Thursday, October 7, 2010

For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Spine Technology Awards

The modern version of this classic is quite different than what Hemingway intended when he wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls.   No this isn't about Robert Jordan attached to a republican guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War.  It's about another expert in the use of deception.  Looks like Hollywood is going to have to modify the The Spine Technology Awards.  The other nights lack luster performance by Robin Young starring as Robert Jordan, left many of the attendees exasperated with many unanswered questions.  Based on the people's opinions,  the STA is in dire need of a new leading man, and an independent voting panel like Deloitte and Touche.

Robin Young's vision of this red carpet extravaganza is in serious trouble.  One can rationalize that the lack of interest in attending may be attributed to a struggling economy, based on reports that the powers to be at OTW were hounding people to buy tickets up until the night of the event.   Where's Cameron Diaz when you need her?  You know what they say in the real estate market, location, location, location.  Many complained of the nice hike through Sea World.  Hopefully, the party goers stopped and paid an obligatory visit to Shamu.  Oscar was downsized.  What a shame even the trophy is having to tighten its belt during this double dip recession.

The President's Award, (by the way who is the President), was presented to two stem-cell based products, NuCell and PureGen.  TSB must ask our bloggers, is there no honor amongst thieves?  Is this a self-serving venue with the intent of benefitting one's agenda to be known as a market-maker in the stem cell market?   One would think that  the analysts' and investors are smarter than that.  Unfortunately, TSB doesn't believe that. Yet, watching Robin on the dais, is like watching Commodus the Emperor in Gladiator exclaim, Republic! Republic! Republic! The only difference is that he is crying out, Stem Cells, Stem Cells, Stem Cells.  Oh yes, Stem Cells are the second coming, but the second coming of what?  Is this really new technology?  Or, is this old technology with a new spin?   Even Muhammed Ali knew when he overstayed his welcome with the rope-a-dope.   So in closing, TSB wants to know, is it time to pull the plug on this event?  Is this a self-serving venue?  Does the industry really need a Spine Technology Award show, especially if there is no real value or entertainment.  You be the judge, TSB wants to know what the people think?

17 comments:

  1. Where is the list of winners? Honoring the engineers that design innovative products in this industry is a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Since these products take stem cells from live donors, I'm just curious to understand why taking a bone marrow aspirate kit out, poking the patient and extracting their own isn't better, safer and more cost efficient. Other stem cells taken from cadaver.....just use a DBM. Until the data is out, these seem more like promises in a bottle. I remember ordering my X-ray glasses out of a comic book as kid, duped, hence, no viewing naked women. Buyer beware!

    ReplyDelete
  3. these shows and ideas are great...but if a company doesn't come out with anything worth a damn of course they're not going to support it...
    oh and 7:17 - stem cells from a patient that's 65 won;t do anything compared to stem cells from a donor who's under 35.... how the hell did you get into this industry??

    ReplyDelete
  4. When the Master of Ceremonies has a financial interest in two stem cell companies isn't this type of award show a bit disingenuous and self-serving? JMHO

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well 7:43, long enough to know that BMP-2 will still be more effective and used consistently as opposed to PureGen that won't show the results as quickly. The cryogenic process PureGen undergoes makes this product as effective as Osteocell. Let's consider amniotic tissue instead, maybe a better stem cell product on the horizon. Show me the clinical studies that show that PureGen is that much better. BMA from the patient is still better, unfortunately you won't get the hefty commission check.

    I've seen many products released with promises of being the game changer. If you've been in this biz long enough, you would understand. Use what works, use what shows clear clinical benefit and don't get overly excited about "The First" or "New, New, New!" For the price of Puregen, stick with the BMP.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 7:43, you are wrong about stem cells. A 65 year old has stem cells that are just as viable and effective as a 13 year old, just not as many of them. 8:38 I was unclear as to what you meant by "The cryogenic process PureGen undergoes makes this product as effective as Osteocell". Did you mean that Osteocell IS effective? As I understand it, Osteocell is collected from cadaver donors. The apoptosis signal has been given and the cells are headed toward death. I also heard either Osteocel or Trinity comes with a 5 year shelf life, which is absurd for a supposed live cell stored at -80C. That is package sterility date, not a cell viabilty date. Another thing they won't tell you is that the 250K cell count is not all MSC's, I'm not sure they know what they are, but they most definitely are not all MSC's. NuCell and Puregen will be the frontrunners soon whether they work or not. Some surgeons will buy into stem cells but who would use cadaver cells when you have live cells as an option?

    ReplyDelete
  8. biodlogics baby!

    ReplyDelete
  9. RY Ortho is not legit information, what was once a respected industry veteran and unbiased analyst, Robin will now support anything that advertises with him. He's no longerTHE MAN to know, so dialed in to everything that's going on. Now he's all about company support and hasn't said an honest critical word about anyone in the industry. Nice guy, smart guy, but his opinion has been diluted by external interests.

    Those awards- what a joke. Leave that to a society or other group. Who is he to give out awards? I was asked to buy those expensive seats and since I didn't my product never got mentioned. If I did, and several thousand later, I guarantee I would've won something. Please, give me a break.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great reserach from Japan presented at the ICRS meeting in Sitges, showed that cell differentiation and growth after micro-fracture (done to allow marrow stem cells to leak into the defect) was NOT dependant on the age ofthe patient.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 9:55 - AGREED
    7:48 - sadly... TRIPLE AGREED
    9:48 - I can hear your evil self-serving cackle. Muahahaha...
    NuCel - Clinical studies? (honest clinical results, not paid for) White papers? (not paid for) Something stating it's uses other than "Wound Covering"?... Anything???...Nothing??? Yah, I didn't think so. ("but, wait I have my smoke and mirrors degree from Acme")

    Nauseating, self-serving, greedy, guileful I want to see who gets the awards for these obviously well honed attributes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If all these products are so useless - which they may well be until a decent stem cell source is found and proven to have some effect - why do surgeons use them? Are they really that gullible?

    ReplyDelete
  13. The only legit awards are ones voted by surgeons (preferably ones without financial interest). Robyn licensed the Nucel technology to Nutech himself. Of course he will give them the "President's Award". Same goes for Alphatec's Puregen. Robyn has a six figure consulting contract with Alphawreck. The Puregen data is very suspect. They used an intramuscular rat model instead of the standard subcutaneous model used for stem cell products. It is most likely that the MSCs in the rat muscle accounted for the growth instead of the Puregen cells. The Puregen studies also used a concentration of Puregen cells that was 6 times that of mscs. Talk about skewing data. Robyn, you lost what little respect I had left for you. Have you no shame?!?!?!??????

    ReplyDelete
  14. As the saying goes,"You could piss in a rat and it will grow bone." Enough said.

    ReplyDelete
  15. NASS Sucked this year!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think rat data could be useful, granted with the correct implant location and a fair comparison. It doesn't sound like Alphatec Spine did that. Maybe the testing using standard methods did not turn out well?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, surgeons are that gullible, and that greedy. All these cell products are nothing but expensive and slightly inferior DBMs. Why inferior? When they die, which they inevitably will sitting in an devascularized clotted hole, they release lysosymes which will kill the rest.

    ReplyDelete