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article imageNew research into regenerative stem cell therapies: Q&A Special

By Tim Sandle     Jul 23, 2018 in Science
Dr. Joshua Hare is leading research into development of regenerative stem cell therapies for aging-related diseases — including Alzheimer’s — to improve quality of life. He shares with Digital Journal his current research.
Joshua Hare, M.D. began his career and built his practice as a preeminent heart surgeon. Today, as co-founder and chief science officer of Longeveron, and founding director of the University of Miami Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI), he has been pioneering regenerative stem cell therapies for aging-related diseases. Stem cells could make the difference between “successful” and accelerated aging, according to Dr. Hare.
Dr. Hare is one of the world's leading pioneers in the use of stem cell therapy to repair damaged hearts. He released findings on the first human clinical trial testing a stem-cell based treatment for heart attack patients, which showed the stem cell treated patients had lower rates of cardiac arrhythmias, and had significant improvements in heart, lung and symptom status. He is also involved with a forthcoming Alzheimer’s stem cell clinical trial.
Digital Journal recently spoke with Dr. Hare about his research objectives.
Joshua Hare  M.D. Professor of Medicine; Director  Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute
Joshua Hare, M.D. Professor of Medicine; Director, Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute
Joshua Hare
Digital Journal: What are stem cells?
Dr. Joshua Hare: Stem cells are biological cells that can differentiate into other, specialized types of cells and can divide to produce more of the same type. Longeveron is a life sciences company developing treatments for aging-related diseases through the use of Allogenic Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), which are produced at our facility in Miami, FL, from adult-donor bone marrow. MSCs can develop into osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells), tenocytes (tendon), myocytes (muscle cells), and adipocytes (fat cells that give rise to adipose tissue), and they can replicate quickly.
DJ: Which research areas are stem cells being used for?
Dr. Hare: Scientists are currently studying stem cells for application across a wide scope of research, including for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions, heart conditions, diabetes, eyes, joints, muscles and other indications. Longeveron is progressing rapidly with the development of regenerative stem cell therapies for aging-related conditions, including aging frailty, Alzheimer’s disease and Metabolic Syndrome. Aging frailty is estimated to affect more than 10% of people age 65 and older. It results in increased fatigue, difficulty going about daily activities, decreased mobility, heightened risk of injury from falling, more frequent visits to the doctor, and a general decrease in health.
DJ: What can stem cell therapy achieve?
Dr. Hare:Our own research in aging frailty shows that Longeveron’s stem cells have anti-inflammatory effects, regenerative capabilities, and the ability to decrease scar tissue. In the area of aging, we believe that stem cells have the potential to improve quality of life, functional capacity, and health span.
DJ: Please explain your clinical trial testing a stem-cell based treatment for heart attack patients. What did you find?
Dr. Hare:My earlier work with heart attack patients showed that stem cell treated patients had lower rates of cardiac arrhythmias and significant improvements in heart, lung, and symptom status. Our stem cell findings have tended to be consistent across patient groups.
DJ: What are your studies into stem cell treatments for aging frailty showing?
Dr. Hare:Aging frailty trial participants, with an average age of 76, showed marked improvement in physical performance, lung function and inflammatory biomarkers, with no serious effects attributed to the stem cell treatment. These are all significant aspects of frailty. Chronic inflammation can lead to other serious conditions including heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Generally, immune functional decline is a hallmark feature of aging, and frail older individuals are at high risk for health complications and serious illnesses.
More about Stem cells, Disease, Aging, Neurodegenrative disease, Alzheimer's disease
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