January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Doug Sipp

6 min read

There appears to be a big, risky loophole in the relatively new national Right To Try law. Some folks apparently anticipated this problem long ago, but I think most of us weren’t aware of it. Update: More specifically, some law and policy experts were writing about this and other potential loopholes in 2018. I recommend this piece from Beth Roxland and Elisa A. Hurley on the The PRIM&R blog. What’s the deal? It seems to be a case of what I would call piggybacking …Read More

4 min read

There is real hope for treating spinal cord injury with stem cell-based therapies in the future. However, unfortunately regulators in Japan have taken a major misstep in approving a not-ready-for-primetime mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based approach to spinal cord injury. Their decision is dangerous and unwise. In a Nature piece (linked to above) by David Cyranoski we learn that the MSC therapy in question is still unproven. There are only limited data available to support it, which are not from rigorous studies. The claimed outcomes …Read More

3 min read

Stem cells are always in the news so what’s up in the last week or two? CIRM News The dialogue over CIRM’s future is picking up a bit of steam. The San Francisco Chronicle did an in-depth piece on CIRM some weeks back and then opined that they didn’t feel supportive of another round of funding. I disagree. I think CIRM is a good future investment for California, but as a past CIRM grantee and stem cell advocate my opinion is probably not a …Read More

2 min read

It was interesting to see that this blog The Niche was cited in the lawsuit filing by the DOJ in the U.S.A. vs. California Stem Cell Treatment Center, Cell Surgical Network (CSN), et al. case. Yeah, that lawsuit. This suit is part of the DOJ action yesterday that along with the other suit against US Stem Cell seeks permanent injunctions against these firms related to their use of stem cells. Here’s the passage in paragraph 60 of the suit by the DOJ citing this interview that I …Read More

4 min read

Each year I make a list of predictions for the year to come for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. Then about a year later I grade myself on how I did as that year winds down. Here’s how I did in 2016. For 2017, late in 2016 I made 20 stem cell predictions. Let’s now see how I did. I was wrong on 6 out of the 20 predictions and mostly right on the rest with some others in the middle that I colored …Read More

4 min read

I am often critical of for-profit stem cell clinics on this blog for numerous reasons. For instance, one thing that concerns me greatly about these clinics is that they charge patients to get experimental “treatments” that have not been proven to be safe or effective. But as some patients have pointed out to me over the years, certain FDA-approved stem cell clinical trials also charge patients to receive unproven stem cell therapies. Should someone (even if that someone is an academic clinical researcher) be able …Read More

5 min read

For years I have been working to educate the community about the predatory stem cell clinics out there. These clinics prey on vulnerable patients and their families. The clinics use hope as a marketing tool. A weapon. As the number of such clinics has mushroomed in the US and elsewhere the risk to both patients and to the larger stem cell community proportionately rises too. We are in a situation today where the dangers from such clinics have never been higher. They are making …Read More

3 min read

The Knoepfler Lab 2012 Stem Cell Person of the Year is Roman Reed. Congratulations, Roman! Roman made a tremendous difference in 2012 in many ways. One of the most notable was catalyzing the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Act in Alabama, which provides $400,000/year in funding for research. Of course, TJ and many others who helped make this possible also deserve great credit and have my admiration, but Roman provided key leadership. Here in California, Roman’s Law supported its 11th year of grants all …Read More

7 min read

Here on The Niche I’m giving out a Stem Cell Person of the Year Award for 2012 along with all my other annual awards (e.g. best stem cell journal, paper, blog, comic, activist, etc). 2020 update: you can see future winners of the award here. The Person of the Year winner will get recognition for being a difference maker, someone who takes a risk to help others.    The winner also gets $1000 in cash from me.   About 30 people have been nominated, …Read More