March 5, 2019

A patient in England reportedly has been cured of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, via a stem cell transplant.

The case, which was reported in the journal Nature and made news around the world, is just the second instance in which a patient’s body has been cleared of the virus. The researchers referred to it as long-term remission, but some experts say it is a cure.

The first case of complete clearing of HIV from the body occurred 12 years ago, in much the same way. The most recent patient, who has not been identified, underwent treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, and in the process received a stem cell transplant in May 2016.

March 4, 2019

Two regenerative medicine guidance documents drafted last year have now been published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The documents clarify new considerations on the development and review of regenerative medicine therapies.

The first guidance deals with the evaluation of devices used with regenerative medicine advanced therapies. The second guidance covers expedited programs for regenerative medicine therapies for serious conditions.

February 25, 2019

Researchers from Japan have found a potential way to make platelets from human stem cells derived from fat cells.

Creating platelets in this manner brings a new way to help patients needing platelet transfusions. This breakthrough can help overcome the five day shelf life of platelets, its limited supply and risks of bacterial contamination.

The study was published in the Journal of Blood.

Fat cell derived platelets were obtained within twelve days, with its characteristics and functions similar to platelets.

The method also has potential application in clinical trials.

“Many researchers are currently working to create manufactured platelets, and have succeeded to a degree as evidenced by the article here,” said Dr. Rachel Beddard, Chief Medical Officer at BioBridge Global.

February 18, 2019

Let’s saddle up and look back at what used to be on the property of BioBridge Global, Dellview shopping center (including Walmart), Credit Human headquarters, Bill Miller BBQ and the hotels around it, and the Granados senior center.

In 1994, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center acquired land to build an 80,000-square-foot Headquarters Facility. In 2008, another 40,000-square-foot building was added, the Donor Pavilion. In 2018, 10,000 square feet was added through the Alamo Administration Building.

All of these buildings have one thing in common: They are on land that once was part of the well-known Vance View Stables. 

James Milton Vance built his home and Hillside Dairy Ranch on the property in 1888. Vance and his wife had five children, including Zelime Vance. Zelime Vance married Frank Gillespie, who founded the Gillespie Ford dealership. 

February 12, 2019

This year’s RegenMed SA conference at the Wyndham Riverwalk brought the biomedical community together to talk about regenerative medicine research happening in local universities and research labs.

Participation in the event – more than 200 people registered, the most in its five-year history – demonstrated the interest in regenerative medicine in the region.

But Becky Cap, Chief Operating Officer of GenCure and one of the conference’s organizers, said the event was far more than a show of interest in a growing field.