Industry updates with Dusko Ilic: June 2020

Written by Dusko ILIC

Read highlights from the latest installment of Dusko Ilic’s industry news, 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 regenerative medicine industry news of note. Read the full update for June 2020 in Regenerative Medicine here>>

Find previous updates here>>

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

What happened this month that you were expecting?

Bluebird bio (MA, USA) has announced new data from its ongoing Phase I/II HGB-206 study of an investigational gene therapy for adult and adolescent patients with sickle cell disease and from ongoing Phase III studies for transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia. The data are very encouraging. As expected, their gene therapy does work.

What happened that surprised you this month?

I have always had a strong respect for the US FDA. However, some recent decisions left me surprised and confused. We know that the vast majority of infused mesenchymal stem cells reside only transiently in the lungs, so how is possible that the FDA gave a green light to Celltex (TX, USA) to clinically investigate the prophylactic efficacy of autologous adipose tissue-derived MSCs against COVID-19 when there is no chance that the proposed therapy will have any meaningful effect? This is surely a waste of money with some ethical implications.

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

Leigh Turner from the Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota (USA) has reported to the FDA that numerous businesses are selling unlicensed and unproven stem cell interventions. His commentary about businesses that are taking advantage of widespread fears by marketing purported stem cell treatments for COVID-19 with misleading claims has been also published. The question is, will anything happen?

Read the full industry update for June 2020>>

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.