Science Validation & The Rising Sun

Strategy, survival, direction, competition and growth opportunities are but a few fundamental elements in the maze of everyday life all professionals must navigate - no more so than those on the leading edge of managing scientific innovation.

Being at the forefront of change often elicits backdraft currents and polarization of entrenched positions. This is natural and can be seen as a positive reinforcement of the high threshold one must strive to in order to achieve acceptance. A sort of quality assay if you will - one which is analogous to peer review in a business setting.

A lot has been written on the news of the Ocata/Astellas deal regarding the value calculation and little on the actual merits of Validation for Ocata’s science, the step forward in its development plan and the broader implications for the stem cell sector.

This writer has covered Ocata for a long time and can attest to the finer details of the saga that was its Survival and Vindication. A road which has seen its fair share of episodic highlights - perhaps too many.

One could speak at length and talk of the dedicated character of those involved with the science and the constant pressure within & on the company to prove itself in a demanding uncompromising field. One piece termed the company a “lightning rod” - the story has all the hallmarks.

The end of an era? Yes, perhaps it is in many ways. I prefer to see it as the close of the 2nd act in a 3 act structure, where the rain is falling and mingling with the tears.

Lost independence isn’t easy to come to grips with. However, moving on from being a small volatile publicly traded company, with all the influences that entails, to being housed within a protective and nurturing parental structure is a very positive outcome - for the programs and patients in need. 

It signifies so much with regard to the science and efforts to help define the standards of a new treatment methodology in medicine. 

The deal is a solid affirmation from established pharma that the stem cell therapeutic sector is worth banking on. This comes on the heels of other momentum building developments in the space and perhaps is indicative of a growth driven consolidation phase.

There are many worthwhile questions surrounding the announcement and events leading up to the decision to sell that remain, even after recent company disclosures, and one would look to those involved to address them for the record. Lock stock comes to mind?

There is a saying which is often spoken in Catalonia - “the sun always rises” and aims to reinforce and embrace the positive.