The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that they are adding staff and rolling out policy changes aimed at advancing the development of safe and effective cell and gene therapies.  The announcement came in the form of a press release on January 15th, citing that the new policies are a response to the current surge in cell and gene therapy products that the agency is handling. Based on the number of investigational new drug (IND) applications being submitted, the FDA projects a significant rise in the number of therapies that will be approved over the next few years:
An independent publication cites using HemaCare primary T-cells to investigate a novel cancer therapy based on blocking immune suppression while simultaneously promoting T-cell activity. 
Newly approved T-cell therapies have been eliciting enthusiastic discussion across the medical field for their unparalleled success rate in treating aggressive blood cancers. This success has unfortunately not extended to the treatment of brain tumors, where upregulation of the “immune checkpoint” molecule PDL-1 interferes with normal immune response. Now a research group based at the University of Alabama’s Medical School may have found a way to outsmart brain cancer cells that evade the body’s immune system.
“Kiss-and-run” approach helps researchers observe interaction between dendritic cells and T cells.
The normal biological processes needed for living beings to develop, grow, and function involve interactions between a diversity of cell types. Targeting these cellular interactions can enhance current cell-based immunotherapy and regenerative medicine, as well as provide the basis for new ones. Studying the mechanisms of these interactions is necessary in order to understand the means by which they affect cell signaling, immunity, growth and development, and more.
HemaCare Corporation’s new global headquarters is officially open for business! The company started 2019 in a brand new 40,000 square foot space in a newly modernized 44-acre corporate campus located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley at Northridge. The design and construction of the cutting-edge facility provide a spacious workspace that promotes the well-being of its occupants, while significantly expanding the company’s on-site capabilities.
Advances in immunotherapy research to combat cancer has provided unprecedented treatment success due to the discoveries of two different Nobel Laureates, Dr. James P. Allison (U.S.) and Dr. Tasuku Honjo (Japan). Working independently, they each discovered immune system proteins that are important in self-tolerance and that can be harnessed to kill cancer cells. Checkpoint molecules prevent the immune system from killing the body’s own healthy cells. When checkpoint molecules are encountered by T cells, the cells bearing these molecules are spared attack. However, some cancer cells wear checkpoint molecules, acting as imposters of normal cells to evade attack by T cells.