May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Capricor

10 min read

The idea of testing stem cells for COVID-19 may be music to the ears of some folks as an opportunity, but to me from the beginning it sounded mostly like a spaghetti on the wall road to trouble. There is buzz out there that some kind of stem cells or other cells will help with COVID-19. The reality is that that’s probably not going to happen. Even so, a whole range of people and firms are somewhat exaggerating and in a few cases outright …Read More

3 min read

  It’s been a busy week for the cellular and regenerative medicine space for COVID-19 news with some possible ups including for Mesoblast and some definite downs. Starting with the more positive media buzz with have Mesoblast. Mesoblast made COVID19 news “Thinly traded Mesoblast Limited (NASDAQ:MESO) rockets 51% premarket on average volume in reaction to its announcement of an 83% (n=10/12) survival rate in ventilator-dependent COVID19 patients who were treated with its allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell product candidate remestemcel-L within the first five days. Nine of the 10 …Read More

2 min read

This post includes my updated list of firms/products that have received FDA regenerative medicine advanced therapy designation or RMAT, which are in the public domain. The numbers really jumped in the last month. I’m assuming for the purposes of this resource page that all self-reports are accurate. Note that the links embedded into the firm names are to relevant press releases or other reference material. A special thanks to some folks at ARM for helping me keep the list up to date. You can …Read More

2 min read

How is the stem cell and regenerative medicine biotech sector doing these days and does recent news about specific biotechs such as Capricor suggest issues for the sector more broadly? Capricor had bad news earlier this year related to its stem cells for heart disease program and things just took a turn for the worse this week as pharma giant J&J severed ties with the small California company (here and here). Capricor, which has received more than $17 million in CIRM grant funding, could …Read More

2 min read

Over at the California Stem Cell Report, David Jensen is reporting on some good news from CIRM for California on the stem cell clinical trial front. Stem cell biotechs Asterias and Capricor have stem cell trials supported by 20+ million in CIRM funding each and have been hitting milestones. These trials are progressing and so far have good safety profiles. Asterias and CIRM have mentioned some possibly encouraging early hints at efficacy as well in its trial, and apparently there are hopeful hints from the Capricor trial too. See …Read More

4 min read

What does the future hold for CIRM? I asked former CIRM Board Chair and Prop 71 leader, Robert Klein, about that and more in the interview below. He also says some particularly exciting clinical trial and other developments in the stem cell field are coming soon. What got you excited for the very first time about stem cells & regenerative medicine? Klein: In 2002, I was talking to the Director of the NIDDK, the source of the NIH funding on Diabetes Research. My son, …Read More