September 24, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


2 min read

Last year one of the biggest events in the stem cell field was biotech Geron punting its embryonic stem cell (ESC) program. Much consternation followed. Some folks opposed to ESCs happily pronounced ESC research dead. Some folks in favor of ESC thought the world was ending a year early. Others tried to look on the bright side and hoped for a buyer for Geron’s ESC-related assets, but through the grapevine everything I was hearing was that that was not going to happen. Now that …Read More

2 min read

The grapevine is afire with the Geron news and there are many interpretations out there of what it means and why it happened. Based on several accounts from folks who remain anonymous, here is the most probable prediction of what happened to lead us to yesterday’s announcement. Geron has been worried for a long time about its finances (aren’t all biotechs worried in this way, all the time?), but this concern has been heightened more recently and was the reason that former CEO Okarma …Read More

4 min read

What really happens to cells after they a stem cell transplant into a patient? Once these cells, which have spent weeks in a lab environment, are injected into a person, what happens next? This is arguably the most important question in the regenerative medicine field, but there are few answers. We are literally mostly in the dark about what cells do after transplant, but there are some things that can be predicted pretty confidently. Barring the introduction of some kind of suicide gene, once …Read More

2 min read

CIRM announced two sets of awards today that both should make major impact including its first clinical trial via Geron and $38 million for 27 basic biology studies. First Clinical Trial. Today CIRM awarded $25 million to support Geron’s FDA-approved clinical trial for spinal cord injury. This is CIRM’s first award to a for-profit company in support of a clinical trial and represents a major milestone.  The funding should help Geron accelerate the clinical trial and is wonderful news. You can read the grant …Read More