Posted on April 24th, 2014
by Douglas Losordo
To briefly introduce myself, I am an interventional cardiologist by training and serve as the Chief Medical Officer of NeoStem. Previously I served as Vice President, New Therapies Development, Regenerative Medicine and Baxter Ventures at Baxter International. I also served as director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine as well as director of the Program in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and prior to that as the Director of Cardiovascular Research at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. My major research interests cover angiogenesis/vasculogenesis (growing new blood vessels), progenitor/adult stem cells, tissue repair/regeneration, and vascular biology.
My interest in progenitor and adult stem cells can be traced to a well-known paper. It’s been 17 years since Dr. Takayuki Asahara and Dr. Jeffrey M. Isner published their landmark paper in Science, identifying the endothelial progenitor cell, or the EPC as we now know it, as an adult cell with the capability of building new or repairing damaged blood vessels. At the time the concept was foreign and clearly challenged the orthodoxy of the stem cell cogniscenti, and Asahara and Isner were subject to the type of ad hominem attacks that one normally associates with politics, not science. Now, 17 years later, there is general acknowledgment of the fact that every organ has the capability of self-repair via stem and progenitor cells residing throughout the body.
As a result, there is great interest in exploiting this natural repair capability for therapeutic purposes. There is still much knowledge to be gained and work to be done, and I’m sure that when we look back in another 17 years we will realize again how far we have come. Back in 1997 when Asahara and Isner were being attacked they simply let the data speak, performing experiment after experiment until the weight of evidence was simply overwhelming. That’s always been my philosophy, let the evidence do the talking.
If you are a casual observer, patient, family of a patient or even an investor, synthesizing the dizzying array of information about stem cells can be difficult as the quality of data provided is variable, sometimes conflicting, and, unfortunately, sometimes inaccurate. Even worse, this can also make it difficult for interested parties to understand the available possibilities for themselves or a loved one.
In an effort to continue to educate and inform, and yes, sometimes to opine, I’ve decided to start a blog. I look forward to commenting on news stories, recent publications and other information that I come across and welcome feedback.
Douglas W. Losordo, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Forward Looking Statements
This blog contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current expectations, as of the date of this blog, and involve certain risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements herein with respect to the successful execution of the Company's business strategy, the Company's ability to develop and grow its business, the successful development of cellular therapies with respect to the Company's research and development and clinical evaluation efforts in connection with the Company's Immuno-oncology Program, Ischemic Repair Program, Immune Modulation Program and other cell therapies, the future of the regenerative medicine industry and the role of stem cells and cellular therapy in that industry, and the performance and planned expansion of the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary and its center of excellence for cell therapy process development, engineering and manufacturing, PCT. The Company's further development is highly dependent on future medical and research developments and market acceptance, which is outside of its control. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the Company in general, see the factors described under the heading, “Item 1A. Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 2, 2015 and those described in the Company's other periodic filings with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.
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