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Newsletter April 2010

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News: UF-led effort creates virus reference standard that can improve patient safety in clinical trials
The use of viruses as vehicles for delivering genes to replace malfunctioning or missing ones holds promise for treating many disorders. Adeno-associated viruses are one type of vector being used increasingly in human gene therapy clinical trials and laboratory studies leading up to those trials. But differences in the way researchers determine the administered doses have made it difficult to accurately compare results from various studies.
Now a University of Florida scientist has led the first successful international effort to create a reference standard for recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2 vectors called rAAV2, which have been used in the treatment of diseases such as hemophilia and a certain kind of blindness.

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News: Nanotech robots deliver gene therapy through blood
U.S. researchers have developed tiny nanoparticle robots that can travel through a patient's blood and into tumors where they deliver a therapy that turns off an important cancer gene. The finding, reported in the journal Nature on Sunday, offers early proof that a new treatment approach called RNA interference or RNAi might work in people.
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Conference: 5th Canadian Symposium on Gene Therapy and Vaccines
The 5th Canadian Gene Therapy and Vaccines Symposium will take place at the Hotel du Lac Carling ( Greenville-sur-la-Rouge, QC, Canada; 80 km North of Montreal) from May 2nd to May 4th 2010. The goal of this 5th meeting is to gather Canadian researchers in this field and to provide a smaller forum more conducive for the exchange of ideas, expertise and reagents than larger meetings hosting thousands of participants. It is also an invaluable training opportunity for graduate students and postdocs. We expect to attract approximately 50 participants, including a number of high profile international guest speakers. More information can be found on the symposium web site (http://www.atgq-montreal.ca).

5th Canadian Symposium on Gene Therapy and Vaccines
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Conference: Advanced symposium and EMBO practical course, Viral Vectors in Gene Therapy
The course will offer a complete review of knowledge and technology on the adeno-associated (AAV)-, baculovirus (BV)- and lentiviral (LV)-based vectors for gene therapy.
With the first EMBO Eurolabcourse in Evry (France) in 2002 a series of courses was started with a new training format which combines a symposium open to all (plenary lectures, selected oral communications, poster sessions and round table discussions) with a practical course for 25-30 participants selected on application. This format allows maximal interactivity between the participants coming from research institutions of academia and industry, health organizations, regulatory agencies and patients associations from many countries worldwide. On one hand, the students and young researchers who participated in our previous courses implemented rapidly their career thanks to the new knowledge acquired. Many are now team leaders, invited speakers in the meetings and/or organizers of events in their countries. On the other hand, the industries got opportunities of new business in exploiting innovations from academia and extended their marketing area. More information can be found on the symposium web site (http://www.kuopioembolabcourse.easco.org). See also the flyer in attachment.

The Symposium, August 26 - 29, 2010 will present vectorology concepts, different vectors families, discuss their characteristics including transduction efficiency, host genome interaction, toxicity, perspectives of clinical applications and industrial/commercial exploitations.
In
the EMBO Practical course, August 30 - September 4, 2010 laboratory sessions to 25 selected participants who will learn how produce, purify, and characterise AAV, BV and LV vectors including their biological properties and functional assessment in vivo

Advanced symposium and EMBO practical course: Viral Vectors in Gene Therapy
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Conferences
- 2 - 4 May 2010, 5th Canadian Symposium on Gene Therapy and Vaccines, Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, Quebec, Canada
- 5 May 2010, 7th Annual Conference of the Israeli Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ISGCT), Tel Aviv, Israel
- 17 - 18 May 2010, ASGCT Clinical Trials Training Course, Washington DC, MD
- 19 - 23 May 2010, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 13th Annual Meeting, Washington DC, MD
- 22 - 26 May 2010, International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) 16th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
- 13 - 15 June 2010, The 9th Annual Congress of La Société Francophone de Thérapie Cellulaire et Génique (SFTCG), Paris, France
- 26 - 29 June 2010, 3nd International symposium on Cellular Delivery of Therapeutic Macromolecules, Cardiff, UK
- 1 - 3 July 2010, The 16th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Tochigi-ken Sougou Bunka Center, Utsunomiya-city Tochigi, Japan
- 26 August - 4 September 2010, Viral Vectors in Gene Therapy: Applications and Novel Production Methods, A.I. Virtanen Institute, Kuopio, Finland
- 6 - 9 October 2010, 17th Annual Meeting German Society for Gene Therapy (DG-GT e.V.), Munich, LMU Campus Grosshadern, Germany
- 22 - 25 October 2010, European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) 18th Annual Congress, Milan, Italy
- 24 - 26 January 2011, Phacilitate 7th Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Forum 2011, Washington DC, MD
- 4 - 6 May 2011, Australasian Gene Therapy Society (AGTS) 7th Meeting, Melbourne, Australia
- 18 - 22 May 2011, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 14th Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA

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