Aug 28, 2017

FDA announces crackdown on "unscrupulous" stem cell clinics

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The FDA announced today that U.S. marshals raided StemImmune, a San Diego-based clinic offering a smallpox vaccine to cancer patients, on Friday as part of an crackdown on stem-cell clinics offering unapproved and unproven treatments.

The vaccine won't generate smallpox for people with healthy immune systems, but could cause severe medical problems for cancer patients.

Clinics like StemImmune have been on the rise in the past several years, per The Washington Post. The clinics capitalize on the uncertainty of the developing field, offering unproven and potentially dangerous treatments. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb noted the potential of regenerative medicine, but said "a small number of unscrupulous actors" put the field at risk.

What's next: The FDA says it will use "whatever legally enforceable means are necessary to protect the public health." New framework to establish clear guidelines and regulations will be advanced this fall.

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Situational awareness

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  1. Warren supporters form super PAC
  2. We may be on "the brink" of a global coronavirus pandemic
  3. Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump
  4. National polls show Bernie in control ahead of Nevada
  5. How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors

Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post on Feb. 28, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.