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Thread: Stephen Davies Update

  1. #961
    God damn FriendlySprite, way to break it down!

  2. #962

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlySprite View Post
    Dear Schmeky,

    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:

    FriendlySprite

    Excellent job FriendlySprite, when i heard the 23:47 & 23:47 parts i got excited but bieng a layman i tempered my excitement and kept it to my self but to see such growth in "HOURS".

    we have reason for hope and its closer than allot of us realize. yes, yes, yes

  3. #963
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky View Post
    Didn't hear anything about clinical trials. I first visited Davies lab when he was in Houston Texas 6 years ago. He was saying the same then he is saying now.

    Visited his lab in Colorado nearly 4 years ago, if you'll read my report on what he told me, nothing he indicated has transpired. Nothing.

    Hopefully this will change with his paper that he indicated that should be peer reviewed in the last quarter of 2010, but as of the closing of February 2011, has not occurred.

    This isn't my opinion, this is fact.
    Schmeky,
    Cool off man. If you know some Latin, astrocytes means astro which can be stars in our planetary deeper space, to keep things together, gravity or likewise, cytes of course means cells, meaning in the cord; supporting cells. Similar; the Geron study focuses on oligodendrocytes, where oligo could mean a few, and dendro could mean a tree (branches), like for example a rododendro three we all have where rodo translated is a rose and dendro a tree, a rose bush with other words. In the spinal cord of course in Latin, or in plain English - oligodendrocytes - will translate to some (oligo) dendro (bush or three) and cytes (cells) whom might want to by the nature, to wrap around axon fibers.
     

  4. #964
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    At W2W in Phoenix USA Stephen Davies clearly explained the different astrocytes his team are working on and other interest of sci. Why basic research for such or why such isn’t by now entering a trial setting, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    Read above David.

  5. #965
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlySprite View Post
    Dear Schmeky,



    Did you watch the the video from W2W 2010 all the way to the end?

    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.



    No author can affect, much less control the speed of peer reviewers of his paper and you have no way of knowing whether it in fact happened or not in 2010 -- the reviewers may have responded in the time frame he'd given you with comments requesting further data or other clarifications (it happens all the time with peer reviewed papers) and Davies may be responding to such comments even as I'm typing this, if he hasn't already. You need to understand that peer review can be an extended process and that publication isn't necessarily automatic once it's been completed.

    I'm sure Dr. Davies is extremely anxious to see this paper published and doing everything he possibly can, although that's very little, once it's been submitted for review.

    I have a friend from college who's a medical researcher like Davies (though not in SCI) and another who's married to one. These folks generally work 60-80 hours per week, 50 weeks or more a year -- most are consumed by their work, often to the exclusion or at least significant detriment of their personal lives.

    Someone who's never seen that kind of relentless work schedule up close and over an extended period of time (and a brief visit to a lab simply can't provide any true picture of just how long the hours are that such researchers usually put in, usually for years) would probably have difficulty appreciating the full extent to which these folks so often devote themselves to their work, so I say, "Thank you, Dr. Davies, and thank you, too, Dr. Young, for everything you sacrifice personally for this community in the search for a cure."

    I recall, too, that when Kate was blogging from W2W 2010 in November, she reported that Dr. Davies explained he couldn't say anything about his "big breakthrough" because he had signed a "non-disclosure agreement," which suggests to me that he's found a corporate partner to help fund clinical trials. Journals don't normally require prospective authors to sign such agreements (they just cancel publication if the author blabs publicly, as I understand).

    Consequently, it sounds to me, reading between the lines, that Dr. Davies is busy designing human clinical trials while awaiting publication, but the design process is far from instantaneous, too, as I understand it. If anyone has $650 to spend, they can attend a conference being held next month to educate clinical investigators in the complexities of FDA requirements: http://www.socra.org/html/FDA_Conference.htm


    FriendlySprite
    I was there. At the podium discussions too with others. But as I recalled it Davies said, as for astrocyte studies, much work is still required before entering a trial setting. As for Decorin, he and others said, if confident, do trials, its up to any. That was what I heard, and I am a good listener, too.

  6. #966
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Been hearing and reading Davies dog and pony show since 2005.

    I want someone to tell me why Davies paper, published April, 2006, entitled, "Astrocytes derived from glial-restricted precursors promote spinal repair", is not in clincal trials?

    That's because no one can. This paper indicates a cure for acute injuries.

    Thanks for the advice Leif, but I already know how to read.

    But as I recalled it Davies said, as for astrocyte studies, much work is still required before entering a trial setting
    It's safe in the lab.

    FriendlySprite,

    This ain't my first rodeo. But I like your post, very well written and very concise.
    Last edited by Schmeky; 02-16-2011 at 11:47 PM.

  7. #967
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky View Post
    - Thanks for the advice Leif, but I already know how to read. -
    Hey buddy, -it isn’t me whom are donating money from my pocket to basic research? I’ve always - included on this forum - been against such private donations, read up! - to give/get money from sci individuals is an American thing. And I am 100 % against such, cause I believe young sci injured individuals should use their money on; good education for hopefully good jobs. -Serious money should be collected/gained from other sources. And if such private donations was not done in North America, we most likely wouldn’t have debates like this, especially not by grownups. Get real.

  8. #968
    Dear Han Solo and ineedmyelin,

    Thank you both.

    ineedmyelin, I am also just a layman, not a scientist, although I've had experience with the peer review publishing process, which is why I'm aware of some of its nuances.

    Best,

    FriendlySprite

  9. #969
    Dear Leif,

    Quote Originally Posted by Leif View Post
    I was there. At the podium discussions too with others. But as I recalled it Davies said, as for astrocyte studies, much work is still required before entering a trial setting.
    I agree, and I think that's exactly what Dr. Davies meant by the three items he'd described in his last slide under "Ongoing studies," as well as the last line from his faculty page, "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."

    I think all of those statements are completely consistent with what you heard. Designing stem cell clinical trials is a very complex process, as I understand, not something "instantaneous," as I'd cautioned, above.



    Quote Originally Posted by Leif View Post
    As for Decorin, he and others said, if confident, do trials, its up to any. That was what I heard, and I am a good listener, too.
    No doubt, and I recall Kate mentioning during her liveblogging that Dr. Davies was instead "focused on the very first quality, top of the line treatment for sci," so we are in agreement on this point, too.


    Best,

    FriendlySprite

  10. #970
    Dear Schmecky,

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky View Post
    I want someone to tell me why Davies paper, published April, 2006, entitled, "Astrocytes derived from glial-restricted precursors promote spinal repair", is not in clincal trials?

    That's because no one can.
    I'll give it a shot!


    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky View Post
    This paper indicates a cure for acute injuries.
    I don't believe it does, at all, unless, perhaps, you're a rat! (And even then it would be risky!) In any case, the FDA was hardly ready to permit any human stem cell trials in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or most of 2010.

    In December 2007 the FDA and NIST were just holding a workshop for potential clinical investigators on "In Vitro Analyses of Cell/Scaffold Products" and the following April, the FDA's Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee was still trying to develop official guidance for stem cell clinical trials: http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/...-00-index.html

    In the meantime, Dr. Davies and his team had figured out that not just any old GDAs are helpful -- that GDAsCNTFs, in fact, would be disastrous, as explained in his 2008 paper, "Transplanted astrocytes derived from BMP- or CNTF-treated glial-restricted precursors have opposite effects on recovery and allodynia after spinal cord injury."

    And remember, even then, both those papers deal with rat spinal cords and rat GDAs.

    Rats may be good good models for humans, but human they are not!

    The next preclinical step required prior to a clinical stem cell trial -- as highlighted in one of the April 2008 presentations at the meeting of the FDA's Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee -- is the "Preclinical Evaluation of Human Stem Cells for Safety and Function."

    And that's the first of the three "Ongoing studies" Davies listed in his last slide at the 2010 Working2Walk.

    It seems to me that he's simply been following the FDA's prescribed procedures, as he must.


    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky View Post
    FriendlySprite,

    This ain't my first rodeo. But I like your post, very well written and very concise.
    Thank you for the compliment; I'm glad you liked my earlier post. :-)

    Best,

    FriendlySprite

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