Takin’ a short blog break

Currently, I am in the middle of moving my family to Frederick, Maryland. I am starting a new position at Lonza, and it may take a couple weeks to figure out how the blog fits with the new position/company.

Please stay tuned, and I should be able to start back up in one form or another in the next 1-2 weeks.

I will be experimenting with Twitter in the meantime…..

Posted in Regenerative Medicine | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Q Therapeutics’ and Invitrogen’s Symbiotic Relationship

logo.jpgQ Therapeutics, a cell therapy company focusing on neural applications, recently announced a $15M series B financing that included funding from multiple venture capital (VC) groups as well as biotech tools provider Invitrogen. Q’s lead product, Q-Cells™, is an allogeneic product intended to restore function to damaged neurons by providing trophic (e.g. cytokines, growth factors) support and re-insulating damaged neurons in a variety of therapeutic indications. According to Q’s website, the Q-Cell platform technology is potentially applicable in a range of demyelinating diseases, including transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and other neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Parkinson’s Disease. The companies technology is centered around patented research from Mahendra Rao’s lab. Currently, Dr. Rao is the VP of Stem Cell Research at Invitrogen, where some of Q’s series B funding came from.

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Posted in adult stem cell, Bioprocessing, Clinical Trials, Company Profiles, Manufacturing, MS, Neural Repair, Q Therapeutics, Regenerative Medicine, stem cells | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New Vascular Closure Devices Aim to Gain Bigger Piece of Endovascular Device Market

by Susan Hsiong, PhD


More than 12 million minimally invasive vascular surgeries are done every year. These procedures require catheterization of major blood vessels to gain access to the vasculature. While catheter technology has dramatically improved, closure of the vessel puncture wound post surgery remaines a challenge. Manual compression of the puncture site is the traditional method used to stop bleeding, but this often requires hours and renders the patient immobile. Rapid closure of the puncture site is critical to stop bleeding and to get the patient out of the hospital and back to normal activity.

About ten years ago, biomaterial-based vascular closure devices were introduced, such as St. Jude Medical’s Angio-Seal or Datascope Inc.’s VasoSeal. These first generation devices were essentially collagen based products that were used to “plug” the vessel puncture site Continue reading

Posted in AccessClosure, biomaterial devices, Biomaterials, Datascope, NeoMend, PEG-based Biomaterials, St. Jude Medical, Vascular Closure, vascular regeneration | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Developing Embyronic Stem Cell Clinical Landscape

es-cell-biopsy.jpgAccording to an article on CNN.com, Geron’s CEO, Dr. Tom Okarma, confirmed timelines for Geron to initiate human clinical trials with their embryonic stem (ES) cell-based treatment for spinal cord injury (SCI). He stated that the trial should start by the end of the second quarter (~June). This is really big news, as this will be the first-in-man studies using ES cells in a regulated clinical trial. Dr. Okarma made sure to mention the ‘high bar’ related to safety that the FDA has placed on this unprecedented therapeutic cell product. However, Geron has assured investors that they have worked very closely with the FDA, and Okarma’s public statements this week tells me that Geron believes that they have generated sufficient safety data to satisfy the FDA for initiating clinical testing.

You can get an idea of what this ‘high bar’ set by the FDA relates to by reading the recent press release from Advanced Cell Technologies, Inc. Continue reading

Posted in adult stem cell, Advanced Cell Technology, Athersys, Clinical Trials, Cytori, Embyonic Stem Cells, FDA, Geron, JNJ, Novocell, Osiris, Regenerative Medicine, spinal cord injury, stem cells | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Geron Bolsters Extensive Embryonic Stem Cell Patent Estate

es-pic.pngGeron yesterday announced the issuance of US patent #7,326,572, helping to extend their patent protection around their embryonic stem (ES) cell platform technology in the area of treating type 1 diabetes. Currently, Geron owns an exclusive license from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) for James Tomson’s original ES patents. This license allows Geron the right to develop and commercialize pancreatic islet cells, cardiomyocytes, and neural cells that are derived from ES cells for therapeutic applications. Patent #7,326,572 covers important and frequently used culture conditions for creating endoderm tissue from ES cells, a critical intermediate cell type on the differentiation pathway towards insulin-secreting islet cells. Continue reading

Posted in Embyonic Stem Cells, Geron, Intellectual Property, Novocell, Regenerative Medicine, Type 1 diabetes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Career Strategy Tip: Read Job Posts, Even if You are Not Graduating for 2-3 Years

I always found it extremely useful to read and monitor job posts, even well before I had any reason to send out my resume. Reading about various jobs give you an understanding of 1) what jobs are out there that you might be interested in, and more importantly 2) what gaps you have in your background that would help you get those jobs. At least some time should be spent on planning your career during school. By the time I was done with grad school I had 2-3 pages of skills and experiences that I wanted to obtain from jobs over the next 5-10 years that would help get me from Scientist to CEO (not there yet, nor do I have all the skills). I generated that list based on postings of various positions at different levels that I found on Biospace.

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Continue reading

Posted in Job search, Regenerative Medicine | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Cytori Announces Progress in Cardiac Regeneration Clinical Studies

cytoriii.pngCytori Therapeutics announced that they have enrolled their first two patients in an acute myocardial infarction clinical trial using adipose-derived cells prepared using their Celution™ device. The Celution™ device is an automated, tissue processing unit that isolates cells from adipose tissue derived via liposuction. Continue reading

Posted in adult stem cell, autologous, Bioprocessing, cardiac regeneration, cell delivery, Clinical Trials, Company Profiles, Cytori, Device-centric cell therapies, patient specific cell therapy, personalized medicine, Regenerative Medicine, stem cells | Leave a comment