Recommended reads: COVID-19 updates, FDA stem cell nod, PRC2, more

Today’s post is the latest edition of my weekly recommended reads, which this week include Fate Therapeutics, COVID-19 updates, AAMC, and more including some great pubs such as one on 2 modes of PRC2 function.

Fig. 3d Rai et al Nature Communications 2020
Fig. 3d Rai et al Nature Communications 2020 “representative images of podosomes by confocal microscopy at 63× magnification. Scale bar 10 μm.”

Also check out this handy resource: Helpful 2020 List of Stem Cell Journals and this blast from the past post of 10 years ago: Keep Your Stem Cells Away From BPA.

I’ll start with the mid-August 2020 recommended pubs and then go to the media items, but first I wanted to highlight some good biotech news.

Mesoblast gets FDA approval for GvHD, keeps studying COVID-19

An FDA panel voted 8-2 to approve the use of Mesoblast’s remestemcel-L MSC product for acute pediatric GvHD. Based on the pre-meeting materials from the FDA some had thought Mesoblast might get bad news instead. I’m glad to see it was good news instead and hopefully this panel vote will lead to formal approval soon.

The firm is also studying the use of remestemcel-L for COVID-19 based on the idea that it might suppress cytokine storms in some patients.

We’ll have a detailed post on the Mesoblast approval in a few days.


Making Babies from Bone Marrow?

From Discover Magazine comes How Close Are We To Making Babies from Bone Marrow?

The answer is “not very”, but it’s an interesting area with many bioethical issues.

A number of groups are pursuing the idea of human reproduction from stem cells. This technology could also be used for a form of human cloning. In this case in the Discover article and others, induced pluripotent stem cells or IPSCs are the main thrust of heading toward germ cells.

Fate Therapeutics dosing it up

Fate touts potential to make 15,000 cell therapy doses per cGMP run

From my UC Davis colleagues, covered by CIRM

Scientists at UC Davis discover a way to help stem cells repair heart tissue

COVID-19 updates


From STAT News, AAMC, the medical school trade association, gave $500,000 to dark-money group in 2018. I find this piece kind of unsettling even if important.

1 thought on “Recommended reads: COVID-19 updates, FDA stem cell nod, PRC2, more”

  1. Paul ,

    Mesoblast is on a roll

    This revolutionary new coronavirus cure is already saving lives
    A breakthrough coronavirus cure might soon be available, as researchers are studying a drug that could eliminate the virus, calm the immune response, and repair damaged tissue. The drug is described in different ways: Medicinal signaling cells (MSCs), mesenchymal lineage adult stem cells, or adipose-tissue derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AT-MSC). MSCs therapy proved to be…

    The promising therapy uses “medicinal signaling cells” or MSCs, which are found on blood vessels throughout the body, explained Kevin Kimberlin in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. These MSCs pack a “powerful 1-2-3 punch,” according to the piece. “These cells eliminate the virus, calm the immune overreaction known as a cytokine storm, and repair damaged lung tissue,” Kimberlin wrote.

    That’s the kind of combination we haven’t seen from other drugs, and it could save lives of patients experiencing serious COVID-19 complications. In fact, it’s already saving lives right now. The report mentions two pilot studies, one from Mount Sinai Hosptial in March and one published in The Lancet in July. MSCs were used to treat 25 critically ill COVID-19 cases between the two studies. 10 people our of 12 survived in the March trial, and 11 people out of 13 lived in the July pilot.

    Read in BGR:

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