Archive for the ‘Regenerative Medicine’ Category

Jan 19, 2024

The Father of MSCs: Remembering Dr. Arnold Caplan

Posted by Bob under Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells

Dr. Arnold Caplan, a friend, a colleague, and a mentor, recently passed away. The loss to the human AND veterinary medical fields is enormous. Arnold “Arnie” Caplan, a pioneering researcher in the field of regenerative medicine, is renowned for his groundbreaking work with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Arnie earned his Ph.D. from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has since dedicated his career to advancing our understanding of stem cell biology. In the late 1980s, Caplan identified and isolated mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow, a discovery that created the field of regenerative medicine. His work laid the foundation for exploring the therapeutic potential of MSCs in hundreds of medical applications.

Dr. Arnold “Arnie” Caplan, the Father of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Caplan’s research highlighted the regenerative properties of MSCs, marking them as promising candidates for tissue repair and regeneration. Over the years, his contributions have not only advanced our understanding of stem cell biology but have also opened doors to new possibilities in regenerative medicine, with MSCs being explored as potential treatments for conditions such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and immune disorders.

Most significantly, Arnie never stopped exploring the boundaries of what stem cells could do. He adamantly admitted he was wrong about stem cell mechanisms and re-named them Medicinal Signaling Cells to show they were the body’s drug store. Every 3-5 years he would renovate our understanding of these healing cells, showing they could block inflammation, treat pain, modulate the immune system, and stimulate healing. 

Dr. Caplan’s work has left an indelible mark on the field, shaping the trajectory of regenerative medicine and offering hope for innovative therapeutic interventions. He founded numerous companies and filed many foundational patents. 

For our founder and CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, Dr. Caplan was a guide through the complicated research literature, inviting us to enter his world of human medicine. He knew that veterinarians would be the pioneers and that the data we created would be transformative. He was correct. And with his urging and blessing, our veterinary regenerative medicine company, VetStem, gathered its complete veterinary data and sought FDA approval to extend our expertise to human treatments. The FDA granted approval, making us the pioneering company to demonstrate the reality of “One Medicine” and showcase how veterinary data can accelerate advancements in human medicine.

Arnie, you will be missed by everyone in the field, but your wisdom will impact the field for decades to come. Long live MSC’s.

Aug 25, 2023

Platelet-Rich Plasma: The Importance of Consistency

This week, we are debuting our latest product, PrecisePRP™, at the Fetch DVM360 veterinary conference in Kansas City, MO. This is our first conference since we launched the product, and we are very excited to get in front of veterinarians and technicians to explain what a game-changer PrecisePRP™ is for the industry!

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is defined as concentrated platelets in plasma. It is a therapeutic regenerative medicine modality that is commonly used to treat joint disease, such as osteoarthritis, as well as soft tissue injuries (tendon, ligament), and wounds. Unfortunately, there are several variables that can affect the concentration of platelets used for treatment, which can then affect the treatment outcome.  

How is PRP Produced?

Platelet-rich plasma is most frequently produced in the veterinary clinic using a pet’s own blood. The blood is drawn from the patient then filtered or centrifuged using a mechanical PRP kit. There are several mechanical PRP kits on the market currently, each of which requires a unique processing method. Once the blood is run through the kit, the end result is PRP, which is then injected directly into the problem area (i.e., joint, tendon lesion, wound, etc.).

Disadvantages of Mechanical PRP Kits

There are several disadvantages that come with producing PRP using a mechanical kit. Perhaps the most significant of these is the variability of the final PRP used to treat the patient. Numerous factors can affect the final platelet concentration such as the current health of the patient, platelet count of the patient, operator handling of the sample, and the effectiveness of the kit used to produce the PRP. Ultimately, if the PRP doesn’t contain what is considered a therapeutic dose of concentrated platelets, the patient likely won’t experience much relief.

This variability was made apparent when, in researching PRP kits, we performed a comparison of four PRP kits for the production of equine PRP. Each kit demonstrated a lack of uniformity relating to the final platelet count and platelet concentration. Moreover, each kit failed to meet their respective platelet concentration claim.

Consistency with PrecisePRP™

We didn’t feel comfortable selling PRP kits that would potentially lead to poor treatment outcomes. So instead, we invented PrecisePRP™, a freeze-dried donor-derived platelet-rich plasma currently available in a dog and horse format. PrecisePRP™ Canine and PrecisePRP™ Equine do not require processing to produce PRP, instead your veterinarian will simply rehydrate and inject.

Each vial of PrecisePRP™ undergoes rigorous quality testing to meet precise product release specifications. This results in a uniform and consistent PRP product, eliminating the variability mentioned above so that veterinarians know exactly what they’re injecting every single time. PrecisePRP™ donors are screened according to FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine guidance and in controlled safety studies of dogs and horses, there were no notable adverse events related to treatment with PrecisePRP™.

Veterinarians interested in purchasing PrecisePRP™ should contact Customer Service.

Jul 28, 2023

Platelet-Rich Plasma Use in Veterinary Medicine

While we primarily focus on stem cells, another exciting tool in the regenerative medicine bucket is platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP is defined as concentrated platelets in plasma. But what does PRP do and what can it be used to treat?

Platelets release chemical messengers to call stem cells and other healing cells to orchestrate repair.

The Healing Properties of Platelets

To understand how PRP works, we first need to understand what platelets do in the body. Platelets are very small cells found in the blood stream of mammals and are best known for their ability to clot the blood. However, there is much more that these tiny but powerful cells can do. A complex signaling system sent out from damaged cells attracts platelets to an injury and tells them to release several healing molecules that they have stored inside of them. In turn, these healing molecules attract a multitude of additional healing cells (including stem cells) to the site of injury or inflammation. Together, these cells have been shown to reduce pain, remove the damaged cells, build new blood vessels, prevent further tissue damage, and generate new healthy cells in place of the injured ones.

What can PRP be Used to Treat?

In veterinary medicine, PRP is most often used for orthopedic problems such as cruciate ligament tears, osteoarthritis, and tendon injuries in dogs, cats, and horses. However, recent research has shown that PRP can also aid in the healing of skin wounds, corneal (eye) ulcers, surgical incision sites, tooth sockets following extraction, and even muscle tears. Platelet therapy can also be used in conjunction with VetStem Cell Therapy to maximize the effect of both treatments.

PRP Kits: How they Work and the Associated Disadvantages

Historically, PRP has been produced using the patient’s blood. The blood is run through a mechanical device, or kit, each of which requires a unique processing method. The end result is concentrated platelets in plasma (PRP), however the exact concentration of platelets in the final product is not usually known.

This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage when using kits to produce PRP. There are several variables that can affect the final platelet concentration such as the current health of the patient, platelet count of the patient, operator handling of the sample, and the effectiveness of the kit used to produce the PRP. In a recent comparison of four PRP kits for the production of equine PRP, these kits demonstrated a lack of uniformity relating to the final platelet count and platelet concentration, and each kit failed to meet their respective platelet concentration claim.

Consistency is Key: PrecisePRP

Fortunately, VetStem found a way to significantly reduce these disadvantages. PrecisePRP™ is a freeze-dried, donor-derived platelet-rich plasma; truly an off-the-shelf PRP. Each vial of PrecisePRP™ is uniform in platelet characteristics and concentration. This eliminates the variability mentioned above so that veterinarians know exactly what they’re injecting every single time, which can increase positive treatment outcomes. Additionally, PrecisePRP™ is not a kit and does not require processing, making it an easy and convenient alternative to currently available PRP kits.

We took the development of this product very seriously to ensure a positive safety profile. All donors are screened according to the FDA CVM guidance 254. Each batch is sterility, endotoxin, and quality tested to meet precise product release specifications. In controlled safety studies of dogs and horses, there were no notable adverse events related to treatment with PrecisePRP™. This unique product is currently available in both dog and horse formats.

Pretty exciting stuff! Want to learn more? Visit for more information.

Apr 1, 2022

VetStem Reaches New Stem Cell Processing Milestone

As leaders in the field of regenerative veterinary medicine, we are proud to announce that we have reached a new stem cell processing milestone. VetStem has processed over 15,000 patient samples resulting in over 35,000 stem cell treatments for animals across the United States and Canada. Over 2,200 veterinarians have utilized VetStem Cell Therapy processing services for their patients.

Dr. Bernadine Cruz treats her patient, Nikita, with an IV dose of her own stem cells.

The majority of these treatments have been for orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis as well as injured tendons and ligaments in dogs, cats, and horses. We have also provided cell therapy services for patients with alternate conditions such as renal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gingivostomatitis, spinal conditions, and more as part of our clinical research programs.

While most know that we primarily work with domestic animals, we also work with multiple exotic animal organizations and their programs to provide stem cell therapy for several exotic species. To date, nearly 200 exotic animals have been treated. Those animals include elephants, cheetahs, rhinos, several species of bears, giraffes, penguins, dolphins and more.

We are very proud to be leaders in this field of cutting-edge medicine. And we look forward to what the future holds! That being said, we wouldn’t be where we are without all of YOU, our pet owners and veterinary clients, who have trusted VetStem to handle your pets’ and patients’ stem cells over the past nearly two decades. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

May 22, 2020

VetStem CEO Joins ACRM Board of Directors

The American College of Regenerative Medicine (ACRM) has asked VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, to join their board of directors. As the CEO and co-founder of both VetStem and human subsidiary, Personalized Stem Cells, Inc. (PSC), Dr. Harman has nearly two decades of experience working with stem cells and regenerative medicine.

VetStem CEO, Dr. Bob Harman

The first of its kind, the ACRM is a multi-specialty, interdisciplinary medical organization. The ACRM was formed to promote the science and ethical use of regenerative medicine with a strong emphasis on global interdisciplinary collaboration. Board members include medical doctors and surgeons, a dentist, a registered nurse and our very own veterinarian, Dr. Harman.

The ACRM’s mission statement encompasses everything from physician and patient education to safety and scientific advancement. While regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy is not new, there is still much to learn about regenerative cell therapies. The ACRM is fully committed to patient safety and a high standard of care. Like VetStem and PSC, the ACRM advocates for patient safety by following FDA guidelines and maintaining compliance.

The interdisciplinary focus of the ACRM will allow for the amalgamation of knowledge and expertise from doctors across multiple fields. Dr. Harman brings nearly two decades of experience with regenerative medicine in the veterinary field to share. With the launch of PSC in 2018, Dr. Harman can also provide insight into human regenerative medicine and FDA approved stem cell clinical trials. We hope this “One Medicine” approach will ultimately lead to understanding regenerative cell therapies more fully and open the door for additional FDA approved regenerative treatment options.