The End Result of Anti-Research Politics and Regulation

Comparing the stem cell therapies currently offered in Thailand with stem-cell related products just now coming onto the market in the US is an instructional exercise. For the former we have:

VesCell(tm) is "autologous" adult stem cell therapy. That means we use stem cells taken from your own blood . These stem cells are named "ACPs" (Angiogenic Cell Precursors). ACPs are cells that induce the growth of blood vessels. These cells may also turn into additional types of cells that can benefit heart patients. Similar cells, but probably less effective than ACPs, have successfully been used in dozens of clinical trials all over the world.

Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are currently using VesCell(tm) to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from ischemic heart disease (or coronary artery disease) cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure by relieving debilitating symptoms such as severe angina pectoris (severe chest pain) and increasing exercise tolerance.

While for the latter:

Osiris has found a way to take bone from a newly deceased donor for the grafts, while preserving the stem cells. The market for Osteocel potentially could encompass anyone who needs a significant amount of bone regrown -- accident victims, people requiring hip replacements. But Osiris said its ability to supply Osteocel is limited, so it is sticking with the spine operations for now.

The next Osiris product is a drug, not a stem cell product, and the first is simply a better bone transplant technique that happens to involve stem cells. Meanwhile, the commercialization of stem cell therapies for heart disease, the cause of 1/3 of all deaths in the US, is taking place ... but not in the US. This illustrates a part of the damage caused by regulation and anti-research politics; prohibitive cost and time of commercialization on the one hand and reductions in private investment for commercial products on the other. So it is that real regenerative medicine based on the use of stem cells is currently only provided as a commercial service outside the US.

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