Stem cell center starting trials

Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:45 am

Seven months after a bill to create a regional stem cell therapy hub at The University of Kansas Medical Center took effect, two doctors from the center say it is enrolling patients in clinical trials and they are beginning their work.

David Prentice and Buddhadeb Dawn expressed excitement Monday about what the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center has been able to accomplish in a short time and what possibilities it holds for the future.

"Kansas can be the leader in providing adult stem cell treatments and information to physicians and patients around the world," Dawn said.

Prentice said the center, which limits itself to research on adult stem cells, will foster "ethical, noncontroversial" treatments for patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, heart damage, stroke and juvenile diabetes.

At the same time he said it will serve to educate schoolchildren on the promise of adult stem cells and act as a "hub" for regional research.

Potentially, physicians from across the region could be sending samples," Prentice told the Senate Ways and Means Committee that approved millions in start-up funds for the center last year.

Sen. Jeff Melcher, R-Leawood, said he was heartened by news of the center beginning work, but somewhat concerned about it monetizing that work.

He noted that the 15 members of the center's advisory board are academics and legislators, with no one from the business community.

I see kind of a void in that I dont see the people that it would take to product-ize this," Melcher said. "The sales and marketing expertise, the product development.

Dawn said the medical center has some in-house experts who can help with that and that it also will be working with specific companies in some of its clinical trials.

Stem cell center starting trials

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