Saturday, January 23, 2021

Monthly Archives: May 2007

Odds high, funds sparse for stem cell researchers

Published: May 10, 2007

Patrick’s $1b offer a temporary boost

For all the hype and hope surrounding stem cell research, most of the companies trying to develop treatments from these powerful cells live in a place Governor Deval Patrick this week called the “valley of death.” It is a harsh place where neither the federal government nor private investors provide much support and small firms with limited funding struggle to figure out how to harness stem cells’ extraordinary power.

No one knows that better than Dr. Thomas Okarma , whose company, Geron Corp., hopes next year to start the nation’s first human tests of a treatment derived from embryonic stem cells.

New weapon in battle on bed sores

Published: May 9, 2007

Paralysed from a spinal cord injury, Peter Jones tried to cope with excruciating pressure sores by treating himself with vitamins.

What he and his wife, Crystal, didn’t know until he joined a London research project was the vitamins he was taking were making his sores, or ulcers, worse.

“It was pretty scary because the ulcers can kill you. If not treated property, they just keep getting bigger and bigger and it can get to the point you can see the bone,” Crystal Jones said .

Embryonic stem cells trial on track to start

Published: May 8, 2007

The first clinical trial of embryonic stem cells is on track to start early next year on patients with spinal cord injury. Geron (NASDAQ:GERN – news), the California-based Biotechnology company, will carry out the study on accident victims in six trauma centres across the US.

“The world’s spotlight will be on this trial,” Tom Okarma, Geron’s chief executive, told the Bio conference in Boston. To get it right, the company has carried out several years of preparatory work in collaboration with its academic partners at the University of California, Irvine.

Analysis: Stem cells closer to trials

Published: May 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) — Despite the limitations on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, two companies recently said they are close to entering clinical trials with the versatile cells.

Geron plans to file an investigational new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year for using cells derived from embryonic stem cells for treating spinal injuries.

Advanced Cell Technology, which previously said it planned to file an IND this year for using stem cell-derived therapies for treating macular degeneration, announced this week it has developed a technique to generate a type of progenitor cell that could move into the clinic in 2008 for treating a variety of ills.

Marsupial Genome Sequence to Advance Human Health Studies

Published: May 8, 2007
First marsupial to get genome sequenced, the laboratory opossum is valuable model for research in spinal cord injury repair.
First marsupial to get genome sequenced, the laboratory opossum is valuable model for research in spinal cord injury repair.

Newswise — Being announced this week in the journal Nature is the sequencing of the genome of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, an animal originally developed as a model for scientific studies at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) in San Antonio and now utilized by researchers around the globe for a wide variety of research on human health and disease. The tiny Monodelphis domestica is the first marsupial to be sequenced.

SFBR Chief Scientific Officer John L. VandeBerg, who first developed the animal as a scientific model and who serves as a co-author on the Nature article, explained that the genome sequencing is poised to have a significant impact on biomedical research.

United Spinal Association Test Rides Standard Taxi

Published: May 8, 2007

Taxi prototype, first factory built sedan taxi that incorporates wheelchair access
Taxi prototype, first factory built sedan taxi that incorporates wheelchair access
Terence J. Moakley, director of the United Spinal Association’s Taxis For All- North America project, reversed his wheelchair into the Standard Taxi prototype, the first factory-built sedan taxi that also incorporates wheelchair access features such as a front wheelchair seating location and a recessed access ramp at the National Accessible Taxi Summit in New York City, April 11. Moakley has been actively involved in the accessible taxi movement since 1996 and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on wheelchair-accessible taxicabs. Manufacture of the Standard Taxi is set to begin in 2008.

Moakley stated, “United Spinal Association believes that accessible taxis are the missing link in a fully accessible transportation system in our nation.

Acts of kindness

Published: May 7, 2007

20070508aAfter dating for more than three years, DeShawn Seals and Chantilla Moore planned on tying the knot on Valentine’s Day.

Three days before the couple were about to start their new life, Seals nearly lost his. He almost died in a Feb. 11 car crash.

The Chatham man woke up the next morning in a Northwestern Memorial Hospital ICU bed with a spinal cord injury that left him unable to move his arms and legs. His spinal cord wasn’t severed. But it was damaged enough to mean the best case scenario would be months of Rehabilitation, learning how to use his limbs again.

‘I feel stronger and stronger every day’

Published: May 7, 2007
Determined: Andrew Merryweather, who was partially paralysed is very confident that he'll be walking.
Determined: Andrew Merryweather, who was partially paralysed is very confident that he'll be walking.

Wheelchair-bound Andrew Merryweather reckons that by Christmas, he will be walking again – at least with crutches.

Merryweather was attacked at a Newlands petrol station in 2006, which left him partially paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

The men accused of the attack – Samuel Davidson, Michael Enslin, Dane Killian, Justin Maxwell, Joel Thackwray, Liam Hechter and Oliver Scholtz, all 18 – face charges of attempted murder and intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

Their trial is expected to start on July 10 in the Wynberg magistrate’s court.

Former clinic surgeon sues ex-employer

Published: May 7, 2007

MADISON – Was a former Marshfield Clinic neurosurgeon an overly aggressive practitioner whose zeal to heal resulted in unnecessary and risky surgeries, or did his colleagues’ professional jealousy force him out of a lucrative practice?

Federal jurors will be considering those opposing perspectives as they hear testimony this week in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by Dr. Jay Schindler, who contends the clinic fired him in December 2003 without adequate investigation or good cause.

Q Therapeutics Announces New Stem Cell Patent

Published: May 7, 2007

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Q Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that it was awarded Patent Number 7,214,372, titled “Methods Using Lineage Restricted Glial Precursors from the Central Nervous System,” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent contains claims to methods for increasing re-myelination of neurons in a human suffering from a disease or condition associated with Demyelination of neurons and comprising administering to the human an effective amount of human glial restricted precursor cells partially differentiated into oligodendrocytes. The patent also contains claims to methods for reducing glial scar formation in a human comprising administering to the human a composition comprising an effective amount of human glial restricted precursor cells partially differentiated into astrocytes. Q has exclusive worldwide license to this and other patents from the University of Utah, from the work of Dr. Mahendra Rao, a co-founder of Q.