Archive for November, 2014

Right Turn: Bands and bandages

Author: Stacey Johnson, 11/28/14

. If you’ve never heard of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), you’re not alone. This rare genetic disease, which occurs in one of 20,000 births, creates fragile skin that tears at the slightest touch and results in blisters, sores and scar tissue. There is no cure. EB sufferers who are fortunate enough to survive into adulthood often…Read more

Update from the Clinic: October

Author: Mark Curtis, 11/27/14

. Welcome to your Update from the Clinic for the month of October. Northwest Biotherapeutics continues to receive support for its cancer vaccine platform in Europe. Neuralstem and StemCells provided updates on their respective clinical programs for spinal cord injury. Pluristem continues to advance its second product, PLX-RAD, into large-scale manufacturing. Read on to find…Read more

Calling attention to collagen, the lesser known “triple” helix

Author: Holly Wobma, 11/24/14

> For anyone who follows crime dramas, you’ve probably come across the token episode where the resident computer genius pulls up a double helix to unravel some genetic clue about an elusive villain. Of course, most people know that the information in DNA requires more than a few clicks of the “zoom” button. But my…Read more

Right Turn: Out of the bubble with gene-edited stem cells

Author: Lisa Willemse, 11/21/14

> This is a rather exciting time to be in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field and one of the main reasons for this is the number of announcements and articles about clinical trials taking place. Seven years ago, when I joined the Stem Cell Network, these were a rare occurrence, but today it’s…Read more

Lessons from Dendreon

Author: Mark Curtis, 11/20/14

. You have all by now heard that Dendreon has filed for bankruptcy protection. If you’re a regular reader of Signals, you may have first heard the news here. While the company has successfully reached agreements on a financial restructuring with a majority of its senior debt holders, its fate remains unclear and could include…Read more

If cell therapy isn’t about the cells or the therapy, what is it about?

Author: David Brindley, 11/19/14

. With contributions from James Smith, a recent Oxford University graduate and current CASMI Translational Stem Cell Consortium Research Associate.   Both the IBC Cell Therapy Bioprocessing (ICTB) conference and the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Congress (SCRMC) took place recently. The conferences shared several common themes: one being the presence of a significant focus…Read more

Right Turn: “Changing the face of men’s health” (one moustache at a time)

Author: Stacey Johnson, 11/14/14

. The month of November can mean different things to different people. For example, Canadians recognize Remembrance Day on November 11, Americans have Veterans Day and my Polish friends celebrate National Independence Day. There’s American Thanksgiving immediately followed by the countdown to how many shopping days are left until Christmas. Today, as it turns out,…Read more

Revolution and reimbursement in the cell therapy industry

Author: David Brindley, 11/13/14

. With contributions from James Smith, a recent Oxford University graduate and current CASMI Translational Stem Cell Consortium Research Associate   In the early 1770s, Britain faced a significant financial dilemma. One of its most important commercial institutions, the East India Company, had come into considerable financial problems; a large quantity of tea was being…Read more

Cell Therapy Commercialization: A View from Lonza on Bioreactors

Author: Mark Curtis, 11/10/14

. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Eytan Abraham over lunch on the first day of the Till & McCulloch Meetings, held last month in Ottawa (October 27-29). After some discussion about cell therapy manufacturing, I learned that he is the new Head of Research and Technology at Lonza, based out of Walkersville, Maryland….Read more

Right Turn: Seeing the potential of retinal stem cells

Author: Ben Paylor, 11/07/14

> The well known expression that “the eyes are the gateway to the soul” has tragic connotations in the context of retinal disease. Rhetoric aside, the potential for regenerative medicine to improve our ability to treat ocular disease and injury makes it an exciting area of stem cell research. It is also one that has…Read more