May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Month: November 2011

3 min read

Today, an authoritative article was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that included some of the most comprehensive polling of attitudes in the U.S. and around the world on embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. Their findings indicate very widespread and deep support for ESC research around the globe including in the U.S. and including amongst the relatively most religious amongst us in the U.S. One of the most important findings of the polling was that a majority, 52% of Republicans favors medical …Read More

1 min read

There’s a lot of people and groups out there with different agendas related to health and health care as well as research. Of course, people consider those who disagree with them the “bad guys”. One of the good guys out there in my opinion is Research AMERICA. I met Max Bronstein, one of the leaders at Research!AMERICA, at the World Stem Cell Summit last month in Pasadena. This is a great organization that does all kinds of positive things. You can learn more about …Read More

2 min read

Many of us have been discouraged by Geron’s decision to end their stem cell program, which included products based on human embryonic stem (ES) cells, but let’s keep some perspective on this and not give up hope. The opponents of hope want us to give up. They who have waged their own self-proclaimed war on researchers, patients, and their families, are rejoicing. For example, see this self-congratulatory propaganda (if you don’t have a faint stomach). Or choose not to visit that site so as …Read More

2 min read

The grapevine is afire with the Geron news and there are many interpretations out there of what it means and why it happened. Based on several accounts from folks who remain anonymous, here is the most probable prediction of what happened to lead us to yesterday’s announcement. Geron has been worried for a long time about its finances (aren’t all biotechs worried in this way, all the time?), but this concern has been heightened more recently and was the reason that former CEO Okarma …Read More

3 min read

Yesterday Geron announced it would be immediately stopping its stem cell research program. What does this mean? While this program has (or should I say “had”) a number of elements, at its heart was of course its hESC-based OPC drug (GRNOPC1) for spinal cord injury, which was in an FDA-approved Phase I Clinical Trial that had already enrolled 4 patients. While the company will continue to follow these patients and keep a limited core staff of stem cell employees for a short period of …Read More

2 min read

Geron abruptly announced today that it will no longer pursue its spinal cord injury trial using oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) derived from hESC. Several sources indicate that Geron is hoping to find a buyer of its drug for this trial, GRNOPC1 and the hope is that the trial could be rescued in a sense. Why did Geron drop its stem cell program after spending millions on it and having most of a $25 million loan from CIRM unspent? What I’m hearing is that it …Read More