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Thread: Stephen Davies Update

  1. #1001
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    I have been following Dr. Davies' cure research for a long time. I do not doubt his sincerity or his hard work. What frustrates me is the near total lack of communication from him. Starting out when Schmeky went and saw him and he as well as Dr. Davies posted a little bit about his game plan, I was really hopeful about the future. At that time, Dr. Davies had laid out a plan which has not panned out "possible schedule" wise at all. Research wise we don't know because we have to wait for the publication although there are good hints about it.

    At that time he was looking for funding for the research, which I understand was responded to by many members here. His new paper linked a few posts earlier by Grammy even acknowledges the funding received. I understand at some point Dr. Davies signed a nondisclosure agreement with someone/some entity. I think it would be a good guess that in return he has been promised funding and/or profit sharing. The funding could be for ongoing research and/or future clinical trials. While it is good news in that he possibly has funding, and that there are others involved in the project who would like to see a return on their investment at the earliest, it is very frustrating to be completely in the dark about progress/failures and timelines on a number of concerns like chronic lesion, contusion injury, benefit of decorin alone and with type 1 astrocytes, independent verification of results etc.

    I read about the presentation on induced pluripotent stem cell project at the working to walk rally 2010 (thanks to Kate for live blogging). Now if Dr. Davies' plan is to use GDA BMP type I astrocyte cells coaxed from the ips cells, all bets are off. First of all, ips cells are nowhere ready. Even if and when they are ready, and then if and when they have been coaxed into the right astrocyte cells, approval from FDA for their use in clinical trial may run into the same long drawn out process that happened for Geron's application for the very first clinical trial with embryonic stem cell derived cells. Look at this article about IPS cells being rife with mutations. Remember, how long it took for Geron to satisfy FDA about teratomas. If the GDA BMP type I astrocytes are derived from embryonic stem cells or fetal neural stem cells as in his newest paper, there is precedent for FDA approval. With the IPS cells it might be a long battle for the first such trial. It could mean an end to hope that anything is going to come out anytime soon from Dr. Davies' very promising research.

    I hope all my concerns are overblown and can be easily overcome. I wish he could answer, explain, and reassure us all about an early arrival of cure/treatment. Anybody who has any access to him, please try to find out. I hope that not all answers are held up by the nondisclosure agreement. Thanks.

  2. #1002
    Quad, if there is a way for us to link to Davies, maybe we all should contact him with meaning ful questions about where is he and when. Just a thought. His name keeps coming up and a video I saw of him last week looked favorable. Hey, your insight is much more than mine on the nuts and bolts of his reaearch. But, if we all contact him or his service, maybe we can get some answers.

    keeping on

  3. #1003
    I don't think a bunch of people harassing him is a good idea. Maybe one person could reach out.

  4. #1004
    Senior Member khmorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I don't think a bunch of people harassing him is a good idea. Maybe one person could reach out.
    One person was "reaching out" to Dr. Davies, but everyone jumped down his throat for speaking for him. So, the person stopped posting. I see he is back now (see http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showpos...postcount=1000), so let's be nice to him this time.

    I'm guessing that Dr. Davies has good reason for not posting here. If it bothers you a lot, just don't read this forum. Bashing Dr. Davies helps no one.

  5. #1005
    Dr. Davies has presented at W2W for the last FOUR years. He's always made himself available to attendees to answer questions and discuss his research. One year his wife Jeannette, who is a significant part of the research team attended as well. I know several people who have visited his lab and spent 1 or 2 days with him and his team, touring the lab and explaining their work.

    I expect that he will be joining us again at W2W in October. If his research is of interest to you, start making plans to attend. Talking to him might get you the answers your looking for.
    "Our lives begin to end the day
    we become silent about things that matter."
    - Martin Luther King Jr

  6. #1006
    Quote Originally Posted by IMHopeful View Post
    Dr. Davies has presented at W2W for the last FOUR years. He's always made himself available to attendees to answer questions and discuss his research. One year his wife Jeannette, who is a significant part of the research team attended as well. I know several people who have visited his lab and spent 1 or 2 days with him and his team, touring the lab and explaining their work.

    I expect that he will be joining us again at W2W in October. If his research is of interest to you, start making plans to attend. Talking to him might get you the answers your looking for.
    I agree! We were able to spend one whole evening with Dr. Davies at the 2008 W2W. It was absolutely fantastic to be able to sit and visit with him that night. We were able to get lots of questions answered and got additional information we hadn't even thought to ask for. I'm planning to attend W2W in October if everything goes as planned!

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showpos...78&postcount=1

  7. #1007
    Senior Member 0xSquidy's Avatar
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    I agree, he was tirelessly answering all the imaginable questions from everyone at W2W, and there weren't a few...
    Don't ask what clinical trials can do for you, ask what you can do for clinical trials.

    Fenexy: Proyecto Volver a Caminar

    http://www.fenexy.org (soon in english too)

  8. #1008
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Since he has attended prior events, does this mean all his prior predictions and claims concerning adoption of clinical trials should be ignored?

    Does it only concern me that his research is still focused only acute injuries?

  9. #1009
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky View Post
    Since he has attended prior events, does this mean all his prior predictions and claims concerning adoption of clinical trials should be ignored?

    Does it only concern me that his research is still focused only acute injuries?
    Schmeky, I am too tired to argue with you. Go back and read what Dr. Davies himself has posted, what he has said at the W2W conferences, and what all of the people who have spoken with him have said.

    Then you will see that yes, it is apparently only you that is concerned that his "research is still focused only acute injuries". Because obviously that is untrue. What is true is that his published papers have only shown the results of his work on acute injuries.

    Good night, and pleasant dreams.

  10. #1010
    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlySprite View Post
    Dear Schmeky,

    In the last 3-4 minutes, Dr. Davies discussed his more recent discoveries concerning Decorin, particularly as they potentially benefit chronics.
    At 22:14, he said that when Decorin alone was infused into the injured spinal cord, they found a 17-fold increase in plasmin, an enzyme which breaks down scar tissue.
    At 22:27, he discussed "What can decorin do to promote axon regeneration in the chronically injured spinal cord?"
    He said they found that Decorin not only increases enzymes (such as plasmin) that break down established scar tissue, but that it can "de-sensitize neurons to scar CSPGs and mylein inhibitors."
    At 23:21 he showed a slide indicating that when adult sensory neurons were transplanted onto adult spinal cord myelin, growth was very poor, but when Decorin was added, axon growth increased nearly five-fold within hours.
    At 23:47 he showed a slide indicating that when adult sensory neurons were transplanted onto inhibitory scar CSPGs, growth was again very poor, but when Decorin was added, axon growth increased nearly 15-fold within hours. To quote Davies:

    "Decorin can directly boost the ability of neurons to grow axons on inhibitory molecules found throughout the chronically injured spinal cord."


    The last three lines from his final slide, concerning his "Ongoing studies":

    Testing human decorin & hGDAsBMP in chronic contusion SCI models

    Combinations of GDAs, Decorin and rehab

    Development of GDAsBMP for future human trials


    He said they were actively working to determine what the most effective combinations are for both acute and chronic human SCI.

    The "Research Projects" section of his faculty page also concludes with:

    "At present we are now developing stem cell based technologies to generate the human form of the GDAsBMP cells with a view to moving use of these cells to human clinical trials as soon as possible."


    While discussing the two penultimate lines in his last slide, "Testing human decorin & hGDAsBMP in chronic contusion SCI models" and "Combinations of GDAs, Decorin and rehab," Davies said that it had always been his plan to bring these two lines of his research together, and that that had now happened.
    FriendlySprite
    As a general rule of thumb, on (sprague rats) it is about
    (one rat week is equivalent to one human month). So, it is possible that, even if there is immune rejection of the cells, they may survive several months in humans compared to several weeks in rats. The robust recovery would be about 5 months post on a human in the publication.
    Table 1. Survival of NeuN+ neurons 5 weeks post injury.
    doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017328.t001

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0017328

    I do believe the chronic experiments are ongoing and the combination therapy will make it into clinical trials. If we could only see into the future we would know how long it takes to develop the stem cell based technology to generate the human form of GDA-BMP cells for human clinical trials. I would imagine a manufacturer would then need to be found also.
    Last edited by GRAMMY; 03-09-2011 at 02:22 AM.

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