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Newsletter November 2017

News: FDA approves a game-changing treatment for blood cancer
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a promising new treatment for a particularly deadly form of cancer, bringing hope to desperate patients while rekindling a global conversation about the escalating cost of new therapies. The treatment, made by Gilead Sciences, is made by extracting patients’ white blood cells and re-engineering them to home in on tumors. Called a CAR-T, the one-time treatment has shown unprecedented results for patients with dire diagnoses. Gilead’s treatment, to be sold as Yescarta, is the second CAR-T to win FDA approval but the first cleared for use in adults. A similar therapy from Novartis, approved in August, is used for children with an aggressive form of blood cancer.

News: Gene Therapy in Recurrent Glioma Shows Promise in Early Trial
More than 25% of patients with recurrent, high-grade glioma treated with a gene therapy combination were alive more than 3 years after treatment, according to data from a subset of patients in a phase I clinical trial presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, held October 26–30 in Philadelphia. The combination treatment involved the retroviral vector Toca 511 and the prodrug of the chemotherapy 5-fluorouracil (Toca FC). Toca 511 is a replicating virus that only infects actively dividing tumor cells. Once inside the cancer cell, the virus delivers a gene for an enzyme, cytosine deaminase (CD). As the virus replicates and spreads to other cancer cells, it programs them to make CD. Next, patients receive a pill, Toca FC, which is an inert compound. Once inside the cancer cell, CD converts Toca FC into the anticancer drug 5-fluorouracil, which kills the cancer cell. 5-fluorouracil also kills certain immune suppressive myeloid cells, boosting the patient’s immune system to recognize and attack the cancer cells.

Company: PlasmidFactory GmbH & Co. KG
PlasmidFactory is the leading contract manufacturer of plasmid and minicircle DNA. The company offers the production of plasmids and minicircles in several quality grades: Research Grade and ccc Grade for research purposes and pre-clinical applications, High Quality (HQ) Grade as starting material for e.g. GMP production of RNA and viral vectors and GMP Grade for clinical applications. PlasmidFactory has its own separate, dedicated HQ production area with new laboratories to produce highly purified plasmid DNA. To avoid cross-contamination, only one plasmid per time is produced there.

Job: Postdoc position in CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing
A fully funded 2-year postdoctoral position in the field of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing is available from February 2018, or as soon as possible thereafter, in the lab of assistant professor Rasmus O. Bak, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark.

- 13 - 15 November 2017, World Orphan Drug Congress, Barcelona, Spain
- 15 - 17 November 2017, 16th Annual Gene Therapy Symposium for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases, Sonoma, California
- 23 - 25 January 2018, Cell & Gene Therapy World event 2018, Miami, Fl
- 30 - 31 January 2018, Combined CAR-T Congress Europe, Berlin, Germany
- 7 - 8 February 2018, Annual Cell and Gene Therapy Innovation Summit, Berlin, Germany
- 8 - 9 February 2018, 3rd Annual Genome Editing & Engineering Conference, San Diego, CA
- 5 - 7 March 2018, International Society for BioProcess Technology 8th Spring Meeting - Viral vectors and vaccines, Norfolk, Virginia
- 14 – 16 March 2018, 9th Biennial Congress of the Spanish Society of Gene (SETGyC) and Cell Therapy, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
- 15 March 2018, British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (BSGCT) Public Engagement 2018, Oxford, UK
- 15 - 17 March 2018, 7th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell and Gene Therapy, London, UK
- 20 - 22 March 2018, CAR-T Congress USA, Boston, MA
- 27 April 2018, Annual conference of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (BSGCT), Cardiff, Wales, UK
- 2 - 5 May 2018, International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada
- 16 - 19 May 2018, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 21th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
- 26 - 28 July 2018, The 24th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Tokyo, Japan
- 13 - 16 August 2018, Gene Therapy Bioproduction Conference, Boston, MA
- 16 – 19 October 2018, XXVI Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT), Lausanne, Swizterland
- 23 November 2018, British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (BSGCT) Annual Conference Autumn 2018, London, UK
- 29 April - 2 May 2019, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 22th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
- 28 – 31 October 2019, XXVII Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT), Barcelona, Spain


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