January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Geron

3 min read

By Jeanne Loring What can you do with cells that live forever and can make every cell type in the body?  The answer is: remarkable things, as new reports of clinical trials using cell types derived from pluripotent stem cells indicate. Pluripotent stem cells are either derived from embryos donated from IVF procedures (human embryonic stem cells- hESCs) or from cells provided by a person, usually blood or skin (induced pluripotent stem cells- iPSCs).  The stem cells are never used for transplantation; instead, they …Read More

6 min read

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with the leadership of Asterias, a California biotech doing exciting clinical research using stem cells as the basis for treatment of spinal cord injury. The interview covers the past (Geron patients), present, and future. I spoke with Asterias President and CEO Stephen Cartt and CMO Edward Wirth. How are the Geron patients doing? Asterias: They are doing well. We have to remember that they got the low dose (2 million OPC1 cells) and we estimated that an …Read More

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

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

1 min read

I’ve added a fun and helpful new feature on the right side bar of the blog in the form of a stem cell biotech stock ticker. The ticker is for some of the most widely held stem and cellular medicine companies. A sample screen shot is shown in this post. Quite a few stem cell-related stocks could not be added to this ticker for various reasons including ACTC, Mesoblast, CUR, and others. Yahoo has limits on which stocks can be included based on company …Read More

3 min read

When you want to both know the real history of the pluripotent stem cell-based biotech industry and perspectives on its future, there are only a handful of people to turn to and one of them is definitely Dr. Michael West, CEO of BioTime. I’m doing a several part series of blog posts on a lengthy phone interview and conversation that I had with West. Today in Part 2 we are focused on clinical development of human ES cells and what happened with Geron. You …Read More