January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

COVID-19

3 min read

Could various kinds of cell therapy help patients with COVID-19? A variety of cell therapies, mostly focused on mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs), have gotten cleared quickly in the U.S., China, and Israel and possibly other countries to be tested in patients with the novel coronavirus. I hope at least one proves helpful. It’s mostly a long shot, but some investigational products seem relatively speaking more promising than others. Here are some of the main developments as of April 13, 2020. I will likely update …Read More

3 min read

It’s not every day that I call a bunch of stem cell clinics to say “hi”, but yesterday I called some of them during a needed lunch break from grant writing to see what they were doing about their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The impetus for this survey of a sort was a question someone asked me last week, “Are stem cell clinics still open during the pandemic? They can’t be, right?” That got me thinking — could these clinics selling injections of …Read More

7 min read

To get at addressing what’s the real deal on the idea of cellular therapies for COVID-19, I did a short email Q&A interview with Dr. Sean Morrison. Sean is Chair of the Public Policy Committee at ISSCR and Director of Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern. He was also President of ISSCR in 2015-2016, and during his tenure I interviewed him here on The Niche about the challenges and future of the stem cell/regenerative medicine field. You can read more about the Morrison lab …Read More

6 min read

Rudy Giuliani has been tweeting all kinds of wild things about the novel coronavirus and is apparently very excited about the idea of “stem cells” for COVID-19 patients. What could go wrong, right? Giuliani starts vaguely tweeting about “stem cells” I wrote a few days ago about how Giuliani had been plugging an upcoming podcast he was doing on “stem cells” for COVID-19. Since then I watched the video so you don’t have to, that is unless you really want to for some reason. …Read More

2 min read

Things are getting worse with the COVID19 pandemic and in parallel there is increasing hype including from clinics that somehow stem cells or similar products could help with the latest (and most worrisome) development being a bombshell tweet from Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The former mayor of New York and Trump frontman just tweeted this morning about stem cells combating the novel coronavirus (HT to @Bryson_M). Today we discuss the use of stem cell therapy to combat the novel coronavirus #COVID19 Americans are organizing …Read More

4 min read

When the number of stem cell clinical studies and trials listed for COVID-19 first started spiraling upward it seemed likely that stem cell clinics and other firms in that arena would get interested. I thought that we’d see the unproven regenerative medicine coronavirus bandwagon quickly grow. Unfortunately, there are reasons to be increasingly concerned here. For instance, the idea that stem cells or exosomes could successfully treat COVID-19 is getting more buzz by clinics and other related firms. Sometimes it is getting hyped too in the …Read More

2 min read

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic there are still some research things we can do including data analysis as well as reading new papers and media articles on science, including regenerative medicine. If the weather’s good and you have wi-fi (or you print articles still on paper) you can even do this out in the fresh air and sunshine, if the weather cooperates. Here are some recommended recent science and regenerative medicine reads. At the end I add what might be the worst case of science …Read More

3 min read

I’m continuing my stem cell patient Q&A series and today’s Q&A#2 post is focused on whether autoimmune patients generally or specifically those who have received chemo and hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) are at higher risk from COVID-19? Multiple patients have asked me this. It’s a great question and obviously urgent right now during the outbreak. BTW, You can read patient Q&A#1 from this Q&A series on the potential for stem cell clinics to put patients at risk of graft-vs-host disease via stem cell …Read More

4 min read

Could two stem cell biotechs Athersys and Mesoblast help in the battle against the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19? Stem cells, ARDS, and COVID-19 I’ve already written two pieces about the idea of using stem cells to battle COVID-19 (here and here), the sometimes fatal disease that arises from infection with the novel coronavirus. Older patients and those with underlying conditions are those at greatest risk of severe disease that results in hospitalization, entry into the ICU, and in some cases death. One of the …Read More

3 min read

I’ve been watching as the number of registered stem cell-related clinical trials for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disease COVID-19 continues to spiral upward, mostly in China. During the last two weeks, I’ve been trying to carve out a bit of time to look at these actual trials in more depth, but I admittedly haven’t gotten very far as I’m super busy with other stuff. What I have read so far in the COVID-19/stem cell trial descriptions hasn’t convinced me that stem cells are likely …Read More