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The RegMed Daily Dialogue, 6/3/11, Continued Mixed Signals

The 6 W’s: Who, what, where, when, why and what of it…

Regenerative medicine/stem cell universe stocks was way off in early trading yet slowly rebounds through mid-day trading on Friday (6/311). The NASDAQ is DOWN -19.68 (-0.71%) to 2753.63. The Dow is also DOWN -66.60 (-0.54%) to 12,281.95.  Being that macro initiatives have played such a major role, it is appropriate to mention:

  • Equity futures are trading below fair value; 
  • Asian markets weakened as investors’ exited positions before the weekend in anticipation of weak US payroll numbers and further EU and US sovereign debt worries.   

Stocks on Wall Street declined more than 1% + on Friday (6/3/11) but then started to recover. Investors continue to digest weak signals about the economy. About an hour before noon, the Dow  was down 54.53 points, or 0.45%. The Nasdaq composite index fell 13.19 points, or 0.48%.  So, buckle your seatbelt because the data indicates we … may be in for a bumpy ride!

IMUC.OB and STEM are up!                            

What’s driving the regenerative medicine – stem cell market … today …

BioTime (AMEX: BTX) approval for 2GMP Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines: NIH Approval for 2 GMP Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines. AMEX: BTX’s 2 human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines, ESI-014 and ESI-017, developed by a BioTime subsidiary have been approved by the NIH for inclusion in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry.  The bottom line, this approval opens the door to the use of these cell lines in federally funded research. These are the 1ST such cell lines approved for federal funding that were derived under conditions designed to be compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) for human clinical use. This approval is key to BTX’s strategy of making banks of GMP-compliant hES cell lines within industry standards for the development of a wide array of new human therapeutic products.

Science Brief, Leukemia discovery could lead to complete remission: British researchers found a way to destroy stem cells that sustain the potentially fatal blood cancer, in an early study on mice by identifying the suppressing of 2 particular proteins stops the leukemia stem cells growing. Cancer stem cells appear to be more resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy than the other leukemia cells, so understanding how they originate and how to kill them will be a major step in being able to help even more people survive leukemia in future. In a paper published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, researchers at King’s College London describe how they found a way to “abolish” the MLL stem cells. The bottom line, we know that leukemic stem cells in certain types of leukemia, such as MLL, can survive and proliferate independently of the Bmi1 protein but, we need to consider more carefully the future of stem cell therapy to treat the disease.  A protein called Bmi1 plays a key role in the survival and growth of cancer stem cells, but scientists also found high levels of another protein, called Hoxa9, in mice and human patients with MLL leukemia. Scientists were able to suppress both these proteins and so remove the ability of the stem cells to grow. This could pave the way for better treatment that may enable patients to be in “complete remission”.

When you think you have heard it all: Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) will not collect Seized Human Heads for Research:  Medtronic Inc.’s misplaced shipment of human heads, inadvertently seized by authorities last year, will be cremated after the company decided it didn’t need them anymore. The Associated Press reports that an Arkansas coroner said that he’ll dispose of the three tote boxes full of heads, several dozen in all that were once bound for a Medtronic research facility. They never made it. The shipment was mislabeled and an airline worker called police after noticing the heads last summer. Law enforcement officials in Arkansas said they held this shipment because it was poorly labeled and because they weren’t sure if it was part of some sort of black-market operation. The bottom line, it is Friday, a day of no real news … anticipating a long, hot summer where volatility will rule as risk become glaring, global and not humorous thus, a laugh!!