January 17, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Remestemcel-l

2 min read

I’ve been closely following the arena of stem cells for COVID-19 since the pandemic broke including the efforts of Mesoblast. Mesoblast unlikely to meet primary endpoints in Phase III COVID trial Now, the firm got bad news as its DSMB reported that they are unlikely to meet the primary endpoint for their Phase III trial of their stem cell product for COVID-19 based on preliminary analyses. Mesoblast had set the endpoint as a “43% reduction in mortality at 30 days for treatment with remestemcel-L.” …Read More

3 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic is tearing through the country right as we are starting into the holiday season, but the wheels of science including cell biology keep going and we keep reading all the great work. What news or papers caught your eye? Here are some of the things I have on my list of reading. Also, check out our most-read topic here on The Niche of the last month or so in two posts here and here digging into what I see as Duke’s cord …Read More

6 min read

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is counterintuitive In the weeks and months following a transplant, a major concern is the recipient’s immune system rejecting the “foreign” biological material. But in GVHD, the opposite happens: transplanted tissue unleashes a horde of T cells that spark a cascade of inflammation, within 100 days. Typically, GVHD follows a bone marrow transplant (BMT). Eighty Percent Mortality BMT has been used for more than half a century to treat and possibly cure certain cancers and single-gene conditions like sickle cell disease, …Read More

3 min read

Today’s post is the latest edition of my weekly recommended reads, which this week include Fate Therapeutics, COVID-19 updates, AAMC, and more including some great pubs such as one on 2 modes of PRC2 function. Also check out this handy resource: Helpful 2020 List of Stem Cell Journals and this blast from the past post of 10 years ago: Keep Your Stem Cells Away From BPA. I’ll start with the mid-August 2020 recommended pubs and then go to the media items, but first I wanted to …Read More

5 min read

The biotech Mesoblast is starting an expanded access study of its stem cell product for kids with a severe offshoot of COVID-19. The cellular drug in this case is remestemcel-L (more below). While most children fare better than adults in dealing with COVID-19, the rare subset of kids with COVID-19 for this study have more severe disease than the average COVID patient and some die. Physicians need more potential treatment options here for these children. In that sense one could argue that testing more new …Read More

3 min read

Could various kinds of cell therapy help patients with COVID-19? A variety of cell therapies, mostly focused on mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs), have gotten cleared quickly in the U.S., China, and Israel and possibly other countries to be tested in patients with the novel coronavirus. I hope at least one proves helpful. It’s mostly a long shot, but some investigational products seem relatively speaking more promising than others. Here are some of the main developments as of April 13, 2020. I will likely update …Read More

4 min read

Could two stem cell biotechs Athersys and Mesoblast help in the battle against the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19? Stem cells, ARDS, and COVID-19 I’ve already written two pieces about the idea of using stem cells to battle COVID-19 (here and here), the sometimes fatal disease that arises from infection with the novel coronavirus. Older patients and those with underlying conditions are those at greatest risk of severe disease that results in hospitalization, entry into the ICU, and in some cases death. One of the …Read More