January 20, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Search Results for: COVID-19

4 min read

A new paper today in Stem Cells Translational Medicine on a small COVID-19 Phase 1/2a trial using an umbilical cord stem cell product reports a surprising degree of possible efficacy. What’s the scoop here and could there be some hype in the media about this new study such as one of the authors describing the cells as “smart bomb technology in the lung”? Study of umbilical cord stem cell infusions for COVID-19 The paper comes from the University of Miami and a team led …Read More

2 min read

I’ve been closely following the arena of stem cells for COVID-19 since the pandemic broke including the efforts of Mesoblast. Mesoblast unlikely to meet primary endpoints in Phase III COVID trial Now, the firm got bad news as its DSMB reported that they are unlikely to meet the primary endpoint for their Phase III trial of their stem cell product for COVID-19 based on preliminary analyses. Mesoblast had set the endpoint as a “43% reduction in mortality at 30 days for treatment with remestemcel-L.” …Read More

3 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic is tearing through the country right as we are starting into the holiday season, but the wheels of science including cell biology keep going and we keep reading all the great work. What news or papers caught your eye? Here are some of the things I have on my list of reading. Also, check out our most-read topic here on The Niche of the last month or so in two posts here and here digging into what I see as Duke’s cord …Read More

4 min read

I’m not a virologist, but I’m still getting asked these days about what the risks might be from the new generation of RNA vaccines for COVID-19. Approaching this question instead as a biologist and genetics/genomics researcher, I can see a handful of at least hypothetical risks. Below I discuss these possible risks and why I’m generally not so concerned. Barring some new worrisome data, I’m planning to get a COVID-19 vaccine when the time comes that it’s available to me. The early data suggests …Read More

4 min read

Are Trump and the Republican Party showing major hypocrisy over Trump’s use of experimental COVID-19 therapies in part developed by Regeneron using embryonic and fetal cells? The Internet is kind of blowing up over this. Trump’s collision with stem cells For example, people are directly confronting Trump on Twitter over his recent all caps tweet about voting pro-life (see below) despite using the Regeneron experimental therapy for his COVID-19, which again used cells that the GOP opposes. Note that while it’s hard to be …Read More

3 min read

What a difference one day can make including in the types of questions I’m getting with this one rising to the top: should President Donald Trump get stem cells for his COVID-19? Whether he should or not, will he get them? This is more than a hypothetical as a surprising number of people in Trump’s orbit have promoted the idea of unproven stem cells more generally or specifically for COVID-19. Roger Stone For instance, Trump pal Roger Stone at some point reportedly was or …Read More

4 min read

In my view, it seems likely that the FDA has opened a big can of worms by starting to clear the COVID-19 trials and programs of for-profit stem cell clinics and other related firms. OK to Stemedica trial The FDA just approved another such effort, this one by the firm Stemedica. You can read more about previous such COVID-19 cell therapy clearances for the unproven clinic firms Celltex and GioStar here. The Stemedica trial is similar to some of the other cell therapy efforts for …Read More

4 min read

Another week and more great papers and interesting news in the regenerative medicine sphere including COVID-19 updates, stem cells for vision, and more. Rebuilding Corneas With Stem Cells Stem cell-based regenerative medicine arguably has shown the most promise for vision loss. A PR from Massachusetts Eye and Ear says: Doctors rebuild damaged corneas using patients’ own own stem cells for first time in US. This is interesting work. The autologous transplant method is called “‘cultivated autologous limbal epithelial cell transplantation’ (CALEC).” It involves taking …Read More

8 min read

Introduction to CAR-T cells CAR-T cells are an exciting cutting-edge technology that has been garnering great interest including in the stem cell field. Potential therapeutic uses of CAR-T, which stands for Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cells (CAR-T), are being studied in clinical trials as immunotherapies to potentially fight cancer as well as many other diseases by using one’s own immune system. The process of CAR-T therapy (see diagram below) starts off with the collection of the patient’s own T-cells through apheresis. The cells are then …Read More

5 min read

The FTC has sharply increased its oversight activities against stem cell and regenerative clinic firms. These new actions include quite a few warning letters. Here is the FTC database for COVID-19-related warning letters. Note that recently the FTC added a new, helpful option to view all of its warning letters here. It’s a good source of information. FTC warns many stem cell & related firms From USA Today, Brent Schrotenboer had this recent piece Stem cell companies sell hope with unproven medicine for COVID-19. Some …Read More