Sep 20 2014

Americord Funds Another Cord Blood Clinical Trial

Posted by Martin Smithmyer

It’s been a busy summer at Americord, and we are excited to announce that we have provided funding for another cord blood clinical trial ! This trial studies the efficacy of autologous umbilical cord blood reinfusion in children with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term representing a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move. Cerebral palsy is a life-long condition caused by damage to the developing brain during pregnancy or directly following birth. It is typically caused by asphyxiation, a lack of oxygen in the brain. The condition does not worsen over time, and it primarily impairs body movement, muscle control, reflex, and balance.

The purpose of this trial is to determine the effectiveness of infusing a child with his or her own cord blood in treating pediatric patients with spastic cerebral palsy. Sponsors of this trial are predicting that, in the setting of brain injury, infusion of a child’s own umbilical cord blood will promote neural cell repair leading to improved function in pediatric patients with cerebral palsy. Researchers are hoping that this trial will help them to discover other uses for umbilical cord blood, like reducing inflammation in the brain and forming new hormones to repair damaged brain cells.

“This research for children with cerebral palsy is truly exciting,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We will be following this trial with great interest and we are thrilled to provide funding to help support it.” The funding has been made through our corporate giving program, which was established to support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue.

Positive results from this trial could further expand treatment options for other types of brain injuries. Duke’s researchers are hoping that the umbilical cord blood stem cells used in this trial will repair the brain cells damaged by the lack of oxygen. If the stem cells can repair these cells, there is hope that they will be able to cure other types of brain injuries in a similar way.

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