January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Interviews

5 min read

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been around for a long time, but patients are often confused by it. In part the confusion arises from how it is marketed, which sometimes includes it being described as “stem cells”, which it is not. However, at times it can be as a therapy with stem cells or other biologics, which also adds to the complexity. To help clarify where things stand including on the clinical science, I’m going to do a series of new posts on platelet …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

5 min read

There’s a lot going on in Florida with non-FDA approved stem cell offerings even just related to stem cells for vision problems alone, but while US Stem Cell has drawn the most attention related to patient allegations of severe vision loss in Florida after fat stem cell injections in eyes, another group I’ll loosely call the “SCOTS Trial” has also been injecting investigational stem cells (in this case from bone marrow) into patients’ eyes and some patients have made allegations of harm there too in …Read More

9 min read

When I think of the promise of stem cells for diabetes, the privately held California stem cell firm ViaCyte is the first biotech that comes to mind now. It has promising stem cell clinical trial work building. Today’s post is a new interview with the company’s CEO Paul Laikind. For past posts on ViaCyte see here, which includes an interview with Laikind a few years ago. PK: The last time we talked was in March 2015. Can you please update us on the VC-01 trial? How …Read More

3 min read

Hans Keirstead is one of the top stem cell scientists in the world who has been doing cutting edge research including on using stem cells to reverse paralysis where he teamed up with super patient advocate Roman Reed (see the two pictured at right), but now he is also running for Congress. How cool is that? Here is a quick Q&A interview with Hans today (see below). Please consider making a campaign contribution to support his candidacy. He would be amazing as a Congressman! When did …Read More

1 min read

Where is the field of IPS cells going and how will this impact the overall field of stem cell-based regenerative medicine? Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka, the discoverer of IPS cells, gave a really interesting recent interview to Nikkei that provides some fascinating insights into the future of this exciting technology that is now more than a decade old. For simplicity I have indicated top highlights from the Yamanaka interview below as bullet points. More IPS cell trials are on track to start as soon as 2018 …Read More

6 min read

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with the leadership of Asterias, a California biotech doing exciting clinical research using stem cells as the basis for treatment of spinal cord injury. The interview covers the past (Geron patients), present, and future. I spoke with Asterias President and CEO Stephen Cartt and CMO Edward Wirth. How are the Geron patients doing? Asterias: They are doing well. We have to remember that they got the low dose (2 million OPC1 cells) and we estimated that an …Read More

5 min read

In the past year there has been a great deal of attention given to the potential use of CRISPR-Cas9 for gene editing in human embryos. An important recent development, described in a new NPR article by Rob Stein, is the use of CRISPR-Cas9 in healthy human embryos for developmental biology research by assistant professor Fredrik Lanner of The Karolinska Institute. Dr. Lanner, who invited Stein into his lab to observe the work, kindly agreed to do a Q&A interview with me (below) on his …Read More

1 min read

You can listen to my co-author Leigh Turner’s interview on Science Friday here about our Cell Stem Cell paper on the stem cell clinic industry in the U.S. Start listening around the 8:30 mark. It’s great that this paper has so strongly raised awareness about the booming stem cell clinic industry in America as well as the urgent need for much more open and active discussion of the serious issues that this reality raises on a number of levels. You can follow Leigh on …Read More

2 min read

Below is a my interview with an FDA spokesperson on the upcoming April public meeting on the four recent draft guidances related to the regulation of HCT/Ps, including stem cell treatments. This meeting and the draft guidances could have substantial impact on future regulatory frameworks for stem cell treatments so I thought it important to reach out to the FDA to clarify the process. PK: When the FDA issues draft guidances is it a standard approach to have a public meeting of the kind …Read More