International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting

When will stem cells restore vision, treat diabetes or replace damaged skin?

2,500+ stem cell scientists under one roof will be discussing: How will CRISPR gene editing change medicine? Can stem cells heal broken hearts? What can we learn about regeneration from axolotls and zebrafish? What’s the economic potential of gene and cell therapies? How do we safely trial and commercialise stem cell medicines?

The International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting, bringing global stem cell science to Australia, will be held from 20 to 23 June 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will cover topics including cancer stem cells, stem cells as a tool for studying diseases, organoid ‘mini organ’ research, gene therapy and CRISPR gene editing, and progressing gene and cell therapies to the clinic.

Below are the media releases, media alerts and other news items related to the Meeting.

News and interesting content from the Meeting will be tweeted from @ISSCR and using #ISSCR2018.

Media contacts:

Visit the conference websiteRegister for a media pass.

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (www.isscr.org)

The International Society for Stem Cell Research is an independent, nonprofit membership organisation established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.

Background: Stem Cell Facts – download an introduction to stem cells and stem cell research (pdf). Stem cell glossary.

When will stem cells save more lives?

When will stem cells save more lives?

Melissa Little and her colleagues worked for six years to bring the world’s largest stem cell meeting to Melbourne this week.

What did she learn? What are the next big steps should we should be watching for in curing diseases and saving lives with stem cells?

Melissa can also talk about her own research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She’s made mini-kidneys that are a step towards stopping a silent killer, chronic kidney disease.

The International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting closes today. 2,500+ stem cell scientists from 53 countries heard from 150+ speakers.

Treating haemophilia and eye disease with gene therapy

Katherine High (USA) will report today on an FDA approved gene therapy for a form of blindness, and on a clinical trial in people with haemophilia. [click to continue…]

Manufacturing a cell therapy peace-keeping force, and more

Today

It’s Day 3 of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 2018 Annual Meeting at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre: more than 2,500 stem cell scientists from 50 countries will hear from 150+ speakers, including:

Lab-grown mini-brains make new connections
Fred ‘Rusty’ Gage (USA) is making mini-brains from human stem cells in the lab. But in order for these new tissues to function, they need to become well-connected.

Fred is pioneering research to explore how transplanted human neural organoids (mini-organs) can mature into tissues with blood vessel and nerve connections. This work could lead to methods of replacing brain tissue lost to stroke or disease, and repairing spinal cords damaged by trauma.

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Manufacturing a cell therapy peace-keeping force, and more

20-23 June 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting: 2,500+ stem cell scientists from 50 countries will hear from 150+ speakers including:

Lab-grown mini-brains make new connections

Fred ‘Rusty’ Gage (USA) is making mini-brains from human stem cells in the lab. But in order for these new tissues to function, they need to become well-connected.

Fred is pioneering research to explore how transplanted human neural organoids (mini-organs) can mature into tissues with blood vessel and nerve connections. This work could lead to methods of replacing brain tissue lost to stroke or disease, and repairing spinal cords damaged by trauma.

Tracing blood back to its beginnings to tackle leukaemia

Right now, the stem cells in your bone marrow are making one billion new red blood cells per minute. Andrew Elefanty (Australia) is studying both embryonic stem cells and more specialised blood-forming stem cells to reveal how our body makes blood and what leads to leukaemia and other blood diseases. He will reveal his team’s latest insights. [click to continue…]

Key day 100 survival outcomes for graft versus host disease trial: 2018 ISSCR Annual Meeting

New York, USA; June 20, 2018; and Melbourne, Australia; June 21, 2018:

Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB; Nasdaq:MESO) today announced key Day 100 survival outcomes of its Phase 3 trial for remestemcel-L, an allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell product candidate, in children with steroid refractory acute Graft Versus Host Disease (aGVHD). The results are being presented today at the 2018 annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), being held in Melbourne from June 20-23.

The open-label Phase 3 trial enrolled 55 children with steroid-refractory aGVHD (aged between two months and 17 years) in 32 sites across the United States, with 89% of patients suffering from the most severe form, grade C/D aGVHD. The trial was performed under an United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Investigational New Drug Application (NCT#02336230). [click to continue…]

Treating diabetes; turning skin cells into brain cells; hearts in a dish

Today

It’s Day 2 of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 2018 Annual Meeting at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre: more than 2,500 stem cell scientists from 50 countries will hear from 150+ speakers, including:

Treating type 1 diabetes with stem cells
A Harvard team has shown they can control glucose levels in mice using a transplant of insulin-producing cells made from human stem cells. Doug Melton presents his research today.

His effort to fight diabetes involves a 30-person lab at Harvard and a start-up company, Semma Therapeutics, which he named after his children. His son Sam and daughter Emma both have type 1 diabetes.
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Could you regrow an arm or a leg? Salamanders can.

  • Could you regrow an arm or a leg? Salamanders can.
  • Should you be allowed to try unapproved treatments without the FDA tick when you’re terminally ill? President Trump says yes.

20-23 June 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting: more than 2,500 stem cell scientists from 50 countries will hear from 150+ speakers, including:

Taking stem cell science from the lab to the clinic, and what’s wrong with the US ‘right to try’ legislation—Roger Barker, UK

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Cells, salamanders and what’s wrong with US ‘right to try’ laws

Today:

  • Could you regrow an arm or a leg? Salamanders can.
  • Should you be allowed to try unapproved treatments—without the FDA tick—when you’re terminally ill? President Trump says yes.

It’s Day 1 of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 2018 Annual Meeting at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre: more than 2,500 stem cell scientists from 50 countries will hear from 150+ speakers, including:

Taking stem cell science from the lab to the clinic, and what’s wrong with the US ‘right to try’ legislation—Roger Barker, UK

ISSCR is concerned about ‘right to try’ legislation just signed into law in the US, which allows terminally ill patients to try risky, unproven treatments without regulation or oversight. Doctors and scientists are alarmed. They say current compassionate use provisions allow access.

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Stem cell invasion: 2,500 researchers in Melbourne

Mending broken hearts and burnt eyes, and much more

  • Stem cells are saving lives today—through bone marrow and cord blood transplants
  • There are trials making new skin, restoring sight, treating diabetes, repairing the brain
  • But we’ll also hear of the dangers of risky treatments, snake oil merchants, and new Australian and US regulations.

More than 2,500 stem cell scientists from 50 countries are in Melbourne this week for the massive International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting. It’s taking place from 20-23 June at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Here are some highlights and we’ll have daily alerts for you with more people and ideas through the week.

Media are welcome.

Developing a stem cell product to cure blindness from burning—Michele De Luca and Graziella Pellegrini, Italy

Italian innovators Graziella Pellegrini and Michele De Luca have seen their work lead to patients regaining eyesight after 20 years of blindness. And it’s led to the world’s first non-blood-related commercial stem cell therapy.

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Photos: ASSCR Stem Cell Image Competition 2018 highlights

Here is a selection of images from the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research (ASSCR) Stem Cell Image Competition 2018, being held in conjunction with the International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting.

Images may be used by the media, provided credit is given to the photographer.

For hi-res versions please click on the photo and then right click to download the file.

Human forebrain neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells and infected with Australian bat lyssavirus, a type of rabies found in Australian bats. (Credit: Vinod Sundaramoorthy / ASSCR)

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Stem cells: making blood, replacing skin, restoring eyesight. Regulations need to protect patients from snake oil merchants

Media preview

20-23 JUNE 2018 AT THE MELBOURNE CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE

  • Stem cells are saving lives today—through bone marrow and cord blood transplants
  • We’ll hear about trials making new skin, restoring sight, treating diabetes, repairing the brain
  • But we’ll also hear of the dangers of risky treatments, snake oil merchants, and new US regulations

Australia is tightening regulations in an effort to reign in rogue stem cell clinics.

The US is also cracking down on clinics marketing unproven treatments to patients. But ‘right to try’ laws there allow seriously ill patients to try experimental therapies without regulation or oversight. Doctors and scientists are alarmed.

More than 2,500 stem cell scientists from 50 countries are in Melbourne next week for the massive International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting. They will hear sound science from 150+ speakers, including: [click to continue…]

From sheep fertility and IVF to growing complex organs: Melbourne’s stem cell story

Stem cell scientists gather in the city of landmark discoveries

The International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting brings the field’s scientists to a country and city with a rich stem cell research heritage.

Bone marrow transplants to treat blood cancers and other blood disorders were the first stem cell treatments. In the 1960s, Don Metcalf at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne discovered colony stimulating factors, the molecules that stimulate stem cells to multiply and mature, which revolutionised bone marrow transplants and the treatment of blood diseases.

Opera singer Jose Carreras, one of the millions of people who have had this stem cell treatment for leukaemia, credits his survival to Don Metcalf.

Around this time, wool was one of Australia’s top exports, but Australian merino sheep were having fewer lambs than their overseas counterparts. Sheep fertility and animal reproduction research received a massive funding boost in the 1960s and 1970s. [click to continue…]

ISSCR Opposes Proposal to Restrict Fetal Tissue Research

Media release issued by ISSCR

The ISSCR, the largest professional organization of stem cell researchers from around the world, opposes the U.S. House of Representatives proposal to ban federal funding for fetal tissue research. ISSCR President Hans Clevers released the following statement:

“There is no scientific or ethical basis for the proposed restriction on fetal tissue research, which would roll back decades of consensus in the U.S., irreparably delaying the development of new medical treatments. Research using fetal tissue has saved millions of lives through the development of vaccines for diseases that once ravaged communities across the world. Polio is now almost eradicated, and rubella, measles, chickenpox, and rabies are all preventable diseases because of fetal tissue research. [click to continue…]

ISSCR Responds to President Trump Signing ‘Right to Try’ Law

Media release issued by ISSCR

The ISSCR is disappointed with the enactment of the ‘Right to Try’ law. Along with more than 100 patient and research groups opposing the bill, we believe it will put patients at risk and undermine the effective FDA Expanded Access Program already in place to give seriously ill patients access to experimental treatments.

“Instead of helping patients, this law will harm patients by providing a route for snake-oil salesman to evade regulation and sell unproven and scientifically dubious therapies to patients,” said ISSCR President Hans Clevers. “In recent months, several patients have been blinded by clinics administering unproven stem cell interventions for eye disease. The Right to Try bill only emboldens bad actors looking for ways to take advantage of desperate patients,” he said. [click to continue…]

ISSCR 2018 to Highlight Research Driving New Discoveries and Advances in Regenerative Medicine

Media release issued by ISSCR

Progress in stem cell research and its translation to medicine is the focus of the International Society for Stem Cell Research annual meeting 20-23 June at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, Australia. More than 3,000 stem cell scientists, bioethicists, clinicians, and industry professionals from over 50 countries will share and discuss the latest discoveries and technologies within the field, and how they are advancing regenerative medicine.

The ISSCR annual meeting is the world’s largest meeting focused on stem cell research, with lectures, workshops, poster presentations, and a dynamic exhibition floor with nearly 100 exhibitors. Presentations span the breadth of the field, including topics such as cell-based disease modeling, gene editing and gene therapy, neural, cardiac, blood and other developmental systems and their diseases, and potential breakthrough therapies currently being tested in clinical trials, among others. [click to continue…]

ISSCR Announces Recipients of 2018 Awards

Media release issued by ISSCR

The ISSCR today announces the recipients of its 2018 awards, to be presented at the society’s annual meeting, 20-23 June in Melbourne, Australia.

  • ISSCR Award for Innovation: Michele De Luca, MD, and Graziella Pellegrini, PhD, Full Professors at the University of Modena e Reggio Emilia, Center for Regenerative Medicine, University of Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy;
  • ISSCR Dr. Susan Lim Award for Outstanding Young Investigator: Shuibing Chen, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemical Biology in Surgery and in Biochemistry, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, U.S.;
  • ISSCR Tobias Award Lecture: Connie Eaves, PhD, FRS (Canada), Distinguished Scientist, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer, and Professor of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada;
  • Public Service Award: Megan Munsie, PhD, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Stem Cell Systems, The University of Melbourne, and Head of Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit, Stem Cells Australia, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

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