September 25, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Robert Lanza

2 min read

Stem cell news is always burbling up, sometimes right there in front of us on the web and other times via networks of people. Astellas news. Some may remember there used to be this pioneering stem cell biotech called ACT, which then became Ocata, and finally was acquired by the big company Astellas. One of their areas of focus was on using pluripotent stem cells for macular degeneration. The driving scientific force was (and is) Dr. Robert Lanza. About a year ago I had …Read More

3 min read

Do stem cells for vision loss offer real hope? I believe so, but it’s a long road and must be done right. A new paper in this area generated some buzz on top of an earlier recent pub (mentioned in this post) just a week or so ago about the potential of stem cells for vision loss. The new paper is entitled, “A bioengineered retinal pigment epithelial monolayer for advanced, dry age-related macular degeneration” and is Kashani, et al. They generated special eye cells called retinal …Read More

2 min read

Late in 2015, one of the pioneering stem cell and regenerative medicine biotechs, Ocata Therapeutics (fka as ACT or Advanced Cell Technology) was acquired by Astellas Pharma. At the time of purchase, Ocata had a number of areas of focus, but was most closely followed for its development of human embryonic stem cell-based retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs) for treatment of multiple kinds of macular degeneration. These products were advancing in promising clinical trials and had demonstrated good safety profiles. After the purchase of Ocata by …Read More

1 min read

The voting on the 20 nominees for Stem Cell Person of the Year finished at midnight last night. After more than 1,000 votes, we have the top 10 finalists. These ten are some of the most remarkable people in the world of stem cells today. They have all had great impact, but in very diverse ways. They run the spectrum from patient advocates to the President of CIRM to a host of top stem cell researchers. Patient advocates Ted Harada and Judy Roberson have the …Read More