• Martin McGlynn

13th Annual World Stem Cell Summit — Most Successful Ever!

Updated: Feb 21, 2018

Last month, I attended the 13th World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) along with 1,500 other attendees from 35 countries. WSCS is a project of The Regenerative Medicine Foundation, which posits that this Summit solidified Regenerative Medicine as the “Future of Healthcare.” Read RMF’s roundup of the event…

There were approximately 150 speakers representing 150 organizations across six concurrent tracks, which at times created difficult choices for many…. myself included! Here are some reflections on a few of my favorite sessions from the Summit:

Japan Symposium

The Summit included the extremely well attended 6th Annual Japan Symposium, which was moderated by Dr. Takahashi Asada from Kyoto University. Speakers included Dr. Hideyuki Okano, Dean of the Keio University Medical School (via Skype), Dr. Akihiko Iwai, Vice President of Astellas Pharma* and Vice Chair of the Japanese Forum for Regenerative Medicine (FIRM), Dr. Yoji Sato from the Japanese National Institute of Health Sciences, Masato Ibuki from Kanake Corporation, Professor Norio Nakatsuji from Kyoto University and Dr. Masao Yumoto from Rohto Pharmaceuticals. Some important takeaways:

1. Japanese Academia and Industry are very closely intertwined in the Regenerative Medicine field.

2. Tumorigenicity remains an unresolved concern for iPSCs.

3. Fully automated aseptic cell culture systems are now a reality in Japan.

4. A major initiative is underway, spearheaded by the Japanese NIHS, to establish a nationwide computer-based data system to capture real-world clinical data. This is being driven, in part, by the Japanese system to grant sponsors “conditional approval” based on limited clinical data (compared to US requirements).

* On February 14, 2018, Astellas announced that it had acquired the privately owned, Seattle-based, Universal Cells Inc. for $102.5M USD. The technology promises to produce cells, for therapeutic use, that do not require immunosuppression or donor matching. Not a surprising move, given the announcement of a collaboration between the two companies on October 19, 2017, and the very proactive acquisition of assets by Japanese companies in the Regenerative Medicine space. [See Japan on the Move, January 9, 2018.]

The Bahamas:

A Model for the Ethical Advancement of Cell Based Therapies!

Dr. Desiree Cox, MD, PhD, is Consultant to the Bahamas Government Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Secretariat, and Chair of the National Stem Cell Ethics Committee. She provided a riveting presentation on how the Bahamas ​​Government has created the legal and regulatory framework, as well as the essential infrastructure necessary to nurture a very different paradigm for the conduct of clinical trials. ​​

With Dr. Cox's permission, I am posting her presentation here... Check it out!

2018 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Action Awards

As Board Chair of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation, I had the distinct honor to welcome our guests to the 13th Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Action Awards Dinner held at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, to recognize the five 2018 Honorees:

Advocacy Award Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden — Cancer Moonshot

Leadership Award Dr. W. E. "Ed" Bosarge  — The Bosarge Family Foundation and Founder of Black Beret Life Sciences

Advocacy Award Shelley Ross — President, The Cure Allianc

Inspiration Award

Adrienne Bell-Cors Shapiro — Founder and Administrator, The Axis Advocacy Sickle Cell Disease website

International Leadership Award Professor Norio Nakatsuji — Founding Director of the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University and Scientific Founder of ReproCELL, Inc.

Learn more about these top innovators, leaders, and champions…

The Awards were presented to the Honorees by Bernie Siegel, Executive Director of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation and Founder of the World Stem Cell Summit.

Learn more about the World Stem Cell Summit...

Learn more about the Regenerative Medicine Foundation...

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