Welcome to the E-newsletter of the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures July 2016! Below are a few articles that caught our eye this month. Enjoy.

Stem cell transplant offers Jake a glimpse of hope

Jake Javier family

Hearts with nerve. When trying to heal a damaged heart you can’t just worry about the heart muscle, you also need to pay attention to the nerves that tell the muscle what to do. A team at John Hopkins has grown nerves from stem cells in the lab that connect to heart cells growing in the same dish, a key step to making the two tissues collaborate where you need them.

Specifically, the team grew sympathetic nerves—a name that never made much sense to me, but basically refers to all those nerves that function without us thinking about their role, like breathing and heartbeat. Faulty sympathetic nerves lead to several diseases including high blood pressure. While it will likely be many years before this work leads to lab-grown heart muscle and nerves teaming up in actual patients, using nerves grown from stem cells made from patients, teams can begin studying those diseases in the lab now.

Read more here.

CIRM grants ViaCyte $3.9 million for diabetes stem cell therapy

Endocrine cells

San Diego’s ViaCyte has received a $3.9 million grant from California’s stem cell agency to continue development of a stem cell-based treatment for type 1 diabetes.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine approved the funding Thursday morning at its meeting in La Jolla.

ViaCyte is conducting early clinical trials of this therapy to demonstrate safety. The new grant funds preclinical work of a related product for type 1 diabetics with a particularly severe form of the disease.

Read more here.

Stanford team creates bone, heart muscle from embryonic stem cells

12 different specialized cell types from embryonic stem cells

Some day — when your heart needs healing, your bones need bonding or your skin needs stitching — clusters of new cells now growing in a Stanford University lab could offer a fix.

For the first time, researchers at Stanford’s School of Medicine have quickly and efficiently generated pure colonies of 12 different specialized cell types from embryonic stem cells that could be used to repair the human body.

Read more here.

Perspectives: Nature editorial on stem cell oversight & clinics gets it right

Marketed Stem Cell Types

The journal Nature published an excellent editorial earlier this week on stem cell oversight and stem cell clinics.

The piece, entitled ” FDA should stand firm on stem-cell treatments. US regulators must regain the upper hand in the approval system” struck just the right balance. It correctly supported the FDA’s data-centered approach to stem cell oversight and indicated that this regulatory system is not too harsh. At the same time, the editorial also rightly asserted that the FDA cannot simply stick entirely to the status quo and needs to be more efficient.

Read more here.

Upcoming Events

August 2: Science Cafe

The discussion titled, “Evolution of Private Practice” will be led by John R. Jacobsen, M.D., Vice President of Practice and Chief Medical Officer of Think Whole Person Healthcare.  This discussion is part of the 150th year celebration of the Metro Omaha Medical Society.  Stay tuned for more information to be posted here.