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Thread: Defying Western Science, Chinese Biotech Pursues Untested Stem Cell Therapy Although

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    Defying Western Science, Chinese Biotech Pursues Untested Stem Cell Therapy Although

    Defying Western Science, Chinese Biotech Pursues Untested Stem Cell Therapy
    Although Beike Biotechnology's promising iPS stem cell treatment is unproven, hundreds of patients are paying to receive the treatment in China, which lacks rigorous government oversight of testing and clinical trials.

    By Richard Martin, InformationWeek
    Aug. 4, 2008
    URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=209902855


    Pursuing a controversial medical procedure that shows great promise but has not been validated by clinical trials, a Chinese company is using stem cells to treat hundreds of patients, many of them from the West, who have diseases previously thought incurable.
    The company, Beike Biotechnology, uses non-embryonic stem cells to treat a variety of ailments including heart disease and neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, and optic nerve hypoplasia, a primary cause of blindness in children. Beike's technology, which has not been subjected to double-blind clinical trials of the sort required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, uses a combination of umbilical cord cells and stem cells derived from the patient being treated. Beike is based in Shenzhen, in southeastern Guangdong Province.
    Founded in July 2005 with funding from Beijing University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Shenzhen City Hall, Beike hosted the first China Stem Cell Technology Forum in late July. The Mandarin-language conference was attended by "over 300 of the world's most renowned stem cell researchers," the company said, including several native Chinese scientists based in the U.S.
    Unlike most countries of the West, China lacks rigorous government oversight of testing and clinical trials required before a drug or medical procedure is used on human patients.
    Beike's technology focuses on a type of cell known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which are derived from cell reprogramming technologies and can be frozen and stored for later use in medical treatment. First produced in 2006 from mouse cells and in 2007 from human cells, iPS cells are considered a non-controversial potential alternative to embryonic stem cells.
    "Leading scientists in China are constantly finding ways to create more effective iPS cells," said Dr. Hu Jifan, a senior research scientist at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System in California, in a statement released after the Stem Cell Forum. Beike's work, added Hu, "may someday create the conditions for effective clinical treatments and industrial scale production of iPS cells."
    That day may still be far off, Hu acknowledged, "no one knows yet when these conditions might be met."
    While Beike's research on iPS cells is supported by most Western scientists, its decision to begin treating patients, who pay upwards of $20,000 for a series of injections of iPS cells, has sparked outcry.



    http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=209902855

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazycreation23
    its not ips cells
    I didn't think so...

  4. #4
    Beike Biotech is using unmatched umbilical cord blood cells that are CD34+. About 1% of umbilical cord blood cells are CD34+ and cells with these markers are more likely to be colony-forming (i.e. producing additional cells). As I understand it, they are growing CD34+ cells from fresh units and then transfusing the cells (or giving them intrathecally) to patients with various conditions. They are not following up their patients rigorously but encourage the patients to post their experiences on internet.

    This group has nothing to do with ChinaSCINet.

    Wise.

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