A collaborative research effort on the part of 3 top-tier pharmaceutical companies cite using HemaCare sourced healthy donor PBMCs for their work on developing an allogeneic CAR T cell therapy.  CAR T therapies are among the most promising new cancer treatments approved by the FDA. These therapies have had remarkable success rates in people suffering from aggressive leukemia and lymphoma, who would otherwise be left without treatment options. The number of people who can be treated with this type of therapy is limited, however. CAR T treatment is an autologous therapy, relying on collecting and modifying a patient’s own T cells to fight their disease. Since cancer patients often suffer from a compromised immune system, it’s quite difficult to collect enough healthy T cells for treatment. Several research groups have been looking for a way to make an allogeneic CAR T cell treatment, in which T cells can be sourced from healthy donors.
New research may have found a way to make the difficult task of diagnosing ME/CFS much easier through the identification of a new reliable biomarker.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a chronic condition causing extreme fatigue and debilitation, sleep problems, issues with mentation, and other symptoms. The cause is unknown, but immune system alterations, stress, or infectious processes may be associated with the onset of the condition. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported in 2015 that over 800,000 (and perhaps up to 2.5 million) Americans have ME/CFS, with most cases going undiagnosed. The diagnostic challenge is well known, and there has not been a specific test that can confirm ME/CFS. Usually, a number of other conditions must be ruled out before making a diagnosis of ME/CFS.
The human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research landscape is rapidly evolving. We recently discussed the current trend in stem cell research to streamline the production of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Recent exciting studies have indicated that harnessing iPSCs self-renewal ability to manufacture cell therapies is now becoming a reality. Just 4 years ago, the pharmaceutical company Takeda and The Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University entered a 10-year joint research collaboration. A few weeks ago, it was announced that Takeda has advanced the first product from its collaboration with CiRA - a highly scalable off-the-shelf CAR-T cell therapy to treat cancer - into pre-clinical development. Here, we briefly discuss the iCART science behind the Takeda study and its potential implications for an “off-the-shelf” CAR-T cell therapy.
New clinical applications in regenerative medicine are motivating an intense interest in easily accessible sources for producing human stem cells. The 2007 breakthrough showing that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) could be generated directly from adult cells has been a boon to the industry. Since that time, there has been a steady refinement of the cell culture techniques that guide the cell reprogramming process.
Systemic sclerosis, also called scleroderma, progressive systemic sclerosis, or CREST syndrome, is a rare autoimmune connective tissue disease with fibrosis and vasculopathy. Patients often have sclerotic, thickened skin, but some experience significant organ damage. Immunosuppressive therapy is a common approach to patients with systemic sclerosis, but there is a subset of patients that do not respond well to treatment.