We were looking for opportunity in the carnage. When looking at the world, the aging demographics, and where most of the world's R&D spending is going, we naturally turned to stem cells. The opportunity here is tremendous. It's like buying oil in the late 90's or tech stocks in the early 90's. Sure, you won't get rich quick, but this one of the best spots to get really rich slowly.
While many others are just realizing the pending boom in stem cells, we've been actively working away on trying to figure out How are we going to make money here, since we published, The Next Boom Emerges .
To do that, we're going to need some help. I'll be the first to admit it, I'm not a doctor. And if you're not, or don't at least have a good one on your team, navigating the biotech sector can be treacherous. So, I'd like to introduce you to Dr. Allen Eaves. As he'll explain in his own words in a moment, he has been researching stem cells for years, and has started a couple successful (and profitable – our favorite kind!) businesses focused on helping advance stem cell research.
In the next few moments you'll learn:
1. What is the Holy Grail of the stem cell industry?
2. The timeline – We know it's coming. how long will it take to get there?
3. How demand for the Picks & Shovels is soaring.
4. The ultimate end game of the stem cell revolution.
5. Which countries are leading the way in stem cell research.
6. How regulatory changes will help some and hurt others.
Below, is a discussion I recently had with stem cell expert Dr. Allen Eaves.
Andrew Mickey: At Q1 Publishing, we do provide advice, ideas, and research on investing. We try and search out new ideas and educate investors from a ground-up perspective, and to do that we obviously have to - talk to some experts in the field.
Lately we've been very interested in stem cells. I think there is a lot of opportunity for investors in this field. While the majority is still focused on oil prices we will be looking for opportunities to invest in this sector.
With respect to stem cells, what area of the field are you focused on and how long have you been working on stem cells?
Dr. Allen Eaves: Well, the field in stem cell goes back 30 to 40 years. Really –the area that I first become interested in was in blood forming systems. And all of this work was pioneered in Toronto by Till and McCulloch.
They won the Lasker Award (considered to be the most prestigious award for science and medicine in the United States) for it a few years ago.
Andrew Mickey: Are you talking about stem cells in general?
Dr. Allen Eaves: Yes. Till and McCulloch proved for the first time the existence of stem cells.
Andrew Mickey: With your work, do you also focus on neurology.
Dr. Allen Eaves: No. Well, we focus primarily on blood forming stem cells, but now we are doing all sorts of things.
So they laid a lot of the of the foundation work for understanding stem cells. Following their work, stem cells became useful clinically, in both doing bone marrow transplantation, which is basically, you have a person with leukemia and you ablate bone marrow with chemotherapy and radiation and then give them back somebody else's stem cells, and that re-grows their marrow and immune system.
Andrew Mickey: Okay, and this was first done at the University of Minnesota, correct?
Dr. Allen Eaves: Yes, well that was – it's available where all these things were done, but we have done this in Paris, Minnesota, and in Seattle.
Andrew Mickey: So you focused on blood reformation in marrow?
Dr. Allen Eaves: Well, that's what I spent most of my career doing. So as an academic, now I am in business. And we supply tools with Stem Cell Technologies which is the company I have here in Vancouver.
We make tissue culture media for growing stem cells in culture and studying them.
Andrew Mickey: Okay. So when you talk about growing them in culture, is that essentially going to replace (or could replace) the need for marrow donors in the future? Is that what you are going after? What's your end goal of researching?
Dr. Allen Eaves: Well...see our end goal is to provide the picks and shovels for the stem cell gold rush. So we're not actually trying to do the clinical applications, but we are providing the tools that would help people do that.
Andrew Mickey: Okay. So where are we currently at with the stem cell revolution? And what is the ultimate goal?
Dr. Allen Eaves: What's the end result? Well...the end result is to be able to take a stem cell that either comes from yourself...there has been a huge revolution in the stem cell thing. Now, when it comes to stem cells that are found in adults and more primitive stem cells that are found in embryos - and of course there was a lot of controversy about the embryo thing. That's really going to be swept under the carpet because it looks like you can get stem cells from adults.
I understand that it was obtained as a result of study of embryonic stem cells. Now, we are starting to understand what the growth factors are that require a cell from an adult to be converted into a primitive embryonic like stem cell, that then, can hopefully differentiate it into any tissue we want.
Okay, so then that means that you can use this for tissue engineering.
So the simple stuff would be to recode somebody's knee with similar cells that will make cartilage, right? So you resurface joints that are worn out, so that would be one thing.
But you know some of the huge goals would be to basically grow stem cells from an individual leg to then be used to replace the marrow. This could be used for treating, say, leukemia or to supplement other types of chemotherapy for other tumours where the side effect is/may be killing of marrow cells and leaving them prone to infection, or bleeding because it allows white cells or platelets.
In a way, the Holy Grail for stem cell research is...