Industry updates with Dusko Ilic: August 2019

Written by Dusko ILIC

Read highlights from the latest installment of Dusko Ilic’s industry updates, which discuss the latest developments and news in regenerative medicine and stem cell research, and are published every month in Regenerative Medicine.

Every month, Dusko comments on news of note. Read the full update for August 2019 on Regenerative Medicine here>>

Find previous updates here>>

What happened this month that you were expecting?

Although this is academia-based clinical trial, it is worth of our attention. A research team from Osaka University announced at a press conference on August 29 it had conducted the world’s first transplant of corneal tissues generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in July 2019 to treat a woman in her 40s who suffered from corneal epithelial stem cell deficiency. The patient’s vision has improved since the procedure, and her cornea remains clear. In March 2019, the team received a permission from the Japanese Health Ministry to conduct a trial on four patients.

What happened that surprised you this month?

Masayo Takahashi, a pioneer in iPSC-based treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, left RIKEN and is now a president of Vision Care, a company that will continue this work in a commercial setting.

If we only read about one story this month, what should it be?

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a decision to cover expensive CAR-T cancer cell therapies sold by Gilead Sciences (CA, USA) and Novartis AG (Switzerland). CMS, runs Medicare – the federal government’s health plan for Americans 65 and older. For a comparison, almost a year ago, following draft guidance from NICE, NHS England backed Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), though only in children. Both NICE and the NHS rejected Gilead’s rival CAR-T, Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel).

Read the full industry update for August 2019>>

Dr Dusko Ilic

Dusko Ilic is a Senior Lecturer in stem cell science, coordinator of the cross-divisional postgraduate program in stem cells and regenerative medicine, and Head of the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core Facility at King’s College London (London, UK). He is also Head of the Assisted Conception Unit’s Human Embryonic Laboratories at Guy’s Hospital (London, UK). He is also a member of the editorial board of the journal Regenerative Medicine, where he writes the Industry Report, a regular feature compiling information from non-academic institutions in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine.