January 21, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Dr. Richard Burt

3 min read

“HSCT Chicago Clinic Closing!” is the startling header in all caps on a patient-run Facebook page about a stem cell therapy clinical trial program at Northwestern University. What’s going on? Unfortunately, the promising field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases seems to have suffered an unexpected setback here. Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern, one of the leading figures in the area of developing HSCT approaches for MS and other autoimmune disorders, is going on a sabbatical …Read More

5 min read

Stem cells for MS? How promising is that? A new paper gives stronger reason for hope, but unfortunately this story is more complex than it seems on first glance. New Paper The idea of using a stem cell-related approach to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) has been around for a long time holding major promise, but there hasn’t been much in the way of high-quality trial data out there in the published literature. A paper this week from the Richard Burt team at Northwestern (NW) …Read More

9 min read

Today’s post is the last of a three-part series on the Burt stem cell trials at Northwestern. This piece is focused on funding and the future of the trial, and also includes perspectives from patients. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here, which focused on issues related to potential encouragement of patient fundraising that unintentionally releases private information and on concerns over marketing of the ongoing trial as already known to be something like curative for MS. I’ve summarized my overall concerns in a flow chart below. …Read More

7 min read

Can science now cure MS in some patients with stem cells or is that near on the horizon? What about stem cells for other serious autoimmune disorders? What are the risks to patients in terms of health, money, and hope? What if patients must find $100,000 or $200,000 just to get into a clinical trial for this and insurance only sometimes helps in a big way? Will the trial conclude with an approved product that works and is safe enough? It’s always complicated with an ongoing …Read More

10 min read

Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University has been doing cutting edge research on the use of stem cells for autoimmune disorders for more than a decade. The core idea behind the work that Burt and other research teams are doing is that stem cells may have revolutionary potential to somehow counteract the autoimmunity that causes serious, life threatening diseases in many patients, including those suffering from particularly aggressive forms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Some have recently been characterizing Dr. Burt’s MS experiments as potential …Read More

2 min read

The FDA recently issued a lengthy warning letter to Northwestern University over the clinical trial practices of its Dr. Richard Burt and this letter just popped up on the FDA website. To my knowledge this is an unprecedented event as I’m not aware of another warning letter to a major university for a stem cell trial. Burt received the FDA warning letter late last year for a number of serious problems with his stem cell trial including failure to promptly report patient deaths to the FDA. Another issue noted …Read More

2 min read

The Vatican Stem Cell Meeting 2013 has started. We are fortunate to have a guest blogger, John A. Carbona, CEO of BioLife Cell Bank, who is in attendance and kindly is giving us inside coverage of the meeting. Below is a guest blog from John on Day 1 of the meeting. We even have pictures. Thanks, John! -Paul Thursday, April 11, 2012 The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference: Regenerative Medicine – A Fundamental Shift in Science & Culture, taking place from within …Read More