Neostem: Helping to Treat Disease With Stem Cells

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Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) –- Neostem Chairman and CEO Dr. Robin Smith discusses cell therapies using the body’s own cells to help a patient recover from disease. She speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Stem cell research?

There are all different kinds, and people get confused when you start to talk about stem cells.

The idea is which cells work better to repair which part of the body.

There are researchers around the world looking to use these cells to create therapy to repair tissue and for chronic disease.

There is embryonic stem cells as well as adult stem cells?

Correct.

You can take cells from an embryo, or adult stem cells better in all of us.

They are in the placenta and cord blood, in europe bone marrow, different organs and tissues of the body -- your bone marrow, different organs and tissues of the body.

This will open the door to using the body's own cells?

There are 4500 clinical trials around the world that people are looking at using the stem cells to treat different illnesses.

We are focused on cardiovascular disease, treating a patient after they have a heart attack to prevent that worsening of the heart muscle function.

One in five people die a year after that heart attack.

It is a special type of heart attack that causes the area of the heart that is damaged, the surrounding area to get worse.

That's a muscle has to pump through the normal activities, which causes repeat heart attacks.

When will we see this commercialized?

We are very excited.

We are in our phase two trial.

The idea will be that hopefully we will have great data and be able to start a phase three trial.

I think we will see in the future part of standard of care this cell therapy.

Would this be as simple as getting an injection of their own cells?

Yes.

We isolate out the stem cells in the lab, the cells that are the special ingredient.

We put a delivery mechanism that goes back to the hospitals to treat the patients, and they are injected into the coronary artery through a stent five to 10 days after a heart attack.

Is this a costly business?

It is not inexpensive.

The idea is instead of treating symptoms, you are actually treating the underlying cause of the disease.

It should improve the outcome of the illness as well as lower overall health care costs.

Does this mean you have got to have alliances with either larger organizations or research facilities to facilitate the adoption and creation of this therapy?

Are particular company has their own contract manufacture business.

We have experience in taking that cell and turning it into the therapy, but we collaborate with universities around the country that are helping us in the clinical trials.

The idea would be the large pharmaceutical companies would want to make investments and have cell therapy as part of their pipeline.

The government plays a large role in health care.

We are looking to the october 1 deadline for the implementation of health care reform.

What is the government's role?

There is a lot of funding, and we are lucky enough to be a recipient to help advance the technology.

They see this as a way of actually curing the disease as opposed to focusing on symptoms.

Ultimately it should improve those outcomes and lower costs.

Thank you very much for joining me, dr.

Robin smith.

It is 26 minutes past the hour.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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