January 28, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

stem cells spinal cord injury

2 min read

Over time I seem to collect more upbeat stories about stem cells and regenerative medicine as well as cool publications  so today’s “good news” post is a collection of these kinds of things plus one example of huge science hype. Here’s a list of past such upbeat posts. The preclinical good news in rats from my graduate alma mater UCSD, ‘New Injection Technique May Boost Spinal Cord Injury Repair Efforts‘ via stem cells. Here’s the actual Stem Cells Translational Medicine pub.from a team led …Read More

2 min read

At least four cases of spinal tumors have now been reported following experimental nasal stem cell transplants for paralysis. There’s some risk of tumor development with just about any stem cell transplant, but risks are higher with experimental injections of unproven stem cells. Whill risks of tumor formation come along even with standard bone marrow and whole organ transplants (both extremely low), there’s a lot more data in those contexts to understand these tiny risks. With unproven stem cell transplants things are often much …Read More

2 min read

Japan is a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and in particular in clinical translation toward the bedside. Induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-based investigational therapies are rightly an area of focus in Japan given their invention by Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka. Small clinical studies based on IPSC have been initiated there for several diseases including related to vision loss and Parkinson’s Disease. David Cyranoski over at Nature reports on a new, different stem cell clinical effort in Japan for vision loss with …Read More

5 min read

What is stem cell media? When us scientists hear the phrase “stem cell media” we usually think about the liquid food that we feed our stem cells in the lab, which resembles a kind of nutrient-rich Kool-aid, but another kind of stem cell media consists of the news coverage of stem cells. This other kind of stem cell media does a service in education the public, but it sometimes goes astray to engage in hype or get things factually wrong. This media mess may …Read More

3 min read

It’s a difficult, but very important road to conclusively prove that an investigational stem cell therapy is both safe and effective in order to get final approval FDA or equivalents in other countries. For this reason, it is beneficial to highlight even small, but positive steps forward including encouraging pre-clinical data. Today I’m doing a review of stem cell therapy good news in the clinical path with a focus on biotechs in particular (in alphabetical order), but starting first with news from here at …Read More

2 min read

In the whirlwind that is the stem cell and regenerative medicine world, there are many concerning things that need attention, but also good stuff happens too and this post focuses on the positive. The Asterias spinal cord injury clinical trial, a phase 1/2a trial called SCiStar, continues to make encouraging news with a clean safety profile and additional hints at possible positive indicators of efficacy. With the usual, important caveats such as that this is early and it is not an RCT, the SCiStar momentum …Read More

6 min read

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with the leadership of Asterias, a California biotech doing exciting clinical research using stem cells as the basis for treatment of spinal cord injury. The interview covers the past (Geron patients), present, and future. I spoke with Asterias President and CEO Stephen Cartt and CMO Edward Wirth. How are the Geron patients doing? Asterias: They are doing well. We have to remember that they got the low dose (2 million OPC1 cells) and we estimated that an …Read More

2 min read

A sad, but not surprising day for the stem cell field as the biotech StemCells, Inc. announced that it is winding down its operations after terminating its spinal cord injury trial called the Pathway Study. The data generated so far did not justify continuing the trial. StemCells, Inc. (stock symbol STEM) has struggled financially for quite some time. In February of this year I asked if the company could cheat death given how bad things were looking and what I was hearing through the …Read More