Late in 2015, one of the pioneering stem cell and regenerative medicine biotechs, Ocata Therapeutics (fka as ACT or Advanced Cell Technology) was acquired by Astellas Pharma. At the time of purchase, Ocata had a number of areas of focus, but was most closely followed for its development of human embryonic stem cell-based retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs) for treatment of multiple kinds of macular degeneration. These products were advancing in promising clinical trials and had demonstrated good safety profiles. After the purchase of Ocata by …Read More
I asked Ocata CSO, Bob Lanza, for a comment on the big news of the acquisition of the company by Astellas. Here’s what he had to say: “I can say that this is an exciting time for regenerative medicine. The merger should greatly accelerate the pace of discovery, and, I hope, lead to treatments for a long list of diseases.” The day after hearing the news, I myself feel a bit more optimistic that Astellas will continue this important work and help patients with …Read More
Before I did the #icebucketchallenge, I challenged the leader of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), Dr. Bob Lanza, to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. He did it and leading up to it he provided a quite articulate message for context (see video below). Bob is one very cool guy even without ice water. The purpose of the Ice Bucket Challenge is to raise money for ALS research. Bob nominated ACT scientists Irina Klimanskaya, Shi-Jiang (John) Lu, and Erin Kimbrel to go next.
I did a brief email Q&A interview with Dr. Bob Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) on their new hES MSCs pre-clinical data for Multiple Sclerosis. I discussed the paper itself in a concise review yesterday here. Thanks to Dr. Lanza for doing the interview. 1. Were you surprised at the fact that the therapeutic benefit did not require engraftment or even the use of proliferative hES-MSCs? No, not at all. MSCs usually persist for only a few days or weeks, and exert their …Read More