January 21, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

ISSCR

2 min read

Over the years I’ve asked patients to talk about their experiences getting a stem cell therapy of one kind or another. One particular post in 2016 has drawn almost 400 comments, many from patients. The insights provided by these patients and the questions asked in the comment stream have provided a unique window into what’s going on out there. There is a remarkable diversity of readers on this blog from all over the world. I know we have a lot of readers who are …Read More

4 min read

We need more investigations of for-profit stem cell clinics selling what some view as ‘snake oil.’ Over the years I’ve mainly resisted using terms like “snake oil,” but that phrase is being used more often and more recently I think we need to be blunt about what is being sold. Part of effectively countering the worst of the clinics is for the media and others to do probing investigations. We need to shine some major sunlight on their practices, which then helps inform both …Read More

3 min read

What does the wide stem cell and regenerative medicine community think of California’s new stem cell law requiring that clinics selling non-FDA approved stem cell offerings make specific disclosures to prospective customers and that the state medical board keep track of how this all unfolds? You probably already know that I am supportive of the California law. With more than 100 clinics in California as of last year marketing non-FDA approved “treatments” and this number apparently increasing, something needs to be done to protect …Read More

3 min read

The FDA is holding its first 2016 stem cell meeting today and you can read about some impressions of the morning session of this meeting here. In this post, I’m focusing on the afternoon session, which has been mostly on policy and ethics, including on stem cell clinics. Jonathan Kimmelman from McGill University got the afternoon going with his excellent talk “Ethics, Evidence, and Regulatory Approval for Cell-Based Interventions“. Jonathan started his talk addressing the stem cell clinic situation in the U.S. and asking more broadly how …Read More

3 min read

Now that the ISSCR annual meeting is over, some overall stem cell trends are evident from the meeting in terms of the direction of the stem cell field. This was one of my favorite ISSCR meetings. Translation expectation and upbeat tone. The overall vibe at the meeting was a sense of excitement and optimism about the field and where it stands in terms of advancing knowledge and translating stem cells to the clinic. There are challenges and debates over the different possible paths forward, but the …Read More

6 min read

I recently chatted with Sean Morrison, current President of ISSCR, on his goals for the Society, where the stem cell field stands today, top challenges, and the future. 2020 update: read my new interview with Sean on cell therapies for COVID-19. What are your goals for your tenure as President of ISSCR? SM: ISSCR is the international voice for research in the scientific community. There’s been less effort though amongst policy makers and the general public. I want to expand the reach beyond just the …Read More

4 min read

What’s on your mind on this Monday morning and are you caffeinated enough yet? Depending on where you live it may even be time for dinner, bed, or already early Tuesday. Here are some Monday musings… To get safe and effective stem cell treatments to patients in a responsible, compliant manner you need commercial efforts and that in almost all cases means biotechs. Doing this blog for 5+ years has made it really sink in just how crucial the commercial side is to all …Read More

4 min read

The path to the clinic is a slow and arduous activity, frustrating not only to the researcher and patient, but investors and biotech companies. Successful clinical translation of technologies requires a balance of science, streamlined translation and funding. To develop fantastic science and then realise the most important components cannot be adapted to the clinical environment is as disastrous as having a great product but no cash to get it past the post. The fruitful interaction of researchers, companies and clinics will save a …Read More

2 min read

The annual ISSCR meeting has started in Stockholm. This is always a great annual meeting both for the science and for connecting with people including new friends and colleagues as well as old friends. Another element to the meeting is the insider conversations in the halls, restaurants, and bars that tell a behind the scenes story of the stem cell field. Below are my top 10 things to look for that might be discussed over a beer or coffee this year. Also be sure to check …Read More

2 min read

I wish I was going to be with all you who are attending the ISSCR Annual Meeting in Stockholm coming up in a week or so, but this year the schedule just doesn’t work. I’ll try to be there in spirit. For those of you attending, I do have something fun though and a chance to win some money. I’m inviting attendees of ISSCR to submit entries in two contests: (1) guest blog posts and (2) pictures or videos from the meeting itself or …Read More