase cellular vulnerability to viral infections associated with the etiology of type 1 diabetes. [Nat Immunol]

Extranuclear Estrogen Receptor-Alpha Stimulates NeuroD1 Binding to the Insulin Promoter and Favors Insulin Synthesis
To discover whether estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) stimulates insulin synthesis in vivo and, if so, through which mechanism(s), researchers generated a pancreas-specific ERalpha knockout mouse using the Cre-loxP strategy and used a combination of genetic and pharmacologic tools in cultured islets and beta cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Agonist of Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone as a Potential Effector for Survival and Proliferation of Pancreatic Islets
This study provides evidence that agonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone represent a promising pharmacological therapy aimed at promoting islet graft growth and proliferation in diabetic patients. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Homozygous Mutations in NEUROD1 Are Responsible for a Novel Syndrome of Permanent Neonatal Diabetes and Neurological Abnormalities
Researchers aimed to explore the potential contribution of NEUROD1 mutations in patients with permanent neonatal diabetes. [Diabetes]

Human Immune System Development and Rejection of Human Islet Allografts in Spontaneously Diabetic NOD-Rag1null IL2rgammanull Ins2Akita Mice
NOD-Rag1null IL2rgammanull Ins2Akita mice provide a model system for validation of the function of human islets and human adult stem cell, embryonic stem cell, or induced pluripotent stem cell-derived beta cells in the absence or presence of an alloreactive human immune system. [Diabetes]

PANCREATIC CANCER

Nkx6 Transcription Factors and Ptf1a Function as Antagonistic Lineage Determinants in Multipotent Pancreatic Progenitors
Researchers show that the early fate choice of pancreatic progenitors between the endocrine and acinar cell lineage is restricted by cross-repressive interactions between the transcription factors Nkx6.1/Nkx6.2 (Nkx6) and Ptf1a. [Dev Cell]

MicroRNA, hsa-miR-200c, Is an Independent Prognostic Factor In Pancreatic Cancer and Its Upregulation Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Invasion but Increases Cell Proliferation
Data indicate that miR-200c may play a role in the pancreatic cancer biology and may be a novel marker for the prognosis of pancreatic cancer. [Mol Cancer]

Ezrin Promotes Invasion and Metastasis of Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Researchers propose that ezrin might play functional roles in modulating morphology, growth, motility and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells, and that the Erk1/2 pathway may be involved in these roles. [J Transl Med]

Expression and Significance of TLR4 and HIF-1Alpha in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4, nuclear factor-kappaB p65 and hypoxia-inducible transcription factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) are overexpressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma, TLR4 may be partly involved in up-regulating HIF-1alpha, and both synergistically promote development of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. [World J Gastroenterol]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Metabolex and Sanofi-Aventis Enter Into an Agreement for Novel Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
Metabolex and Sanofi-Aventis announced that they have entered into a global license and development agreement for the research, development, manufacture and commercialization of small molecules that modulate the G-protein coupled receptor 119, a receptor in the gut and pancreas that interacts with bioactive lipids to stimulate glucose-dependent incretin and insulin secretion. [Metabolex, Inc. Press Release]

JDRF Reaches Milestone in Artificial Pancreas Project in Partnership with UC Santa Barbara and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
The University of California Santa Barbara and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute announced the achievement of a milestone in the Artificial Pancreas Project funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The artificial pancreas system platform, currently being used in clinical trials around the globe, is now compatible with Animas Corporation insulin delivery products. [Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Press Release]

Living Cell Technologies Options Expiring 30th June 2010 to be Underwritten
Living Cell Technologies Limited announced the underwriting of 9.5 million unlisted options which will add a minimum of $2.0 million to the company’s cash reserves. [Living Cell Technologies Limited Press Release]

CIRM Allocates $25 Million to Overcome Immune Rejection of Stem Cell Transplantation Therapies
The Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) approved $25 million to fund 19 projects intended to overcome immune rejection of transplanted stem cells. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Press Release]

SEK 100 Million for Research into Regenerative Medicine
Karolinska Institutet has received a grant of SEK 100 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for a regenerative medicine research centre – the Wallenberg Institute for Regenerative Medicine. [Karolinska Institutet Press Release]

Improvement in Beta-Cell Function Observed After Three Years of BYETTA® Therapy
Three years of BYETTA® therapy improved indices of beta cell function assessed four weeks after discontinuing therapy. [Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

New Data Demonstrate Victoza® (Liraglutide) Provided Superior and Sustained Blood Sugar Control and Weight Reduction Compared to Januvia® (Sitagliptin) at 52 weeks 
Data showed that once-daily Victoza® in combination with metformin produced sustained and significantly greater reductions in A1c, body weight and fasting plasma glucose than Januvia® plus metformin at 52 weeks. [Novo Nordisk Press Release]

Cellonis Diabetes Stem Cell Therapy: A Chance for Insulin Independence and the Reversal of Complications 
A new personalized diabetes treatment concept has demonstrated an amazing improvement in treated patients’ conditions. The ongoing clinical study shows the treatment’s best case could reconstruct a patient’s natural insulin production and even reverse later complications like kidney failure. [Cellonis Press Release]


Tolera Therapeutics Granted Orphan Drug Designation for Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Tolera Therapeutics, Inc., was granted orphan drug status by the United States Food and Drug Administration for TOL101 (anti-TCR murine monoclonal antibody, type IgM), for treatment of recent onset immune-mediated type 1 diabetes mellitus. [Tolera Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

Neogenix Oncology Files Patent Application for the NPC-1C Antigen
Neogenix Oncology announced that it has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office for the NPC-1C antigen. This antigen appears to be tumor specific for pancreatic and colorectal tumors. [Neogenix Oncology, Inc. Press Release]

Roche’s Chances to Launch Diabetes Blockbuster Sink
Roche Holding AG’s hopes to bring a potential blockbuster diabetes drug to market have dropped further after the Swiss pharmaceutical giant released detailed late-stage trial figures, showing the medicine’s side effects could reduce chances for regulatory approval. [The Wall Street Journal]

Medtronic Begins Enrollment in ASPIRE Pivotal Study of Low Glucose Suspend Integrated System
Medtronic, Inc. announced that the first patient has been enrolled as part of the ASPIRE (Automation to Simulate Pancreatic Insulin REsponse) study of the MiniMed Paradigm x54 System featuring Low Glucose Suspend automation. [Medtronic, Inc. Press Release]

Tolerx Initiates Confirmatory Phase III Clinical Trial, DEFEND-2, with Otelixizumab for Type 1 Diabetes
Tolerx, Inc. announced the initiation of a confirmatory Phase III clinical trial to further evaluate otelixizumab in autoimmune new-onset type 1 diabetes. [Tolerx, Inc. Press Release]

Cheryl Moore Named HHMI’s First Chief Operating Officer
Robert Tjian, president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, announced the appointment of Cheryl A. Moore as the Institute’s first chief operating officer. [Howard Hughes Medical Institute Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

President of EFPIA Calls for a ‘New Dialogue’ on Medicines
Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and President of European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the body representing the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe, called for ‘a new dialogue’ between governments and the pharmaceutical industry in order to deliver patient access to better medicines and enhance Europe’s competitiveness as a base for R&D investment. [European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, European Union]

Public Wants Synthetic Biology Regulated, Survey Says
According to the most extensive public survey yet, the British public are at ease with the idea of synthetic biology — but only if it is responsibly regulated. [Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, United Kingdom]

Strong Medicine for French Research
The medical-research adviser to France’s president aims to shift power and money to universities. [National Research Agency, France]

The 7th Annual TOPRA (The Organization for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs) Symposium
This annual symposium is for all those involved within regulatory affairs and brings together representatives of industry and the regulatory agencies and the European Commission to discuss and understand today’s regulatory issues and debate the future plans for regulation. [Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, United Kingdom]

Research Budgets Face Austerity in 2012
The National Institutes of Health and other life sciences and biomedical research funding agencies will need to trim their budgets for 2012, which are to be planned over the summer, to satisfy a White House that is now stressing deficit reduction and belt-tightening after two years of stimulus funding-boosted research budgets. [The Office of Management and Budget, United States]

Additional Research Objectives for NIDDK PAR-08-181: Seeding Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team Science in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases (R24) (NOT-DK-10-007) [National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, United States]

Additional Research Objectives for NIDDK PAR-08-182: Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team Science in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases (R24) (NOT-DK-10-008) [National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Implementation of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

FDA/CDRH Public Meeting: Oversight of Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Public Meeting Notice: Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission [Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission, United States]

EVENTS

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) Third Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

2010 World Cancer Congress
August 18-21, 2010
Shenzhen, China

Select Biosciences Inaugural Cellular Therapy Summit
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Meeting – Advancing the Life Sciences
September 4-7, 2010
Barcelona, Spain

The Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (AUGIS) 2010 Scientific Meeting 
September 9-10, 2010
Oxford, United Kingdom

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States 

Annual Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) World Congress
September 19-23, 2010
Sydney, Australia

Institute of Medicine – University of Illinois at Chicago Midwest Conference on Diabetes and Obesity
September 21, 2010
Chicago, United States

35th European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress
October 8-12, 2010
Milan, Italy

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

2010 American Pancreatic Association (APA) Annual Meeting
November 3-6, 2010
Chicago, United States

Select Biosciences International Forum on Stem Cells
November 12-13, 2010
Tianjin, China


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