January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

ALS stem cells

13 min read

A new right-to-try company called Beacon of Hope is stirring some intense discussion. State and federal right-to-try laws could potentially change the fabric of how many investigational studies are conducted. That may happen through firms like Beacon of Hope. However, we don’t know much about the firm. I’m hoping to help change that. Today’s post includes a detailed interview with the leader of Beacon of Hope, Richard Garr. For background, Garr was formerly CEO at Neuralstem. During his tenure at Neuralstem it became well-known …Read More

4 min read

Today the FDA put an Arizona firm called R3 Stem Cell, LLC and its leader Dr. David Greene on notice that what they and 50+ affiliates centers are selling in the way of stem cells were not approved by the agency. R3 Stem Cell markets perinatal (birth-related) stem cell offerings on its website. There’s a lot of subtext in the FDA letter and accompanying PR, in my view none of it good for the company or its “centers of excellence.” The R3 website also …Read More

2 min read

Patient advocate Ted Harada is the recipient of this year’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. Congrats also to the runner-up, HD patient advocate Judy Roberson. The three of us together are pictured at left. You can read about the 20 nominees here and see the vote results that picked the 10 finalists here. Very sadly, as many of you know, Ted passed away just a few months ago from a brain tumor so I am giving him this award posthumously. Accepting the award …Read More

6 min read

On Thursday here at UC Davis School of Medicine we held our second annual Stem Cell Ethics Symposium. The symposium was organized by Drs. Mark Yarborough and Nanette Joyce as well as me. In this post I report on key take homes from the meeting and summarize the specific talks. As far as I know, this is one of the few events in the world where there is such a wide diversity of stakeholders present both as speakers and in the audience to specifically discuss stem cell ethics for a full …Read More

4 min read

This is Part 2 of my interview with ALS and stem cell advocate, Ted Harada. You can read Part 1 of my talk with Ted on where things stand today with ALS, the FDA, and the Ice Bucket Challenge. What’s your opinion of the “Right To Try” law in Colorado and the concept more generally? It seems to have the potential to speed innovation, but also put patients at risk. How will this be balanced out?  Ted: I am a strong advocate for Right …Read More

5 min read

Ted Harada is a wonderful patient advocate for the stem cell field and for the development of safe and effective stem cell products to treat ALS. Ted has ALS and received stem cell-based treatments for it with surprising, very encouraging results. The Harada family is pictured at left with Ted, his wife Michelle as well as their three children Ted, Jordan, and Ashleigh. Ted was a finalist for this blog’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award last year and he achieves a great deal …Read More

5 min read

Is Neuralstem flirting with noncompliance via a Right To Try Law in Colorado? Colorado is an independent-minded state. For example, it is one of only a few states including Washington State with legalized marijuana use. More recently, Colorado passed a new law supported by the ultra-conservative Goldwater Institute, the so-called Right To Try Law. This law allows patients to try experimental, unapproved medical interventions that have completed a Phase 1 clinical trial. Most Phase 1 drugs ultimately fail to be proven safe and effective and Phase …Read More

4 min read

The below is an excerpt from my book, Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide. I hope you enjoy this excerpt and the book, which I think is a really good deal at under $27 paperback or under $17 for E-book version. Having our innovation and ethics too In the stem cell field you can have it both ways. As a company, you can be ethical and help patients. There are many examples of stem cell-related corporations doing “the right thing” when it comes to developing …Read More