company, Sanofi-aventis and Oxford University, UK, have entered into an
agreement to conduct multi-phase oncology clinical and translational
research with INDOX, India’s leading academic oncology network. Through
this partnership, Sanofi-aventis will have access to the expertise and
experience of India’s top oncologists and scientists to conduct
clinical research to the highest internationally recognized ethical
“The collaboration between Sanofi-aventis, Oxford University and Indian
Cancer Centers, foster a model for academic researchers and industry to
work together for the benefit of patients. This relationship not only
helps to train the next generation of cancer researchers in India, but
Sanofi-aventis to efficiently develop drugs in premier cancer centers
in India, which also provide access to anti-cancer drugs to help
patients fight cancer,” said Dr Debasish Roychowdhury, senior vice
president & head (Oncology), Sanofi-aventis.
Intestinal tissue transplantion, a
For the first time,
scientists have created functioning human intestinal tissue in the
laboratory from pluripotent stem cells. Scientists from Cincinnati
Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the US claim that their findings
will open the door to unprecedented studies of human intestinal
development, function and disease. According to the researchers, the
process is also a significant step towards generating intestinal tissue
“This is the first study to demonstrate that human pluripotent stem
cells in a petri dish can be instructed to efficiently form human
tissue with three-dimensional architecture and cellular composition
remarkably similar to intestinal tissue,” said Dr James Wells, senior
investigator of the study and a researcher at the division of
Developmental Biology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
In the study, the research team led by Dr Wells used two types of
pluripotent cells: human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced
pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). iPSCs were generated by reprogramming
biopsied human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells.
Researchers used both iPSCs and human embryonic stem cells in this
study so they could further test and compare the transformative
capabilities of each.
Flu infections may prevent asthma
As per the findings of a new research on asthma, scientists at
Children’s Hospital Boston (US), report that the influenza virus
infection in young mice protected it from developing allergic asthma.
The same protective effect was achieved by treating young mice with
compound isolated from the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a
bacterium that colonizes the stomach and is best known for causing
The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation,
provide a potential immunological mechanism in support of the “hygiene
hypothesis,” an idea that attributes the increasing rate of asthma and
allergies to the successful reduction of childhood infections with
vaccines and antibiotics. This is supported by epidemiological studies
associating certain childhood infections, such as respiratory viral
infections or gastrointestinal infection with H. pylori, with a lower
risk of developing asthma.
In mice, influenza A infection helped it by expanding an immature cell
type in the lung known as natural killer T (NKT) cells, part of the
innate immune system. The same beneficial NKT cells in the lung could
be expanded by several NKT-stimulating molecules known as glycolipids,
including one isolated from H. pylori.
The latest study reports on this new subset of inhibitory NKT cells
that seem to prevent allergic reactions in the airways, if stimulated
at the right time by the right infectious agents or the right