Saturday, March 14, 2009
Stem Cells, Iplex, Jane Fonda as PALS on stage
The biggest news is President Obama's overturning of the 2001 Bush restrictions on stem-cell research. This action will open about 1,000 stem-cell lines. It's important to know that cures and treatments for disease will not come overnight, but the opening of lines will increase the investigation and research. For more information
A clinical trial for patients with rapidly-progressing familial ALS, has begun enrollment at Emory University. The study uses the drug arimoclomol. go to this link,
Louise took me to see a new Broadway play called "33 Variations" starring Jane Fonda as a musicologist who has been diagnosed with ALS. ALSA had consulted with the cast, so the progression from clumsy walk to cane to walker to wheelchair, and finally to deathbed, was reasonably accurate. Parts of the play were weak, but Jane Fonda's performance was stellar. She hadn't been on the stage in 46 years and, at 71, is not likely to be there again. So it was a privilege to be able to see her
The FDA has decided to allow a few patients with ALS access to mecasermin rinfabate [Iplex] under "compassionate use" rules. Iplex is a blend of recombinant insulin-like growth factor-1 [IGF-1] and IGF binding protein-3, which was pulled from the market when Insmed [the drug's manufacturer] lost a patent dispute with companies that make a similar drug to treat stunted growth in children. Insmed only has a small quantity of the drug remaining.
For more information, go to this link