October 31, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

iPS cell clinical trial

3 min read

Clinical trials using organoids are still rare and a Clinicaltrials.gov search for such organoid work largely brings up in vitro studies. A new clinical study in Japan where organoid material will actually be transplanted into patients is causing a lot of excitement. Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代) is a pioneer in stem cell-based clinical trial work and more specifically induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-based trials. Her new clinical study is another groundbreaking step in that it is organoid based, in this case for Retinitis pigmentosa. …Read More

1 min read

Here are some headlines & articles worth a look and some thought on stem cell and biomedical science more generally. Gallup finds in a new poll that 60% of Americans surveyed find human embryonic stem celsl research “largely acceptable”. On the other hand human reproductive cloning is highly frowned upon, sandwiched in the “highly unacceptable category between suicide, polygamy, and infidelity. Notably, even cloning of animals was viewed pretty negatively. Time Magazine’s piece Friday on Gordie Howe, who just passed away, and his controversial …Read More

2 min read

What’s better for stem cell trials such as for vision loss or Parkinson’s Disease: allogeneic or autologous cells? In a major shift earlier this year, the induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell trial in Japan for treatment of macular degeneration (MD) switched gears from using the patients’ own cells (called “autologous”) to using banked cells from other people, termed “allogeneic”. Dr. Masayo Takahashi, the leader of this MD trial indicated the main reason was due to regulatory changes related to stem cells in Japan. This …Read More

3 min read

In a shocker, Japan’s 2nd largest newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, published an editorial yesterday  saying that iPS cells are being pushed too fast to the clinic for economic reasons. The piece was bluntly entitled “Too much of a rush for clinical trials with iPS cells”. Asahi Shimbun, with a circulation of 10 million, is taking a bold step in questioning whether the iPS cell field in Japan might be moving too fast and the non-medical reasons behind that. They start off their piece with a bang …Read More