art courtesy of Cord Blood Registry

Two studies on umbilical cord blood on Autism Spectrum Disorder and heart failure patients have shown great promise for continued application.  In one conducted at Universidad de los Andes in Chile, and reported in Circulation Research, the use of donor-provided umbilical cord tissue-derived stem cells in patients with heart failure may lead to notable improvements in heart muscle function and quality of life.  The other, conducted at Sutter Medical Center and reported in Stem Cells Journals, documents how the use of a child’s own umbilical cord tissue-derived stem cells may help symptoms of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by modulating or reducing inflammation and certain immune responses as well as “travel to sites of neurological injury.”

In the Chileans study, thirty patients, ages 18 to 75, with stable heart failure receiving drug therapy underwent infusions with either umbilical cord-derived stem cells (obtained from full-term human placentas from healthy donors by caesarean section after informed consent) or placebo.  Those receiving the stem cell treatments showed sustained and “significant” improvement in the hearts’ ability to pump blood in the year following treatment.

In the year-long FDA-regulated clinical trial at Sutter Medical Center, cells found in cord blood were found to have the ability to “modulate or reduce inflammation and certain immune responses as well as travel to sites of neurological injury.”  While the exact cause of ASD has never been found, it is believed that a dysfunctional immune system is partially culpable.  Cord Blood Registry (CBR) helped fund the study in which  twenty-nine children with ASD were given infusions of their own cord blood (stored from birth at CBR) or a placebo to first ascertain the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.  At the end of 24 weeks, the the subjects’ infusions were reversed.  Researchers at Duke University are currently pursuing a larger study of this type to ascertain if cord blood may become an effective treatment for ASD.


photo courtesy of P&G

The Procter & Gamble Company announced that it has resolved its patent infringement dispute with Ranir, LLC regarding Ranir’s tooth whitening strip products in the United States and Canada. This dispute was based on P&G’s patent portfolio relating to tooth whitening, including patents that had been previously litigated and an extensive portfolio of newer patents also relating to tooth whitening technology and strips.

In March 20, 2017, P&G filed the patent infringement lawsuit against Ranir, asserting infringements of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,891,453 and 5,894,017, calling it a “flagrant act of piracy” when Ranir sold generic versions of the P&G products through Walmart, Kroger, and other P&G retailers.  As part of the settlement, Ranir acquired rights to P&G patents under commercial terms that are confidential.


We’ve all heard of counterfeiting in the beauty business.  While the packaging may appear identical, the product is just not authentic.  Some even counterfeit their spokespeople, as Christie Brinkley soon discovered when she was named in a recent lawsuit.  Carla Young of Tennessee claimed that she signed up for a trial supply of Skin Noir and Eye Noir skincare products which caused burns on her face.  But why is Brinkley, the beauty guru and founder of  Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare, being named?  According to the suit, “Christy Brinkley Skincare is known to have helped promote, manufacture and/or distribute the SkinNoir and EyeNoir products.”
      But this is not the case.  According to Kelly McCarthy, partner at Sideman & Bancroft, an intellectual property and brand protection group, fraud in the beauty business accounts for nearly $75 million in losses annually.  Sharing with with WWD she explains, “Cosmetics and skin-care companies are hit hard by counterfeiters.  This is unfortunate because counterfeit cosmetics and skin care can contain potentially dangerous ingredients which can pose a health and safety risk for the consumer.”
      So how are Brinkley and her company responding?  “We are sympathetic [to the victim] and want to find and pursue our own legal action against those damaging our brand,” shares Andrew Surwilo, chief executive officer of Atlantic Coast Brands, Authentic Skincare’s parent company. “We are not going to stand by idly.”   Brinkley suggests, “One way we can help women distinguish my products is that these fly-by-night companies don’t put my name on the bottle,” adding, “As soon as we get wind of it, we try to shut them down.”