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Thread: Miami Project Newsletter

  1. #1
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Miami Project Newsletter

    Wondering if any CC members recently received the MP newsletter? If so, I would like to know your comments on the content.

  2. #2
    Schmeky;

    Are you referring to the publication called The Project? I received this in the mail yesterday.

    It sounds as if they are trumpeting the possibility of clinical trials for their Schwann cell/rolipram studies. They take the time to explain fairly well their intentions but do not clearly identify the status of the trial process.

    Nick Buoniconti pens an introduction to the MPs Human Clinical Trials Initiative. He describes it as Our Defining Moment. They are selling the hope but those with chronic injuries must wonder at the lack of timeframes.

    Pascal Goldschmidt, VP for Medical Affairs, says SCI is "...certainly the most daunting task of all in the field of medicine." That is perhaps true. It tempers my cynicism. Something in me wants to criticize all the "fluff" of photo ops with celebrities, yet these are necessary for successful and extraordinary fund raising, particularly in the absence of dedicated funding from the Federal Gov't through the NIH.

    John
    "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." Lin Yutang

  3. #3
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    I got mine yesterday also. It shows that there more ways toward a cure than just stem cells. It talks about axon growth, clinical trials and fund raising. All in all, I think it was a good issue. I liked the section on Dr. Vance Lemmon and the BioRobot which counts drug combinations. The section on kids with paralysis was godd also. You hardly hear about children and their problems. Most of us had our childhood. Imagine missing out on that? Or trying to be a parent? Your heart breaks for them.

  4. #4
    The problem with the MP is two fold as I see it. (1)They have a leadership problem. What they are doing isn't working, yet they continue down the same road. They need to bring in new people at the top or at least re-evaluate what they are doing, how they are doing it. It's my understanding that they currently have around 200 people on staff . What have they come up with in the last 3 years, a newsletter? I am not trying to be harsh, but I have done (google) searches and can't find a thing. Does anyone have any information, besides whats posted above on what they have been researching, besides fundraisers? Their operating overhead is so high, that they have to spend too much of their time and effort in fundraising just to keep the lights on. There is only a definative amount of money between public & private funding. The MP is absorbing a large chunk of it, and without any results. If the MP was a publicly held company, the shareholders would shut it down.

    Anyone know how much money MP takes in vs. its operating overhead? Is their ballance sheet public information?

    At this point, monies need to be directed to clinical human trials. No more working on mice. There are enough therories regarding possibile treatments. It's time to test them on humans, evaluate the results & continue to improve regenerative therapies. Unfortunately, the negative political climate (in the U.S.) has hampered the progress. It wouldn't surprise me if the Bush administration is shorting Geron stock from an offshore account.

    edit- I was probably over critical on my analysis of MP. I appreciate what they are attempting. It's just that, the political climate is causing big time road blocks. Hopefully, the next election will remedy this.
    Last edited by chasb; 08-07-2007 at 03:40 PM.

  5. #5
    It costs 20 million a year to support the Lois Pope Center and their 200 staff members. Their Sports Legends fundraiser brings in about 1.6 million a year. However, sounds like they're ready to enter the human trials arena:

    After 21 years of intensive experimental and clinical investigations, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis entered a new phase of its program this past year. An exciting clinical trial initiative was announced that would focus a significant amount of research activities on the translation of preclinical work to the patient. This focus of moving bench findings to the clinic comes at a time when important advances are being announced by our research faculty - new combination treatments promoting improved motor and sensory function in spinal cord injured animals.
    http://www.themiamiproject.org/x1312.xml

  6. #6
    I wasn't impressed. But it's hard for me to be to critical without being able to read their financial data. Because it seems that they spend a lot of money on raising the money they raise. I know a lot of these celebrities go to the fund raisers just to be seen and get some freebees such as a day of golf with their buddies.

    What type of money does it take to rent a golf course and do they pay for the hotels and dinners for these guys. Thats just a few of the questions I would like them to answer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Would someone be able to post a portion of it? Couldn't access it on their website
    Last edited by lynnifer; 08-08-2007 at 08:52 AM.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

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    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    MP Much ado about Previously achieved technology

    Who can argue with their (lack of) progress?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Page 2: Heralds the "initiation" of human clinical trials and declares this as the MP "defining moment".

    Page 18: Goes into detail concerning the human trials but qualifies this event as time consuming, expensive, and challenging. A projected time frame is not provided. Additionally, they indicate the Schwann cell/rolipram/cyclic AMP combo they reported 2.5 years ago is still under evaluation. However, they do state they are finishing up studies that should address this combos effectiveness for chronics and they are now moving towards testing on larger animals. No time frame is provided for these larger animal tests.

    Page 5: Talks about Marc Buoniconti finally standing up and walking up to his dad Nick. But at the end of the article it states this only a video of a robotic simulation of Marc walking.

    Also of note is this latest publication is no longer a newsletter of 8-12 pages but is now a "magazine" 35 pages long.

    I am glad they seem to making progress. With an annual budget of 20 million dollars and 200 on staff, I would think they would be at the head of the pack, but I am not so sure.

  10. #10
    Schmeky

    They say 20 million budget. I wonder if some of that money their counting goes to funding their fund raisers. The reason i'm thinking this is because the palm beach post times every once in awhile will talk about big charities fund raisers in palm beach and some of these fund raisers will raise 300,000 for an example but cost 200,000 to held it. Some even lose money.

    So i'm wondering if half or a large part of it goes to house these celebrities and pay their golf fees.

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