January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

BTX

3 min read

As I posted recently, Asterias Biotherapeutics has had good early safety results so far in its historic stem cell trial for spinal cord injury and now the company presented some early, encouraging hints at efficacy.  However, a caveat here is that this is not an RCT (randomized controlled trial). Ed Wirth, CMO of Asterias, presented the early data at the 55th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Spinal Cord Society. You can take a look at the very interesting talk slides here. Asterias is a subsidiary …Read More

2 min read

To get from point A of a stem cell discovery to point B of a patient actually receiving a treatment based on that discovery is a long and non-linear road, which requires biotech company research. Stem cell biotech companies including publicly traded companies are an integral part of the field making that journey. How those companies fare financially is not just of interest to investors, but also should be on the radar screen of scientists and advocates too. Lately, stem cell companies have not …Read More

2 min read

Stem cell biotech BioTime announced the news today that its subsidiary Cell Cure Neurosciences (Cell Cure) has filed an IND with the FDA for an embryonic stem (ES) cell-based therapy for Dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The product to be tested is OpRegen, which the company indicates is “the first IND for an ES cell-based therapy developed in Israel.” Cell Cure in its PR on this IND also listed three other key bullet points: “IND filed for Phase I/IIa dose escalation trial in patients …Read More

3 min read

The BioTime subsidiary, Asterias, has received FDA approval for a combined Phase I/IIa clinical trial of OPC1 for treating spinal cord injury. BioTime (BTX) and Asterias (ASTY) have picked up the portfolio of the former Geron clinical trial using oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC). Asterias also acquired a second element from Geron in the form of a lung cancer treatment based on stem cells that sounds quite intriguing. To learn more about this exciting news I interviewed Jane Lebkowski, President of Research and Development at Asterias. 1. …Read More

2 min read

It’s been an important week for stem cells. Although I’ve been busy working on multiple grants and papers, when I take a break I like to read up on what’s been going on with stem cells. What are the top stem cell stories and headlines of the week? CIRM awarded Asterias (a subsidiary of BioTime) $14.3 million to continue clinical research into the use of hESC-derived OPCs for spinal cord injury. This is great news as the work formerly started by Geron lives again …Read More

2 min read

It was my pleasure recently to  talk at length with Dr. Michael West, CEO of the Stem Cell Biotech, BioTime (BTX). West has been at the helm of BioTime since 2007 and is a true pioneer in the stem cell field. He founded Geron (GERN) and was a top leader at Advanced Cell Technology (ACT; stock symbol ACTC) in the early days. He contributed to the team that made human embryonic stem cells (hESC) a reality too. West and I talked at length about the …Read More