Stem cell therapy improves sight of patients with macular degeneration | Fla. donor registry reaches 8 million enrollees | Scientists generate stem cells that repair blood vessels
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October 15, 2014
AATB SmartBrief
News for the Tissue Banking Community

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Stem cell therapy improves sight of patients with macular degeneration
Infusions of retinal cells were well-tolerated for up to 37 months and improved the sight of patients with age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt's macular dystrophy, according to a study in The Lancet. Embryonic stem cells were transformed into mature retinal pigment epithelium cells, which were transplanted directly into the eye. Ten of 18 patients experienced improved sight, including functional advances such as being able to read a watch or computer screen. The Guardian (London) (10/14), The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (10/15), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/14)
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Tissue Banking in the News
Fla. donor registry reaches 8 million enrollees
In Florida, the Joshua Abbott Organ and Tissue Donor Registry has signed up 8 million eye, tissue and organ donors through online registration and driver's license renewals. "Florida's registry strives to give hope to the more than 123,000 men, women and children awaiting the gift of a lifesaving organ transplant in the United States today," Donate Life Florida Chairwoman Jennifer Krouse said. WPEC-TV (West Palm Beach, Fla.) (10/10)
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Scientists generate stem cells that repair blood vessels
Scientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine have reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem cells into endothelial colony forming cells found in umbilical cord blood. The cells have potent blood vessel-forming properties that could potentially treat patients with peripheral artery disease. In mice, the cells proliferated, repaired blood vessels and restored blood flow in damaged retinas and limbs. The study appeared in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Business Standard (India)/Indo-Asian News Service (10/13)
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Government & Regulatory
2nd hospital worker in Texas tests positive for Ebola
An additional health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has tested positive for the Ebola virus. On Tuesday, the CDC said it was actively monitoring 76 hospital workers in Dallas, and teams of infections control experts will be sent to hospitals treating Ebola. "I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day ... the first patient was diagnosed," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said. CNN (10/15), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/15), HealthDay News (10/14)
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Final FDA guidance distinguishes device recalls from market withdrawals
Guidance outlining requirements for differentiating medical device recalls from market withdrawals has been finalized by the FDA. Apparently taking industry feedback into account, the final guidance revises how the terms "correction" and "removal" are defined. Manufacturers also will no longer be required to report device corrections or removals to the FDA but rather must keep records of them for two years. Regulatory Focus (10/14)
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Business & Economic Trends
Biosimilars guidelines offer FDA a chance to cut drug costs
The FDA has an opportunity to fulfill the Affordable Care Act's goal of making lifesaving drugs more accessible as the agency finalizes guidelines for biosimilars, writes former Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y. The Hill/Congress Blog (10/10)
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Advanced Biologics' bone allograft sold to Bioventus
Advanced Biologics has agreed to sell its OsteoAMP bone allograft product line to Bioventus, which will market the product through its existing distribution network. OsteoAMP is designed to stimulate natural bone growth in patients undergoing spinal surgery. (10/13)
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Other News
Call for proposals
The AATB is accepting proposals for a quantitative risk assessment on West Nile Virus transmission via allograft tissue transplants. Read more and submit your proposal by completing this form by Nov. 15.
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AATB October webinar
  • October webinar: Bridging the Gap with Our Funeral Home Partners.
  • Speakers: Christopher Donhost and David Fox from Sierra Donor Services.
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, 2-3 p.m. Eastern Time. Register today.
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Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you've been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are."
-- H.G. Wells,
British author
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