January 19, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: December 2017

4 min read

Every year I look into my stem cell crystal ball and make predictions for our field including regenerative medicine. Well, I don’t really look into a crystal ball, but I try to use a combination of what I’m hearing through the grapevine, stuff I’m reading, some info that is not yet in the public domain, and common sense to make predictions. Today’s post has my 20 predictions for next year, 2018. You can see my 2017 predictions and my grading of how I did here. …Read More

2 min read

Congratulations to Professor Michele De Luca, the winner of The Niche’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award for 2017! He won the Award from a strong panel of 10 finalists. The award includes a $2,000 USD prize. I chose him because of his exceptional track record in stem cell and regenerative medicine science combined with a long record of advocating for responsible translational science. Dr. De Luca also led an international team that recently published a groundbreaking paper on epidermal regeneration in a …Read More

3 min read

Australian stem cell biotech Mesoblast announced that it has received regenerative medicine advanced therapy (RMAT) designation from the U.S. FDA. This is very good news for the company and an encouraging development for the field. Interestingly, last month the FDA clarified that there is expanded RMAT designation that can include gene therapies too. At the Meeting on the Mesa in October, an FDA official reportedly presented data indicating that about 1/3 applications for RMATs were granted (see image below from Twitter). This recently announced RMAT …Read More

6 min read

This post is my review of Star Wars The Last Jedi. I’m a sci-fi fan and have enjoyed the various Star Wars movies over the years so I had been looking forward to seeing the new movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (TLJ). Here is my review of TLJ and be forewarned that there are lots of spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen it, stop reading now. Overall rating: B-. Again, many spoilers ahead! I’m not going to rehash the whole plot, but …Read More

5 min read

A new stem cell clinic lawsuit has popped up and this one, like some others, relates to a patient alleging vision loss due to a non-FDA approved stem cell offering and involves U.S. Stem Cell, Inc. (formerly called Bioheart). American stem cell clinics market direct-to-consumer stem cell offerings for a whole medical dictionary’s worth of health conditions including vision loss. However, while stem cells have real promise for being the basis of future, safe and effective treatments for various forms of vision loss based …Read More

4 min read

Each year I make a list of predictions for the year to come for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. Then about a year later I grade myself on how I did as that year winds down. Here’s how I did in 2016. For 2017, late in 2016 I made 20 stem cell predictions. Let’s now see how I did. I was wrong on 6 out of the 20 predictions and mostly right on the rest with some others in the middle that I colored …Read More

4 min read

How far will stem cell clinics go to market their non-FDA approved “treatments” that they often claim will have miraculous results? I’ve never seen anything quite as striking as what some clinics in the Seattle area are now doing. In the past, we’ve seen clinics take researchers’ pictures, quotes, or videos to use for their own marketing. In the last 1-2 years we’ve seen increasing numbers of mainstream media ads for clinics too (see here and here, for example) so the clinics are thinking …Read More

2 min read

The votes are in and the community has picked its top 10 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award finalists. Both the 20 nominees and now the 10 finalists are a diverse group. The finalists include six women and four men, from five countries and four different continents. We also got votes from readers of the blog from 32 different countries spanning every continent, which is exciting. This year’s finalists are mostly scientists, but it’s a diverse group that also includes advocates and the top vote …Read More

5 min read

Some conditions like Huntington’s Disease are so bad and there are no treatments such that any bit of encouraging news can be cause for legitimate excitement, but at the same time things can go too far potentially, especially if there is news coverage not backed up by a published paper or some other definitive source of data. This kind of situation risks going from science over the line to hype. The splashy news a couple days ago that there may have been a “major …Read More

7 min read

When you think of Florida, what else crosses your mind first? Orange juice? Heat and humidity? Beaches? Disney? I don’t know if this says more about me or the state, but these days I think of stem cells. Florida and California are the two biggest hotbeds of the for-profit stem cell clinic world, each with a dizzying array of clinics, claims, alleged or confirmed patient injuries, and a feeling of chaos at times. You can see zoomed-in maps of Southern California and Florida clinics …Read More