Clinical Research

A small clinical study showed promise for a new method of treating chronic wounds; an ultrasound applicator that can be worn like a band-aid.

The applicator delivers low-frequency, low-intensity ultrasound directly to wounds, and was found to significantly accelerate healing in five patients with venous ulcers, which are caused when valves in the veins malfunction, causing blood to pool in the leg instead of returning to the heart. This pooling, called venous stasis, can cause proteins and cells in the vein to leak into the surrounding tissue leading to inflammation and formation of an ulcer. 

Researchers writing in Cell Regeneration report that they used induced pluripotent stem cells from urine to create a human tooth structure.

The integration-free human urine induced pluripotent stem cells were differentiated to epithelial sheets ( from the Greek meaning 'upon breast', since it was first considered the skin on the breast), one of the four types of tissue (others are nervous, muscle and collective tissue) and after 3 weeks they were able to get tooth-like structures using 8 different lines with a success rate of up to 30%. 
Acupuncture to improve fertility rates? 

The University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine says that acupuncture, when used as a complementary or adjuvant therapy for in vitro fertilization, may be beneficial  - depending on the baseline pregnancy rates of a fertility clinic. If the baseline success was not very high, it went up a little. For clinics with more success, acupuncture had no effect.

In vitro fertilization is a process that involves fertilizing a woman's egg with sperm outside the womb and then implanting the embryo in the woman's uterus. According to the researchers, acupuncture is the most commonly used adjuvant, complementary therapy among couples seeking treatment at fertility clinics in the United States.

Natural killer cells (NK cells) are part of our innate immune system. As they first line of defense, researchers agree that the body needs as many active NK cells as possible.

But, as is often the case, there can be too much of a good thing and researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) have shown how.

A research project at Kansas State University has potential to treat human deafness and loss of balance.

More than 28 million people in the United States suffer some form of hearing loss and mutation of the SLC26A4 gene, normally found in the cochlea and vestibular organs of the inner ear as well as in the endolymphatic sac, a non-sensory part of the inner ear, is implicated as one of the most common forms of hereditary hearing loss in children worldwide.

When the mutant mice lack SLC26A4 expression, their inner ears swell during embryonic development. This leads to failure of the cochlea and the vestibular organs, resulting in deafness and loss of balance.

A new biomaterial that facilitates generating bone tissue - artificial bones, in their words - from umbilical cord stem cells has gotten a patent for researchers in Granada, Spain.

The material is an activated carbon cloth support for cells that differentiate, giving rise to a product that can promote bone growth. They received a patent though the method has not yet been applied using in vivo models but it could help manufacture medicines for the repair of bone or osteochondrial, tumour or traumatic lesions and to replace lost cartilage in limbs.

Now that they have obtained artificial bones in the laboratory, they are going to implant this biomaterial in experimental animal models to see if it can regenerate bone in them.

At some point it would be ideal for animal-to-human transplants of insulin-producing cells for people with type 1 diabetes, such as from pigs, but first there must be baby steps.

Or in this case, mouse steps.

Scientists have successfully transplanted islets, the cells that produce insulin, from a rat to a mouse. Using their new method of xenotransplantation, the islets survived without immunosuppressive drugs.

An international team that developed a new gene therapy approach to treatment of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, a fatal inherited form of immunodeficiency has reported results.

Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome is a disorder that weakens the body's immune system. It is caused by a mutation in a gene that encodes the protein WASP. The most often used therapy is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant from a matching donor, often a sibling or relative. It can be curative for some patients, mostly those who have a strongly matching donor.

Veloxis Pharmaceuticals announced that LCP-Tacro successfully demonstrated non-inferiority compared to tacrolimus (Prograf®; Astellas Pharma) in its Phase III clinical trial, Study 3002.

The Phase III randomized, double-blind and double-dummy study in 543 de novo kidney transplant recipients, with Prograf as the comparator, met its primary efficacy and primary safety endpoints.

The study was conducted under a Special Protocol Agreement with the FDA and the results are considered pivotal for the planned U.S. regulatory filing expected to occur in the second half of 2013.
Resverlogix Corp. has announced that its Phase 2b ASSURE clinical trial evaluating RVX-208 in high-risk cardiovascular patients with low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) did not meet its primary endpoint of a -0.6% change in percent atheroma volume as determined by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). The RVX-208 treated group had -0.4% plaque regression (p= 0.08).