Entest BioMedical, Inc., formed in April 2009, is a subsidiary of bio-Matrix Scientific Group, Inc. Bio-Matrix is an interesting company. They provide stem cell storage for future use using cryogenics (the resurrection scene from Demolition Man is flashing through my head) as well as “stem cell related” services.
Entest focuses on research and development of ” autologous adipose-derived” for traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
“Our new Web site demonstrates Entest BioMedical’s mission and key scientific personnel who are dedicated to discovering and developing new procedures, treatments and medical devices that improve the quality of life – leading research and technology that serve the present and help shape the future,” said David Koos, Ph.D., DBA, Chairman and CEO in a recent press release for Entest.
How do they propose to help traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries?
Entest intends to use adipose-derived (read “fat derived”) stem cells (ASCs) that are taken from the fat that is vacuumed out during the liposuction process. It’s not clear who the patients are that will be donating their fat or from what specific lipo procedure the ASCs will come from. Whatever the source, Entest should be able to avoid the anti-stem cell furor with this approach.
According to the Entest website fat tissue is “the most abundant and accessible source of adult stem cells”. Considering that more than 800,000 liposuction procedures are performed every year, the decision to utilize this resource doesn’t come as a surprise!
These adult stem cells can “differentiate into neural cells” meaning that they are able to divide and change into the more complex neural cell type. These neural cells have a healing effect on the restricted blood supply, inflammation, and damaged neurons often caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI).
What have they discovered so far?
Entest states that “there is no effective therapeutic approach to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma because …cells have limited ability for self-repair…”. At this time, they have just begun the to develop their ASC-based therapy and won’t know how effective it is until the research is fully underway.
What are they doing now?
Entest submitted a Project Summary Reportto the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) in May 2009. They hope to receive some funding for their research as combat-related SCIs and TBIs continue to rise due to prevalence of explosives (roadside bombs especially) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Let’s hope that Entest’s efforts will pay off! Safer, more effective approaches are needed, and needed now.
Adipose image from here.