January 24, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Shinya Yamanaka

3 min read

The second day of ISSCR 2016 started off with a great session on pluripotency and plasticity, and the first talk was by Shinya Yamanaka. He changed the title of his talk to “Reprogramming of Cells and Scientist”. As with my other posts on this meeting, this one is a stream of quotes and impressions from the talk. The beginning was more autobiographical on his part and then the second half was on basic science. I really enjoyed this talk overall. It’s now been a …Read More

3 min read

Shinya Yamanaka is one of my favorite fellow scientists. His research is creative and rigorous along with having huge clinical implications. At the same time, Dr. Yamanaka sees the big picture and he’s very open about talking about real life as a scientist. I really appreciate both levels. In the past I interviewed him for my blog on the clinical use of IPS cells. In a new interview with Yamanaka by The Japan Times, he says quite a lot of important things. The field should …Read More

2 min read

There’s a growing stream of stem cell good news of late. Stem cell biotech, TiGenix, reported encouraging Phase 3 allogeneic results on stem cells. A big milestone. I can’t wait to see the actual data. Its product, Cx601, has so far been safe and effective for perianal fistulas in Crohn’s disease. See more from Alexey on this. CIRM has funded the largest public stem cell bank in the world. Want to make a withdrawal? Asterias reported some great news. It’s AST OPC-1 product showed some signs of encouraging efficacy in the …Read More

25 min read

By Michael Cea Jeanne Loring of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California kindly sat down with me at the ISSCR annual meeting for a broad discussion of her history, views on the field and developments in the science. I found Jeanne a refreshing character, as I did a number of others I was fortunate to meet in Sweden. Her style I can only best describe as natural. It must be the Southern California air or something but there is a definite quality of relaxed …Read More

3 min read

As many of you know, the pioneering, first of its kind IPS cell clinical study in Japan has been suspended as I first blogged about here.2020 Update: I believe a version of this study is ongoing. In the comments section of that blog post there has been a helpful overall discussion that has involved Dr. Masayo Takahashi, the leader of the IPS cell trial. It is great that Dr. Takahashi has been participating in this discussion and I commend her for that openness. This …Read More

9 min read

Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代) on IPSC Trial for Macular Degeneration By Michael Cea Stem Cell Analyst & Advocate (editor’s note: piece was originally posted on Michael’s blog here; follow Michael on Twitter @msemporda) Having followed closely the developments in programs using pluripotent based therapeutics I was fortunate during ISSCR2015 to have the opportunity to sit down with Dr Masayo Takahashi to discuss her pioneering efforts to translate Shinya Yamanaka’s groundbreaking iPS technology for debilitating retinal conditions. As most everyone is aware, the first iteration of the …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

4 min read

The day of plenary is the most enjoyable in my view including at ISSCR 2015 on the first day with a Yamanaka talk. You don’t need to make the choice between sessions and the judgement on the viability of shifting sessions versus staying put and listening to the slightly less relevant. ISSCR 2015 plenary was, as to be expected, full of the big names, the affectionately known Rusty (Fred Gage), Jonas Frisen (one of the smartest MD PhDs I have ever met) and of …Read More

2 min read

The still mysterious BioGatekeeper had challenged Yamanaka’s IPS cell patent claiming that it was obvious. The potential implications were huge given the commercial interest in translating IPS cell technology. For background see here, here, and here. There’s pretty much zero information on BioGatekeeper otherwise. Despite the potential seriousness of this patent challenge, just a few days ago the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied the challenge so for all intents and purposes BioGatekeeper’s effort is dead. A big hat tip to reader Shinsakan. You …Read More

2 min read

Congratulations to Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代), MD, PhD, the winner of the 2014 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. Dr. Takahashi received this award including the $2,000 prize for her exceptional achievements in stem cell research in 2014. She was selected as the winner from a stellar group of top 12 finalists this year. Takahashi leads a team doing high-risk, high reward research that is conducting the first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) clinical study in humans ever. I interviewed Takahashi at the beginning of this …Read More