Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Text of Nolta's Comments

Here is the full text of the remarks made by Jan Nolta, head of the stem cell program at UC Davis, for the overview piece today on California's stem cell agency.

"CIRM is making fantastic progress, with numerous stem cell therapies in clinical trials throughout California. The Major Facility Institutes that CIRM built in its earlier years are now thriving centers, each is a hub for stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies in its own region of the state. Currently at UC Davis we have 16 stem cell or regenerative medicine clinical trials ongoing or recently completed, with more than 20 in the pipeline.

"As one dramatic example of cures funded by CIRM:

"As you may know, I started my career as the first technician and graduate student for Donald Kohn, MD, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Together our team did the initial hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy clinical trials for “bubble babies”- children with ADA deficient severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), back in the early 90’s. (refs = pubmed PMID:7489356, and PMID:9662367). We collected the baby’s umbilical cord blood right after it was born, added a good copy of the faulty gene in our clean room area in the laboratory, and Don transplanted the babies at day 3 after birth.

"CIRM has funded Don’s continued work in this area, and he has now functionally cured over 20 children with this disease. One of them, with her family, is featured in the recent “cures” video and in their annual report.

These kids now need no expensive medicine and treatments to keep them alive, they are functionally cured. 

"That is just one example of the power of stem cell therapy. There are many examples now of CIRM-funded clinical trials that are successful, and the numbers of people who are cured grow each day.

"There is so much potential for making a difference for patients who do not have other options through conventional medicine. It is a truly exciting time to be in California!"
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