Volume 2.08 | Mar 1

Pancreatic Cell News 2.08, March 1, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
Missing Sugar Molecule Raises Diabetes Risk in Humans
Researchers say an evolutionary gene mutation that occurred in humans millions of years ago and our subsequent inability to produce a specific kind of sialic acid molecule appears to make people more vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes, especially if they’re overweight. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in The FASEB Journal]


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Threshold Pharmaceuticals to Present Updated Data from Phase IIb Clinical Trial of TH-302 in Combination with Gemcitabine in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that data from a randomized open-label phase IIb clinical trial of investigational hypoxia-targeted drug TH-302 in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, will be presented. [Press release from Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discussing data to be presented at European Society for Medical Oncology 2012 Congress (ESMO), Vienna] Press Release

CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)


Focal Adhesion Remodeling Is Crucial for Glucose-Stimulated Insulin Secretion and Involves Activation of Focal Adhesion Kinase and Paxillin
Glucose-stimulated remodeling of focal adhesions and phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase and paxillin are involved in full development of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, indicating a previously unknown role for focal adhesion remodeling in pancreatic beta cell function. [Diabetes]

Delta40 Isoform of p53 Controls Beta Cell Proliferation and Glucose Homeostasis in Mice
Data indicate a significant and novel role for delta40p53 in beta cell proliferation with implications for the development of age-dependent diabetes. [Diabetes]

Cannabinoids Inhibit Insulin Receptor Signaling in Pancreatic Beta Cells
Findings provide direct evidence for a functional interaction between cannabinoid 1 receptor and insulin-receptor signaling involved in the regulation of beta cell proliferation and will serve as a basis for developing new therapeutic interventions to enhance beta cell function and proliferation in diabetes. [Diabetes]

Prevention of “Humanized” Diabetogenic CD8 T-Cell Responses in HLA-Transgenic NOD Mice by a Multipeptide Coupled-Cell Approach
Data support the potential of a cell therapy approach targeting HLA-A2.1-restricted IGRP autoreactive CD8 T-cells as a diabetes intervention approach in appropriate human patients. [Diabetes]

The Human Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Analogue Liraglutide Preserves Pancreatic Beta Cells via Regulation of Cell Kinetics and Suppression of Oxidative and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in a Mouse Model of Diabetes
Researchers investigated the molecular mechanism by which the human glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue liraglutide preserves pancreatic beta cells in diabetic db/db mice. [Diabetologia]

Upregulation of Alpha Cell Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 (GLP-1) in Psammomys obesus — An Adaptive Response to Hyperglycemia?
GLP-1 release from alpha cells is upregulated in P. obesus during the development of diabetes. A similar response is seen in islets exposed to high glucose, which supports the hypothesis that GLP-1 released from alpha cells promotes an increase in beta cell mass and function during metabolic challenge such as diabetes. [Diabteologia]
Pancreatic Beta Cell Failure in Obese Mice with Human-Like CMP-Neu5Ac Hydroxylase Deficiency
Findings show that human evolution-like changes in sialic acid composition impair pancreatic beta cell function and exacerbate glucose intolerance in mice. [FASEB J]

Microscale 3D Hydrogel Scaffold for Biomimetic Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract Model
Researchers describe a simple and efficient method for fabricating natural and synthetic hydrogels into 3D geometries with high aspect ratio and curvature. [Lab Chip]

The Glial Glutamate Transporter 1 (GLT1) Is Expressed by Pancreatic Beta Cells and Prevents Glutamate-Induced Beta Cell Death
The present study identifies GLT1 as a new player in glutamate homeostasis and signaling in the islet of Langerhans and demonstrates that beta cells critically depend on its activity to control extracellular glutamate levels and cellular integrity. [J Biol Chem]


Reactive Oxygen Species Induced by Bile Acid Induce Apoptosis and Protect Against Necrosis in Pancreatic Acinar Cells
Increases in intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species during bile acid injury of pancreatic acinar cells promotes apoptosis, but not necrosis. These results indicate that alternative strategies to antioxidants are required for oxidative stress in acute pancreatitis. [Gastroenterology]

Genetic and Pharmacological Inhibition of the Ca2+ Influx Channel TRPC3 Protects Secretory Epithelia from Ca2+-Dependent Toxicity
TRPC3-mediated Ca2+ influx mediates damage to pancreas and salivary glands. Pharmacological inhibition of TRPC3 with the highly selective TRPC3 inhibitor Pyr3 might be developed for treatment of patients with acute pancreatitis and Sjögren’s syndrome. [Gastroenterology]

Pancreatic Tumor Suppression by Benzyl Isothiocyanate Is Associated with Inhibition of PI3K/AKT/FOXO Pathway
Results provide convincing evidence on the involvement of PI3K/AKT/FOXO pathway in benzyl isothiocyante mediated pancreatic tumor growth suppression. [Clin Cancer Res]

A Novel Tumor-Associated Pancreatic Glycoprotein Is Internalized by Human Dendritic Cells and Induces Their Maturation
Researchers study interactions between dendritic cells and the oncofetal fucose-rich glycovariants of bile salt-dependent lipase (BSDL), expressed in pancreatic cancer tissues and referred to as pathological BSDL carrying the fucosylated J28 glycotope because it is characterized by the mAb J28. [J Immunol]


Pfizer Taps Beer Skills to Enter $14 Billion Insulin Market
Biocon Ltd. founder Kiran Mazumdar- Shaw learned the intricacies of enzymes while studying how to make beer. Now Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drugmaker, is tapping that knowledge to revive its insulin business. [Bloomberg]

JDRF: Accelerating Early Stage Programs for Diabetes
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has begun to work more closely with industry to ensure that promising discoveries make their way through from early stage research to the patient. [Partnering News]

Sirona Biochem Announces Private Placement of CDN$2,500,000
Sirona Biochem Corporation, a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for diabetes and obesity, announced that it is proposing to complete a private placement of 10,000,000 units of the Company at a price of $0.25 per unit for total proceeds of CDN$2,500,000. [Sirona Biochem Corporation Press Release]

McKesson Foundation Awards $1.3 Million to Researchers Studying How Mobile Technology Can Help Patients Manage Diabetes
The McKesson Foundation announced the six recipients of $1.3 million in research grants as part of its Mobilizing for Healthsm initiative to improve the health of underserved populations with chronic diseases through the use of mobile-phone technology. [McKesson Foundation Press Release]

LCT’s World-Leading Encapsulating Technology Granted Vital Australian Patent
Living Cell Technologies (LCT) Limited a global company pioneering the development of a cell implant therapy to treat diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, has been granted a patent by  the Australian Patent Office for IMMUPEL™, LCT’s industry-leading technology for encapsulating living cells prior to transplantation. [Living Cell Technologies Limited Press Release]

Infinity Initiates Phase II Portion of Trial of IPI-926 in Pancreatic Cancer
Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the initiation of the randomized Phase II portion of the trial of IPI-926 in combination with gemcitabine (also known as Gemzar®) in patients with previously untreated, metastatic, pancreatic cancer. [Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

Furiex Confirms Takeda Receives Approval of Additional NESINA® Combination Therapies with Sulfonylurea and Biguanide for Type 2 Diabetes in Japan
Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. confirmed that Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited’s applications for two additional indications for “NESINA®” (alogliptin), combination therapy with sulfonylurea and combination therapy with biguanide for type 2 diabetes, were approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. [Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

LCT Appoints Investment Banker to Board of Directors
Living Cell Technologies Limited (LCT) announced the appointment of Roy Austin to the Board of Directors. [Living Cell Technologies Limited Press Release]


Spending for Prescriptions to Control Cholesterol and Diabetes Exceeds $52 Billion
Insurers and consumers spent $52.2 billion on prescription drugs in 2008 for outpatient treatment of metabolic conditions such as diabetes and elevated cholesterol, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, United States]

National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

National Health Service (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


NEW International Research Workshop on Acute Pancreatitis
March 26-27, 2011
Szeged, Hungary

NEW National Pancreas Foundation Fellows Symposium
April 8-10, 2011,
Atlanta, United States

NEW Pancreas Club 45th Annual Meeting
May 6-7, 2011
Chicago, United States

NEW European Pancreas Club 43 Meeting
June 21-26, 2011
Magdeburg, Germany

NEW The Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research (CAPER) Annual Meeting
July 30, 2011
Pittsburgh, United States

NEW American Pancreatic Association
November 2-5, 2011
Chicago, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the pancreatic cell community.


Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cell Biology (Joslin Diabetes Center/Harvard Stem Cell Institute)

Field Applications Specialist – Cell Therapy (Medical) (Pall Corporation)

Postdoctoral Scientist (University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences)

Chief, Division of Endocrinology (University of Florida/Shands)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Diabetes/Cardiovascular Disease (Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology – Diabetes (Lund University)

Postdoctoral Position in Biology (Inserm)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Ontario Cancer Institute of University Health Network)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Medical College of Wisconsin)

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