January 20, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: March 2013

2 min read

I recently had a phone interview with Dr. Arnold Caplan, the founder of the MSC field. You can read parts 1 and 2 of the interview here and here. Today’s post, part 3, is focused on clinical use of MSCs. I want to start off today’s post with a wonderful quote from Caplan: “All MSCs are good if no one screwed them up!” This statement by Caplan was in response in part to my asking about how different clinics handle MSCs is such dramatically …Read More

1 min read

I have a new resource page up on the blog that includes links to most of the important stem cell legal decisions and the documents involved. You might call it a stem cell lawyer’s Nirvana page, but I think educators, doctors, scientists, patients, and others will also find it quite useful. If you know of a legal case or document that I should add, please let me know. I consider this stem cell legal hub page to be a work in progress and expect …Read More

2 min read

The Asahi Shimbun just published a fun, intriguing interview with Shinya Yamanaka, the Nobel Laureate who first produce iPS cells. In the interview, Yamanaka says that the celebrity aspect of his new post-Nobel life has driven him to wear disguises when out running in public because he gets recognized so often. Yamanaka is also asked about stem cell clinical safety and makes what I think is a brilliant analogy (Q is from the reporter and A is from Yamanaka). Q: Why does it take so …Read More

2 min read

CIRM recently held an “elevator pitch” (also sometimes known as an “elevator speech”) contest amongst its grantees. The San Francisco Chronicle even covered this contest (and also here). Kevin McCormack, Sr. Director of Public Communications and Patient Advocate Outreach at CIRM, described the contest in, appropriately enough, a speech. As best as I can tell 56 scientists participated. By way of disclosure, I participated in the contest myself too (My own pitch). All the videos can be watched here. The rules? The speech cannot be longer 30 seconds. You …Read More

2 min read

It may come as an annoyance or surprise to some folks in the non-compliant stem cell clinic world that there are laws, rules, and licensing involved in giving stem cell transplants to patients. (To be clear here, this post is focused on clinics transplanting propagated stem cell drug therapies that the FDA views as more than minimally manipulated (i.e. “351s”). Note added on March 21). When I refer to some of these dubious clinics as “unlicensed”, what do I mean? To do some specific …Read More

3 min read

Five legends and a blogger walk into a bar together. The bartender asks the first legend “What can I get for you?” The legend orders their drink. The bartender eventually serves up drinks to all five legends and turns to the blogger, “And what can I get for you?” The blogger replies, “Do you have Wi-Fi? “…..and a beer.” I’ve now been doing my stem cell blog for about 2 1/2 years. It started as an experiment and sort of took on a life of …Read More

3 min read

I recently interview Arnold Caplan, the father of the MSC field, and published part 1 of the interview (you can read it here). Today in part 2 we cover more topics of great importance related to MSCs including propagation, placebos, and patients as well as publishing. A hot topic in the stem cell world more generally, but especially in the MSC field is what happens to stem cells when they are grown in a lab. Many important questions are being asked. Are the propagated …Read More

1 min read

CIRM has indicated that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that CIRM provide funding for training and research on ethics and regulatory issues. In response to this recommendation and with the perspectives of various “CIRM funded researchers and other experts”, CIRM has responded with a new ethics & regulatory recommendation document. I have read it and am a big fan of this step by CIRM. The document outlines a number of key areas for consideration and important questions. The overall response to the IOM …Read More

1 min read

It has been a tough year for Korean stem cell biotech RNL Bio in my opinion. It is involved in litigation with former patients and its former partner, Celltex. It is also reportedly under investigation by the Korean Government for alleged stem cell smuggling. The stock of this publicly-traded company has also been battered. On Friday alone it reportedly plunged 15% (the maximum daily limit for a decrease). Thus, it seems likely to dive further on Monday. Reuters also reported that trading in RNL …Read More