October 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Embryonic stem cells

2 min read

Bombshell news in the stem cell field as Ocata Therapeutics (OCAT; formerly Advanced Cell Technology or ACT) is reportedly to be acquired by Astellas Pharma, Inc. The offer for purchase of OCAT will be $8.50/share or almost $380 million. For more details see this detailed PDF from Astellas. This quote on the deal form Ocata: “Paul Wotton, Ph.D., President and CEO, Ocata said, “I am impressed by the vision and commitment of Astellas and believe that with their global resources behind our regenerative platform, patients …Read More

3 min read

The stem cell biotech Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) reported new, positive data in a paper in Lancet from their clinical trials using retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs) made from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) for treatment of different forms of macular degeneration (MD). The paper was entitled “Human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium in patients with age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s macular dystrophy: follow-up of two open-label phase 1/2 studies” with first author Steven D. Schwartz and senior author Robert Lanza, CSO of ACT. These two …Read More

4 min read

Just how good are human embryonic stem (ES) cells made by therapeutic cloning via nuclear transfer, with the successful technique first reported by the lab of Shoukhrat Mitalipov at OHSU last year? How do they compare to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells or traditional ES cells made from IVF embryos? A new paper in Nature directly tackles these key questions, but first a bit of context. Three separate groups have now successfully made ES cells using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). I have reviewed those three therapeutic cloning papers …Read More

2 min read

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