Nov 5 2013

Cord Blood Stem Cells Successfully Expanded in Phase 1 of Harvard Study

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Americord applauds advancement of new stem cell expansion technology

New York – November 5, 2013 – A few weeks ago, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) announced promising results in a new approach to improving the success of cord blood stem cell transplants. In HCSI’s human clinical trial, scientists provided stem cell transplants to 12 patients using cord blood stem cells that had been treated with a molecule known as 16-dimethyl prostaglandin E2 (dmPGE2). The molecule was able to expand the stem cells by about 300-400% and scientists saw evidence that it improved the ability of stem cells to successfully engraft. The study will now enter phase 2, in which the number of patients on whom scientists test the new method will increase to 60. Additional results from the study should be available within 24 months.

The potential use of dmPGE2 as a stem cell expanding agent was discovered by Leonard Zon, a professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard and the chair of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. In 2007, while studying blood formation in zebrafish, 5,000 drugs were used on zebrafish embryos to analyze their effect. Through this study, Zon found that dmPGE2 was able amplify stem cell populations.

Expanding the number, and engraftment potential, of stem cells from cord blood is an area of great interest to doctors and scientists. According to the Parents Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, usually, in order to provide optimal stem cell therapy, about 1 milliliter of cord blood is needed for every 1.3 pounds of patient weight. The amount of cord blood that can be collected from a newborn is typically only sufficient to treat a patient between 65 and 80 pounds. For all practical purposes, this limits optimal treatment to children.

Americord uses one of the highest benchmarks of any private cord blood banking companies of at least 100 million total nucleated cells as a requirement for storage. Americord is also actively pursuing new, patented methodologies to dramatically increase the total amount of stem cells that can be collected from newborn cord blood.

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Category: Press