360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - February 8, 2016

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360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - February 8, 2016

Featured video from Regenerative Medicine Foundation:

World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference- New video!

The Los Angeles Times: The Billion-Dollar CRISPR Patent Battle: A Case of Big Money Shaping Science
The L.A. Times published an informative column by Michael Hilzik relating to the massive U.S. patent battle over the breakthrough CRISPR technology. It’s the University of California versus the Broad Institute- the Harvard-and MIT- affiliated research foundation funded by philanthropist Eli Broad. Companies with competing interests are Caribou Biosciences and Editas Medicine. 360 Note: Patent cases on this massive scale can take years to resolve. In the end, patients are the probable losers. Read article.

World Stem Cell Summit

STAT: FDA Crackdown Could Shut Stem Cell Clinics Peddling Unproven Treatments
“Federal regulators are preparing to crack down on scores of clinics across the United States that offer pricey stem cell therapies for conditions ranging from autism to multiple sclerosis to erectile dysfunction without any scientific evidence that they work. As many as 200 stem cell clinics have cropped up in recent years, peddling injections, facelifts, and treatments for a number of devastating conditions. They have avoided heavy regulation, in part because they use cells extracted from a patient’s own body and because they don’t do much to those cells before reinjecting them. But the Food and Drug Administration recently issued draft guidelines that would designate the stem cells used in most clinics as drugs, requiring a rigorous approval process before they can be used in patients. A public hearing is set for April.” Read article

360 Editor’s comment: This article serves as an excellent primer about the challenges to shutting down stem cell rip-off clinics. There are numerous situations where the stem cell “brand” is being wielded as a marketing tool by unscrupulous clinics. A promised “cure-all” and desperate patients are paying dearly- in money and false hope. An injection of fat cells will not cure Parkinson’s- we should all know that! And take note- the trial lawyer community is smelling blood- besides plain old medical malpractice, the deceptive trade practice protections provide those damaged a powerful remedy, including attorney’s fees. The U.S. legal system has its own deterrent to consumer fraud. Doctors who falsely advertise are placing their licenses at risk. However, there is a problem with the FDA treating cell therapies as drugs. We need a path forward that ensures patient safety, while at the same time finding a faster and less onerous way to advance cell treatments and realize the potential for cures. Really, hands up if you want a 20- year process costing $2 billion to secure an effective cell therapy? Not many hands go up. I recommend for your consideration, a thoughtful and responsible report published by the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center, “Advancing Medical Innovation for a Healthier America.” Here is a link.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto): Canadian ‘Dream Team’ to Probe Stem-Cell Link to Brain Cancer
“Supported by the Canadian arm of Stand Up To Cancer, a charitable organization, together with Genome Canada and other federal and provincial partners, the $11.7 million project will allow researchers to explore the mechanisms underlying tumor growth and match their findings with candidate drugs that may halt the process.” Read the article


Nature: Karolinska Institute to Cut Ties with Controversial Trachea Surgeon Paolo Macchiarini
David Cyranoski reports that the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is ending its association with acclaimed but controversial surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who pioneered transplants of artificial windpipes seeded with stem cells but has been accused of ethical breaches in his work. The article provides a succinct summary of the latest fallout from the sad and embarrassing situation. Read article


JDRF and CIRM –supported ViaCyte Acquires Rights to BetaLogics Assets, Expanding and Extending Industry-Leading Portfolio for Stem Cell-Derived Approaches to Type 1 Diabetes
ViaCyte, Inc., a leading, privately-held regenerative medicine company with the first pluripotent stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes in clinical-stage development announced that ViaCyte and Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, have agreed to consolidate the assets of the Janssen BetaLogics group into ViaCyte. The agreement provides ViaCyte with an exclusive license to all BetaLogics intellectual property in the field of metabolic disease, including diabetes, and the transfer of related assets to ViaCyte. Read press release


The Wall Street Journal: Susan L. Solomon’s Stem-Cell Research Quest
Susan Solomon is the co-founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a research institute of immense importance to the field. She was honored in 2012 with a GPI the Stem Cell Action “Leadership Award.” Her background and accomplishments are amazing. Susan, is an “advocate’s advocate” and deserves the highest praise. Read article


360 Newsletter Editor

Bernard Siegel
Executive Director
Genetics Policy Institute

Bernard Siegel's TedX talk "Stem Cells and the Transformative Power of Hope"

About GPI

The nonprofit Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) seeks to establish a positive policy, regulatory and societal framework to enable research to flourish, under the highest ethical and medical standards. We seek to accelerate the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies to alleviate human suffering due to chronic and terminal afflictions. Visit Website.

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Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) and the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) Announce Merger Plan

Domain: Medical
Category: Biology

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