The International Society for Cellular and Gene Therapies (ISCT) and the
International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) recognize the potential of extracellular vesicles (EVs, including exosomes) from mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and possibly other cell sources as treatments for COVID-19. Research and trials in this area are encouraged.
However, ISEV and ISCT do not currently endorse the use of EVs or exosomes
for any purpose in COVID-19, including but not limited to reducing cytokine storm, exerting
regenerative effects, or delivering drugs, pending the generation of appropriate
manufacturing and quality control provisions, pre-clinical safety and efficacy data, rational
clinical trial design, and proper regulatory oversight.
With the spreading COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for new treatments, especially for critically ill patients. Clinical trials, such as experiments with SARS-COV-2 vaccines, are in full swing. However, there is a significant increase in unproven and untested therapies worldwide, including unproven treatments based on "stem cells". The German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) as well as international scientific societies such as EuroStemCell (Statement), the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR Statement) and the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT Statement) strongly oppose the irresponsible offer of unproven cell-based treatments, especially in the context of such a severe pandemic. Affected individuals and families are urged to talk to healthcare professionals to obtain the best available information on COVID-19 disease and treatment options.
In a recent notification, the FDA has discussed that there have been cases of patients treated with unapproved products marketed as containing exosomes. There are currently no FDA-approved exosome products. The use of exosome products outside of FDA’s review process ultimately puts patients at risk.
For further information, read the full statement here.
Postponement of European EV Mobility Fellowships
The Grupo Español de Investigación e Innovación en Vesículas Extracelulares (GEIVEX) the German Society for Extracellular Vesicles (GSEV), the United Kingdom Society for Extracellular Vesicles (UKEV), the Italian Society for Extracellular Vesicles (EVIta) and the Austrian Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ASEV) regret to announce the postponement of the “International Mobility Fellowships”, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
We will continue to monitor the situation and consider advice from each National Society’s governmental advice on travel, work and social distancing measures. Our hope is to relaunch the call for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in the Spring of 2021.
In the meantime, ECRs can view the list of labs that are available for short term placements, including the skills and expertise available in each one.
It is also not too late for your lab to offer a placement; Note that applying does not commit you and your lab to host an ECR; your details will be available to potential ECRs who would then need to contact you and, if you agree, submit an application to visit your lab. To become a potential host lab please email your National Society (email addresses below) and include:
Name of PI and affiliation
Summary of Research Interests (max 100 words)
Potential techniques/skills that could be taught to a visiting ECR (max 100 words)
Please indicate if you are willing for this info to be shared publicly (via emails to the Society members, advertisements on Society websites, social media etc).
These Mobility Fellowships aim to foster collaborations among members of these Societies. The fellowship (2000€) should cover travel and accommodation expenses for a one-month stay of an Early Career Researcher (ECR; i.e. Ph.D. students or Postdoctoral fellows with less than five years´ experience pertaining to at least one of our Societies) in a different Country of the Host laboratory.
For more information, or to offer your lab as a potential host lab, email the Secretariats of your own National Society:
Secretaria GEIVEX: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretaria GSEV: email@example.com
Secretaria UKEV: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretaria EVIta: email@example.com
Secretaria ASEV: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please stay safe and well.
With kind regards
Hernando A del Portillo Bernd Giebel Dave Carter Benedetta Bussolati Andreas Spittler
President GEIVEX President GSEV President UKEV President EVIta President ASEV
GSEV was present at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles in Barcelona in May 2018 - see an update and a few impressions below!
A few weeks have come and gone, and after gathering our thoughts and sifting through our notes, we’d like to provide the community with a quick summary report on ISEV2018.
To begin with: Even though everybody was happy that, out of all places, sunny Barcelona was selected for ISEV’s 7th annual meeting, the weather was a huge surprising factor. It was usually rather cold, rainy and windy around the conference center. Seeing it from a positive perspective, it was very easy to stay inside all day and listen to talks – no distractions by means of sunny walks at Park Güell, sangria after visiting la Sagrada Familia or café con leche.
GSEV had a strong presence at the meeting, bringing members from Essen, Marburg, Mainz, Munich, Heidelberg, Freiburg and elsewhere. As usual, participants of the German delegation joined forces quickly and set out to explore Barcelona (after enjoying packed 12-hour days of EV science, of course!). Scientists from all branches of the field gathered in the city’s restaurants and pubs, reconnected with colleagues and got to know each other better. Over tapas and beer, it was instantly clear: these people are great – it’s good to be here!
Similarly, more and more national EV societies start sprouting worldwide, many of which presented themselves at ISEV’s evening events. As these societies are often founded by members of the former COST initiative for a European Network on Microvesicles and Exosomes in Health and Disease (ME-HAD), many local organizers know each other very well, paving the way for active collaborations among the different national societies, e.g. in transnational collaboration projects. While the field is growing rapidly (it was the first annual meeting with more than 1000 participants), the community is still close-knit and familial, both on the international and German level.
Boosted by the ever growing interested in EVs, more and more biotech, diagnostic and equipment companies team up with researchers and societies. As evidenced in the industrial exhibition and sponsor talks, these alliances, and the bottom-up feedback from researchers in the field, lead to the development of extremely useful tools, which will ultimately propel EV science forward. While previous meetings were heavily focused on advances in bulk EV characterization, the trend now seems to move towards sophisticated and ultra-pure methods for EV isolation as well as high-resolution phenotyping of individual vesicles.
Back to the meeting itself: Headed by Juan Falcón-Pérez, the Local Organizing Committee together with ISEV did a great job putting together an agenda that covered an immense breadth of vesicle research. Dozens of talks and hundreds of posters captured everything from A(rgonaute proteins – should they be present in EVs or do we regard them as contaminants?) to Z(etaView: now available as TwinNTA, providing two lasers in one device). After an opening ceremony with opera singers and a live piano (you don’t get that at most conferences!), ISEV2018 was on, featuring four days with more highlights than could be recounted here.
Three parallel tracks of symposium sessions were interspersed with plenary talks by scientific heavyweights such as Graça Raposo (reflecting on the cell biology of extracellular vesicles), Mina Bissell (urging researchers to refuse dogma and start thinking outside the box) and Nobel Laureate Randy Shekman, who brought up thought-provoking ideas about the mechanisms of RNA sorting into EVs. Additional highlights included the 3D virtual animation on extracellular vesicles presented by Dave Carter (now available on YouTube) and the MISEV II initiative that all ISEV members were encouraged to participate in. We are very excited about the upcoming results.
GSEV members were not only passive attendants at the meeting, but also contributed in various ways: our president Bernd Giebel summed up one at the educational sessions, chaired the symposium session on Tissue Injury and Repair and displayed his expertise on Leukemia EVs during Saturday’s Meet the Expert Session. Additionally, he introduced GSEV at the Meet the National Societies event. The vice president, Eva-Maria Krämer-Albers, chaired Mina Bissel’s keynote lecture and a poster session, and presented her work on using transgenic mouse models to elucidate the spatio-temporal intricacies of glia to neuron exosome transfer. GSEV’s executive director Irina Nazarenko also served as session chair and gave a talk about her work on the clinical relevance of mutated, oncogenic nucleic acids in various EV subtypes. Martin Auber, a graduate student in Krämer-Albers’ lab, received a well-deserved poster prize (cheers!) for his research on how miRNAs from serum-free media supplements co-purify with EVs, potentially skewing experiments on cell culture-derived vesicles. Last but not least, a couple of other GSEV members presented their work on posters and in selected abstract talks.
Preceded by the Education Day and rounded off with numerous additional events (Meet the Experts, Meet the Journal Editors, Satellite Events, a luncheon for young researchers’ career development and many more), ISEV2018 certainly raised the bar for next year’s meeting in Kyoto, Japan. Hasta entonces and すぐに会いましょう.
ISEV Position papers - GSEV reccomends reading these manuscripts published by the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (full text access in the member area)
German Society for Extracellular Vesicles
The kick-off meeting for the new German network on EVs was held on 2 March 2017 in a parallel session of the 2017 IGLD Meeting in Düsseldorf.