(Disclosure: I wrote about the following news item in my main blog because I am invested in the company, Asterias, AST.)
Synopsis: It looks like stem cells have helped a quadriplegic regain the use of this upper body. If this is clinically viable, it has the potential to have great implications for otherwise untreatable accident victims. After that, the issue will be what else stem cells can treat. Possibly years from FDA approval.
One of my smaller investments had good news. It appears they’ve been able to regrow severed nerves. One of their trial patients has regained use of his arms. Amidst the cautions layered around investments and health care news it was too easy to mark the progress off as a necessary but insufficient step – but someone who thought they’d be permanently paralyzed from the neck down can now use their upper body. To them, this is big news. It may be big news for others, too. For the investment and medical communities, it is only a small step. They’re both right.
Asterias is developing a stem cell treatment that may have grand applications, but for this clinical trial they are focusing on a specific application: can they help accident victims regain nerve function. In all good caution, the trials are supposed to measure objective criteria from which a judgment can…
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