The Dish’s Weekly News Wrap Up – June 14, 2013

This week’s headlines include, ruling on human gene patenting, human genome project caused science boom, stem cell news, Sanofi’s four-strain flu vaccine approved, and geneticists want data sharing.

Cell Culture Events:

ESACT (European Society for Animal Cell Technology) June 23rd-26th, Lille, France

If you are attending, please visit our sponsors:
ATMI LifeSciences – Booth number C7
GE Healthcare – Booth number 30


“Justices, 9-0 Bar Patenting Human Genes,” The New York Times

“Human genes may not be patented, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday. The decision is likely to reduce the cost of genetic testing for some health risks, and it may discourage investment in some forms of genetic research. The case concerned patents held by Myriad Genetics, a Utah company, on genes that correlate with an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The patents were challenged by scientists and doctors who said their research and ability to help patients had been frustrated. After the ruling, at least three companies and two university labs said that they would begin offering genetic testing in the field of breast cancer.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Perfusion Bioreactors – With so much to offer they deserve a closer look

“Patent Attorney Frets that Supreme Court Gene-patenting Case Will End Badly for Drug Companies,” The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Mercedes K. Meyer is a Washington patent attorney, with a Philadelphia connection, and is board member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. She is also worried that Monday or later in June, the Supreme Court will rule against Myriad Genetics in a much-followed case with the very succinct question: “Are human genes are patentable?” A Bryn Mawr College graduate, Meyer and the AIPLA wish the nine Supreme Court justices had chosen a different question or framed the discussion differently.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Continuous Processing: From Cookie Preparation to Cell-Based Production

“Mayo Clinic Puts Stem Cells to the test on Infant Heart Defect,” Star Tribune

“Every year, about 1,000 babies are born in the United States with half a heart — a rare defect that requires a series of risky surgeries and, even then, leaves the infants with a strong likelihood that their hearts will wear out prematurely. Now, the Mayo Clinic has received federal approval for a first-of-its kind clinical study to see if stem cells from the babies’ own umbilical cords can strengthen their underdeveloped hearts and extend their lives. If it works, the new technique could buy these children time as scientists scramble for a cure for the congenital defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Identifying Options for Stem Cell Based Therapy Scale-Up

“Human Genome Project Spurred $966 Billion Science Boom,” Bloomberg

“The $14.5 billion investment by the U.S. in the Human Genome Project, completed a decade ago, has paid off more than 60-fold in new jobs, drugs and a rapidly expanding genetics industry, an analysis has found. The endeavor to map human DNA in its entirety created $966 billion in economic impact and $59 billion in federal tax revenue, according to the study released today by United for Medical Research and Battelle, two research advocacy groups. Dozens of companies have started with the knowledge gained from the project, leading to new diagnostic tests and development of medicines that can be matched with gene variants linked to disease. The project triggered a new era in the life sciences, with new oncology drugs and screenings among the early developments in the field, said Greg Lucier, chief executive officer of Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE).

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Is Personalized Medicine the Future? How Genetic Sequencing is Enabling New Treatments

“FDA Approves Four-strain Sanofi Influenza Virus,” Reuters

“French drugmaker Sanofi SA said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved its four-strain influenza vaccine, which is meant to provide better protection from infection than traditional three-strain flu vaccines. The Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine is licensed for adults, adolescents and children 6 months and older, and will be available in the upcoming 2013-2014 flu season, the company said on Monday. The 2013 influenza season will be the first when quadrivalent influenza vaccines will be available in the United States.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Interesting Late Stage Viral Vaccine Candidates

“Your Fat May be Able to Act as Embryonic Stem Cells, Researchers Suggest,” NBC News

“Researchers based at the University of California, Los Angeles announced today that they’ve found an abundant, cheap, easy-to-obtain source of stem cells that could prove to be ideal for regenerating all the basic tissue types of the human body. That source is adipose tissue, or fat. Stem cells were discovered in human fat in 2001, and called adipose stem cells (ASTs). The cells described by the UCLA scientists, led by Gregorio Chazenbalk, in the journal PLOS One, are different.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “From Product Candidate to Product: The Road to Commercialization in Regenerative Medicine

“Geneticists Push for Global Data-sharing,” Nature

“It is a paradox that bedevils genomic medicine: despite near-universal agreement that doctors and geneticists should exchange more data, there has been scant movement towards achieving this goal. Now, a consortium of 69 institutions in 13 countries hopes to address the problem by creating an organization to enable the free flow of information in genomic medicine. On 5 June, the consortium, which is calling itself the ‘global alliance’, announced that the organization will develop standards and policies to encourage data-sharing of a person’s DNA sequence combined with clinical information. The alliance’s founders are basing their model on the World Wide Web Consortium, which in the 1990s established standards for the programming language HTML and spurred the growth of web pages across the Internet.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Companion Diagnostics – The Power of Personalized Medicine

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