Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASTMD), a leading developer of autologous cellular therapies for the treatment of severe cardiovascular diseases, today reported results from a planned interim analysis of the company’s multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled U.S. Phase 2b clinical trial designated RESTORE-CLI. According to the interim analysis the safety profile was similar between the treatment and placebo arms.
Based on a composite efficacy endpoint assessing time to treatment failure (including major amputations, wound size and gangrene), Aastrom’s autologous vascular repair cells (VRCs) were more effective than placebo (P<0.05). Other clinically meaningful endpoints (e.g., major amputation rate, complete wound closure) approached but did
Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento, California, and Cord Blood Registry are launching the first FDA-regulated clinical trial to assess the use of a child’s own cord blood stem cells to treat select patients with autism. This first-of-its-kind placebo-controlled study is important because one in 88 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders each year. The clinical trial will evaluate the ability of an infusion of cord blood stem cells to help improve language and behavior.
The study will enroll 30 children between the ages of two and seven, who meet the inclusion criteria for the
Stanford stem cell researcher Irving Weissman, MD, published an article in Cell Stem Cell today discussing barriers to stem cell research:
While I am usually an optimist, I must admit that there is a possibility that we will continue to be in the Dark Ages of medicine for quite some time. I fear that therapies using purified tissue and organ-specific stem cells – the only self-renewing cells in a tissue or that can regenerate that tissue or organ for life – will remain elusive.
Weissman, who directs Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, goes on to cover the
In his latest defiance of the federal government, Gov. Rick Perry is trying to make Texas the nation’s top provider of an unlicensed therapy touted by some as the future of medicine but considered not close to ready for mainstream use by scientists in the field.
Perry this summer worked with his Houston doctor and a state legislator with multiple sclerosis to write legislation intended to commercialize the controversial therapy, which involves injecting patients with their own stem cells. Perry quietly got the therapy as part of back surgery in July.
“With the right policies in place, we can lead the
Professor Jeanne Loring
Stem cells show great potential to enable treatments for conditions such as spinal injuries or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and also as research tools. One of the greatest problems slowing such work is that researchers have found major complications in purifying cell mixtures, for instance to remove stem cells that can cause tumors from cells developed for use in medical treatments. But a group of Scripps Research scientists, working with colleagues in Japan, have developed a clever solution to this purification problem that should prove more reliable than other methods, safer, and perhaps 100 times cheaper.