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VivaStem vs. IRAP?

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  • VivaStem vs. IRAP?

    Has anyone used VivaStem to help a horse who needs hocks and stifles injected? I've been hoping for IRAP but the vet is thinking VivaStem, which I've never heard of.

  • #2
    This is the most information I can find about it:

    In that, it says "VitaStem has safely been used in over 250 horses" which seems to me to be a very small number.

    It also ONLY mentions subcutaneous administration.

    Unless your vet has some VERY compelling published data discussing IA use, I would run far, far away.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for finding that. Considering the tiny numbers of horses in the UlcerGard/GastroGard trials, 250 is actually a lot.

      The subcutaneous injection makes sense given their explanation of how it works. Effective meds are administered many different ways, so I don't know if that's really a bad thing.

      My vet has been trialing it for awhile on the racetrack and has had good results with it. I'm curious if anyone else has tried it and if so, the results.
      Last edited by Tiffani B; Jan. 10, 2013, 09:12 PM.


      • #4
        Omeprazole had the weight of more than 15 years' use in human subjects (with plenty of well done clinical trials) before it was extrapolated to horses. A rather substantial difference there vs. this product which appears to be someone's slightly different means of using PRP-type derivatives. Worthy of research and potentially useful. But as is typical, that part appears to be passed over in favor of moving straight to marketing and sales.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          There's NOTHING on pubmed. Nada. Not a thing.

          I hope your vet is offering this treatment to you for free, since you'd be signing up to be a guinea pig.


          • #6
            Ask the vet what research is available to support this product over others. If he can't give you an answer, think hard about what that means. Lots of things are incredibly promising in the "this ought to work!" department. And lots of medical disasters started out just that way, too.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              Read through their website, their justifications make NO sense. The FIRST fallacy is the statement "Stem cells recognize injured tissue."

              I would run away from this as it is as is seems as much snake oil as anything.

              Every chemokine and cytokine listed is also secreted by mature, terminally differentiated cells as well. This looks to be as much a get rich quick scheme as anything. The scientific work cited:

              Singh AK, Gudehithlu KP, Patri S, Litbarg, N Sethupathi P, Arruda JAL, Dunea: Impaired integration of endothelial progenitor cells in capillaries of diabetic wounds is reversible with VEGF infusion. Translational Research 149: 282-291, 2007. [Abstract]
              Litbarg, N, Gudehithlu KP, Sethupathi P, Arruda JAL, Dunea, G, Singh AK: Activated omentum becomes rich in factors that promote healing and regeneration. Cell Tiss Res 328: 487-497, 2007. [Abstract]
              Singh AK, Gudehithlu KP, Litbarg, N, Sethupathi P, Arruda JAL, Dunea, G: Transplanting fragments of diabetic pancreas into activated omentum gives rise to new insulin producing cells. Biochem Biophys Res Comm 355: 258-262, 2007. [Abstract]
              Vernik J, Singh AK: Omentum: Power to heal and regenerate (Editorial). Intl J Artif Organs. 30: 95-99, 2007. [Introduction]
              Singh AK, Patel J, Litbarg, N, Gudehithlu KP, Sethupathi P, Arruda JAL, Dunea, G: Stromal cells cultured from the omentum express pluripotent markers, produce high amounts of VEGF, and engraft to injured sites. Cell Tiss Res 332: 81-88, 2008. [Abstract]
              Singh AK, Pancholi N, Patel J, Litbarg NO, Gudehithlu KP, Sethupathi P, Arruda JAL, Dunea G: Omentum facilitates liver regeneration. World J Gastroenterology 15: 1057-1064, 2009. [Abstract]
              Patel J, Gudehithlu KP, Arruda JAL, Dunea G, Singh AK: Foreign body-induced granulation tissue is a source of adult stem cells. Translational Research 155: 191-199, 2010. [Abstract]
              Pancholi N, Kraus MA, Patel J, Gudehithlu KP, Arruda JAL, Dunea G, Singh AK: Culture of omentum induced regenerating liver yielded hepatocyte committed stem cells. Translational Research 156: 358-368, 2010. [Abstract]
              Litbarg NO, Singh AK: Factors in the omentum that endow it with healing power. In ‘The Omentum’ by Harry S Goldsmith (Ed), pg 25-35, 2010. Cine-Med Publishing, Inc. Woodbury, CT USA. [Introduction]
              Patel J, Pancholi N, Singh AK: Stem cells and their use for treatment of kidney diseases. In Dialyisis: Past, Present and Future. Todd Ing and Mohamad Rahman (eds) (In print 2011). [Introduction]
              Litbarg NO, Vujicic S, Singh AK: Attempts to regenerate the mammalian kidney. In Dialyisis: Past, Present and Future. Todd Ing and Mohammed Rahman (eds) (In print 2011). [Introduction]

              All seems to focus on "belly fat." While Ashok Singh is a professor at UM vet school, it seems this is all based on a few patents he has, yet if this does what is claimed, I would suspect the FDA would be interested - although animal experimentation is not illegal in their governance. Also, given that the environment in a joint is basically acellular, what does your vet even think will happen, other than billing you and getting paid?


              • #8
                what does your vet even think will happen, other than billing you and getting paid?
                What else needs to happen? Arthritic symptoms often wax and wane, so if the treatment is given at a lucky time, a "miracle" will be perceived.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  I've heard of vivastem. A very BNR recommended it to me. Her FEI vet usess it with a lot of success. I've asked my vet to check into it and requested that he call the other vet. Cost is approximately $450. I'll post my vet's thoughts when I hear back from him.


                  • #10

                    Originally posted by OhioRiderEsq View Post
                    I've heard of vivastem. A very BNR recommended it to me. Her FEI vet usess it with a lot of success. I've asked my vet to check into it and requested that he call the other vet. Cost is approximately $450. I'll post my vet's thoughts when I hear back from him.
                    While you are at it, ask how they control for the metabolic burst that destroys the injected material within 12-24 hours and how do they prevent tumor growth? Also, how can they control only for anabolic cell functions when each listed cytokine also stimulates inflammatory and immune pathways as well. Of course very BNRs would know these answers.

                    Several companies have created the same product and on the studies in which I ran on animals these were all issues, leading to abandonment of the product. Yes, we were looking at human drugs so the controls were much tighter. In the case of horses, no function or safety must be proven.


                    • #11
                      Well, next time I have a medical dilemma I'll call a BNR. Whew! That should be easy.
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        Oh, geez, I forgot how snippy and sarcastic you all can be. My point was merely that it had been recommended from a not sketchy source who uses a legitimate vet and I asked my vet about it. Nothing else should be implied by my post. I was just reporting that I heard about it before this post. RAyers, you should give the guy who created the product a call and ask those questions and report back here. I'd do it but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't understand any of it.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thank you all for your comments and insight. I will ask the vet those questions. In the interest of helping you all sleep at night, this is the vet's horse. She is not "experimenting" on my horse or on my dime.

                          14 year old horse had IRAP 2-3 years ago along with joint injections (hocks and stifles that we know about, possibly SI joint and hip as well, not 100% sure of his history) for the last maybe 5-6 years. She is considering trying this instead of IRAP and injections again. If it doesn't work, she will treat him traditionally.

                          Some things I've found... before and after...

                          Oscar before http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2086335875252
                          Oscar after http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2086394756724

                          Some other info http://oewequinecenter.com/oewblog/?tag=vivastem

                          It seems like a promising treatment, although just like with anything new, the outcomes are uncertain. And I would assume that just like many joint treatments, some animals will improve and others will not. She has been working with Vivastem on the track and says she's seen some very good results that make her think it will work for her horse.

                          Thanks again for the input. I'm interested to hear her answers and I'll try to share them (not sure I'll understand what she said well enough repeat it accurately but I'll try!).
                          Last edited by Tiffani B; Jan. 13, 2013, 10:36 AM.


                          • #14
                            Hopefully if the vet is treating her own horse and others she would be keeping a very careful log of what diagnosis, what objective studies, what measures of improvement, etc. It's not blinded research, but if vets don't do this sort of at least basic vigilance and information-gathering, nobody else is going to.
                            Click here before you buy.


                            • #15
                              Tiffany, DO NOT mistake EPM work for joint injections.

                              There are NO, NONE, ZERO, regenerative cells in the joint. Also note, the studies suggest INCREASED inflammation as the method of improvement. Be sure your vet knows what they really intend to do. At least IRAP has multiple university studies to its efficacy.

                              As for being snippy or sarcastic, NO BNR has ever proven significant medical insight in these areas so they automatically carry no weight. As for FEI vets, there are plenty who are under legal and ethical investigations for how they treat competition horses, e.g. Gamboa, Stevenson... So, being FEI certified does not mean they are a better vet. Again, such statements carry little validity in this case.


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                Tiffany, DO NOT mistake EPM work for joint injections.

                                There are NO, NONE, ZERO, regenerative cells in the joint. Also note, the studies suggest INCREASED inflammation as the method of improvement. Be sure your vet knows what they really intend to do. At least IRAP has multiple university studies to its efficacy.
                                I'm not mistaking one for the other. But thank you...

                                There is a video on that first link that Simkie found that has video of several lame horses, before and after. They were not EPM cases.

                                So you are saying joint issues might worsen? Does it matter what the cause for the joint pain is?


                                • #17
                                  I think with any therapy like this that is being used without having gone through the process of proper study, the answer to your last two questions is NOBODY KNOWS. There's a REASON why all that tedious, expensive research needs to be done. So we avoid the "whoops, that SOUNDED like a good idea" wreckage that is all too common in developing pharmaceuticals.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                  • #18
                                    What I am saying is that in the world of orthopaedics and joints, there never has been any evidence that such "cocktails" work when applied in these tissues. There are too many catabolic pathways and too little anabolic processes. Even at Amgen and other biopharmaceutic companies in 1990s this all was being done to see how cartilage could be regenerated. At the same time, the idea behind Vivastem is very old and when tried, it was observed that the "cocktail" was metabolized in a matter of hours with little no effect. (Yes, I was part of these studies as a researcher). The missing components were the explicit binding proteins that stabilize what is in this "stem cell fluid."

                                    In my experience, too many brilliant people with hundreds of millions of dollars behind them tried and are still trying. Thus, I am very suspect of a single veterinary researcher and a small training facility issuing a product with specific claims.

                                    Right now, the cause of the pain must be determined. Is it osteoarthritis, synovitis, bursitis, trauma,... That will tell you how to treat the issue. Throwing random stuff at an issue and hoping it works is not medicine.


                                    • #19

                                      Hi Everyone
                                      I am the VivaStem Representative
                                      I would be glad to answer any questions you may have about it uses , 10 years of development and 3 years of animal studies.
                                      it has been safely given to over 1500 animals , sorry web site is not up to date due to FDA and Patent pending restrictions. It is in the process of FDA approval.

                                      If anyone has a question as to how it works please send me an email and I can put you in contact with the discovering scientist and he can answer your questions.

                                      I have personally seen it improve lame horses, EPM horses, end stage uveitis and it really does work.

                                      I have personally seen the results in the dogs and my own 14 1/2 yr old dog is grateful each year to receive it for relief of her allergies and arthritis.
                                      My EPM residual ataxic gelding is now 100% and doing great in his training,
                                      My old school horse who was lame for 14 years with an un diagnosable lameness is grateful at 20 he is now comfortable and sound and back to work.

                                      It has been used by Olympic level trainers/owners that have very expensive horses and their vets thoroughly checked it out and proceeded to use it. Those horses healed.

                                      Stem Cell Fluid and how it works, is very new, verified by FDA, there is nothing else out there like it. FDA were very excited about VivaStem and encouraging to help us get through the FDA approval process.
                                      Again glad to answer any questions about VivaStem, please personally email me at mariehorse@aol.com


                                      • #20
                                        Someone asked me about my opinion on this product. So I did some research. Based on my research, I find the above post by vivastem questionable and self-contradictory.

                                        First, if your product in in the process of FDA approval, then it means that it has not been approved by the FDA and it is ILLEGAL to sell your product. Apparently, you're selling it before while it has NOT been approved by the FDA.

                                        Second, all animal drugs that have applied for FDA approval should have an INAD number. There's no record at the FDA indicating vivastem has ever submitted an INDA application.

                                        Third, on vivastem website, it says its product is distributed for clinical research either by itself or through distributors. If you're actually conducting clinical research, you'd have recruited legitimate clinical researcher to conduct your trial and you would not be distributing your product either by yourself or through distributors. It violates the FDA rules. Apparently, you're not conducting clinical research but trying to mislead the public.

                                        Fourth, you claim that your product has been given to over 1500 animals but could not update your website due to "FDA and Patent pending restrictions". I don't know what kind of restriction you're talking about. FDA only wants you to tell the truth. There's no restriction on updating your website based on truth, if that's really the case. Patent office does not restrict you from telling the truth either. Interestingly, the patent office record seems to indicate that the so called "pending patent" has already been rejected by the patent office!

                                        I hope to receive a response from the company.