Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg

FDA should freeze Duke EAP & probe $58 million Cryo-Cell deal linked to it

cryo cell infusion clinic marketing

I recently found concerning SEC filings from the biotech Cryo-Cell about a deal it has with a Duke team for infusions of children with unproven umbilical cord cells. This turns out to be a $58 million deal. It relates in a major way to a Duke compassionate use or expanded access program (EAP) that already had raised …

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Cord conflicts at the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine

Cord-blood-autism

The journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine has a long track record of publishing great work. I also have a lot of respect for the editors there and I’ve published there myself. But a few recent events have sparked concerns including over possible undisclosed conflicts of interest in some papers there about cord blood for autism. …

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More Duke autism program backstory: stem cell ‘magic’ & money

Duke-Curemark-autism-study-pamphlet

Last week I wrote a long post detailing the troubling multimillion-dollar reverberations between the Duke autism program and a for-profit stem cell clinic in Panama called The Stem Cell Institute. The potential entanglements between the Duke group and the Panama clinic raise a bunch of questions and concerns. They center on questionable, unproven autism “treatments”. …

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Does Duke autism team partly have Panama stem cell clinic to thank for $10s of millions?

Drs.-Neil-Riordan-and-Joanne-Kurtzberg-MSCs-for-autism

What do a Panama stem cell clinic and the Duke autism program have in common? More than I might have imagined. There is a puzzle when it comes to the controversial idea of using cord blood for autism, because two of the strongest proponents are the autism cord blood program at Duke and for-profit, unproven …

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BARDA drops funding of research into stem cells for COVID-19

Rick-Bright-BARDA

Katie Thomas at the New York Times reports that BARDA has dropped considering funding applications for stem cells for COVID-19. The move is part of a larger shift in funding priorities away from lung treatments and toward vaccine development. The decision has puzzled and even angered some stem cell firms and researchers. BARDA stands for …

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Stem cells for autism: time to hit pause in 2018?

stem-cells-autism

Stem cells for autism? After watching this area for many years, I’m not sure there’s any “there there”. There are logical reasons to think that certain stem cells might help many specific diseases, but in my view autism isn’t likely to be one of them. I hope I’m wrong, but today at least in 2018, …

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Cord blood for cerebral palsy: mostly discouraging new trial data

umbilical-cord-blood, umbilical cord blood stem cells

Some notable newly published Phase II data from the Duke cord blood for cerebral palsy trial unfortunately doesn’t give much reason for optimism that this approach is going to have a substantial positive effect for these kids. The double-blinded, placebo-controlled study did not find a meaningful benefit overall from infusions of autologous cord blood (ACB) for …

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Why I am still very skeptical about stem cells for autism

stem-cells-for-autism

When patient families reach out to me, one of the most common questions is whether stem cells for autism offer real hope. The short answer at this time remains “no”. Of course, it’s not as simple as just “no” because there isn’t enough data to be sure, but there is reason for major skepticism about …

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On Duke stem cells for autism trial, did new CNN article hit the mark?

DawsonKurtzberg

What’s the scoop on stem cells for autism? Could stem cells make a real difference for autism patients and their families? CNN has a big, high-profile new article out today on the Duke stem cell trial for autism that has been ongoing for a while and I’m wondering how good a job CNN did on …

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Duke Launches Large, Debated Stem Cells for Autism Trial

DawsonKurtzberg

Is there real promise of stem cells for autism? At this point the jury remains out on that question, but a growing number of kids are nonetheless getting such “treatments” at for-profit dubious clinics. Academic clinical researchers are interested in this area as well. Still, the potential use of stem cells to treat autism is …

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