Tag Archives: Cryo-Cell International

Cryo-Cell CEO Mercedes Walton Invites Women to Share Their Ideas on Self-Care and the Power of Stem Cells

Cryo-Cell International, Inc. a global leader in stem cell innovation, resolves to help women inspire and empower each other to take charge of their health in the New Year, and to spark conversations about the promise of stem cells.  The company will be accepting video entries for its “Resolution Revolution” contest through January 31, 2010, and details on the event can be found at www.celle.com/resolution.

“This time of year, we often make New Year’s resolutions to take better care of ourselves, but the dawn of a new decade is particularly poignant as we look ahead with hope and inspiration at the steps we can take,” said Mercedes Walton, CEO of Cryo-Cell International.  “Never in history have we experienced a time of such rapid advances with stem cells, including the use of menstrual blood stem cells and how they may help women protect their health” she added.  “Because women often look to each other for information and inspiration, we’re looking to empower them to spread the word through video about what the power of stem cells means to them.”

The C’elle service is the first and only one of its kind, empowering women to collect and cryo preserve stem cells from their menstrual flow.

Stem cells from menstrual blood are proven to be a rich source of stem cells which proliferate rapidly and have the ability to become many different types of cells such as cardiac, neural, bone, fat and cartilage.

These stem cells are a potential source for promising regenerative therapies to treat stroke, cardiac, diabetes, breast cancer, spinal cord injury, chronic wounds, Alzheimer’s and other debilitating diseases.

Since launching its proprietary service, the company continues to expand research and development initiatives worldwide in order to accelerate the potential diagnostic and therapeutic benefits of these unique stem cells. Cryo-Cell partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, where research is underway to better understand the C’elle stem cells and their potential benefit for the treatment of breast cancer.  It also has entered research and licensing agreements with several other organizations to identify potential future diagnostic and therapeutic uses for endometriosis and stress urinary incontinence in women and regenerative medicine specific to wound healing. In 2009, the service was licensed in China, Thailand and Brazil.

Via EPR Network
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Cord Blood: Saving For The Future

For an expectant mother, there are a million details to worry about and a lot of important decisions to be made.

Cord Blood: Saving For The Future

One of those decisions to be made is whether to bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood. Cord blood is valuable because it’s full of stem cells scientists and doctors can use in research and regenerative medicine.

Cord blood stem cells are the ones that are obtained from the newborn. They’re closest in age to being an embryonic stem cell without being an embryonic stem cell,” said David Harris, PhD with Cord Blood Registry.

When they’re stored properly in a bank, like one in Arizona, the stem cells can be used to replace other cells in our bodies that may be damaged or missing due to disease. But, you only have one chance to harvest them.

“At the time of delivery, before the placenta is delivered, we have a little bag with a needle and a tube, like an IV tubing, and we actually draw the blood out of the placenta into a prepared bag and that’s what you send in to the cord blood banking people,” said Dr. Lynn Frame.

But, Dr. Frame says very few of his patients actually do it because of the cost.

Most private cord blood banks charge more than $1,000 up front. Then, for every year you store the blood in one of their cryogenic tanks, it costs about $100. For 18 years of storage, it can add up to about $3,000.

Via EPR Network
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Scientist Uses Stem Cells To Repair Heart

Dr. Joshua Hare believes medicine is close to a goal long thought to be impossible: healing the human heart.

The way to get there? Stem cells.

“These could be as big as antibiotics were in the last century,” said Hare, who leads the University of Miami ‘s new Stem Cell Institute. “Stem cells have the potential to have that kind of impact. Diseases like heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, liver failure — we will be able to transition them into things you live with.”

Hare spends his days peering through powerful microscopes, recruiting scientists from top universities and attending to patients betting on improving their conditions through his clinical trials.

Stem cells, only one-thousandth the size of a grain of sand, are the master cells of the body, the source from which all other cells are created.

The most basic are embryonic stem cells, which are “totipotent,” meaning they can divide into any other type of cell — heart tissue, brain tissue, kidney tissue — all 220 cells that exist in the human body. They’re controversial because when they are harvested, the embryo is destroyed, ending potential life.

But coming into view are new kinds of stem cells — immature adult stem cells that can be extracted from bone marrow, from organs such as the heart or kidney or even from the skin. These can be taken without destroying embryos.

While researchers until recently believed adult stem cells were limited because they could develop only into cells similar to them — bone marrow cells only into cord blood stem cells, for example — evidence is growing that they, too, may become the tissue for hearts, brains, kidneys and other organs.

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Will Intra-Osseous Injection of Umbilical Cord Blood Reduce Graft Failures?

Researchers from Italy have reported that the injection of umbilical cord blood directly into the pelvic bones of patients with leukemia appears promising. These results were recently published in an early online publication of the Lancet Oncology on August 9, 2008.

Transplantation of bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells, and umbilical cord blood is accomplished by intravenous infusion. The original studies of human bone marrow transplantation were carried out by direct infusion into bone marrow spaces. However, this approach was abandoned as there was no advantage in speed or rate of engraftment over intravenous infusion. Since these early days of transplantation, there have been sporadic attempts to evaluate intra-osseous infusion of stem cells, but no advantage over intravenous infusion was ever found. The reason for this is thought to be that direct infusion of stem cells into the marrow cavity is in fact identical to intra-arterial or intra-venous infusion, and most stem cells enter the general circulation before homing into marrow spaces throughout the body.

Umbilical cord blood transplantation is associated with relatively high graft failure rates thought to be due to the relatively low dose of stem cells in each collection. Researchers have suggested that the infusion of stem cells from two separate cord blood collections alleviates the graft failure problem. However, Italian researches have posed the question of whether or not intra-osseous infusion would be better.

The current trial evaluated direct infusion of umbilical cord blood into the pelvic bones. This trial included 32 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 12 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL); median age was 36 years. Overall, 14 patients had advanced-stage disease that did not respond to standard therapies, and no patient had a suitable donor for the stem cell transplant.

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Now, Women Can Bank On ‘Monthly Miracle’ For Future Treatment

Women in the city will soon have the option of banking their menstrual blood so that menstrual blood stem cells can be used for treatment of serious disorders through stem cell therapy.

In six months, Life Cell International, in technology partnership with Cryo-Cell International, will set up the facility, which will be the first to store menstrual blood in the country.

Cryo-Cell, which has patented technology to decontaminate samples, started menstrual blood banks in the US last year, and other countries are yet to catch up. Cryo-Cell calls it ‘your monthly miracle’. The endometrium-lining of the uterus regenerates every month, suggesting the presence of stem cells. However, there is no published scientific work on the curative properties of such cells.

Stem cells have the ability to regenerate themselves through cell division and act as a repair system for the body. Research on stem cells provides knowledge about how healthy cells replace damaged ones in adults, leading to the possibility of cell-based therapy to treat diseases.

“Menstrual blood contains millions of stem cells that have many properties and characteristics similar to those of stem cells found in bone marrow and embryos. These stem cells exhibit capabilities for self-renewal and multi-potency,” says LifeCell International executive director Mayur Abhaya. Stem cell research hopes to find answers to problems such as cardiac and degenerative diseases, besides cancer.

The women would be given a collection kit comprising a menstrual cup and collection tubes. The blood would be processed and preserved in liquid nitrogen at extremely low temperatures.

Though the Chennai bank has not decided on the rates, it hopes registration will cost less than that charged for preserving cord blood. At present, the bank, which has stored over 13,000 samples of cord blood at a facility near Chennai, charges Rs 41,100 for collection, processing and storage of the blood for the first year. From the second, the client pays an annual fee of Rs 3,500 to preserve the blood for two decades.

The biggest advantage of menstrual blood, according to LifeCell chief scientific officer Dr Ajit Kumar, is that it can be easily harvested in a painless, non-invasive manner. “And it also extends the scope of stem cell therapy to a larger section of the people. Cord blood is an option open to only those who are pregnant or those planning babies,” he says.

At a time when legal restrictions on collection of embryonic stem cells have been stymieing research, the option to save menstrual blood is a boon because these cells have similar properties to that of cord blood, he adds.

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Stem Cells From Menstrual Blood May Benefit Stroke Patients

Cryo-Cell International, Inc. today announced results of a study published [this month] in the cover article of Stem Cells and Developmentshowing that stem cells found in menstrual blood may one day be a potential source for stem cell therapies in stroke and other central nervous system disorders. Menstrual stem cells, known as MenSCs, offer an easily accessible, non-controversial and renewable stem cell source with the potential to one day treat a host of diseases, such as stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, according to a number of early studies. The study, entitled “Menstrual Blood Cells Display Stem Cell-Like Phenotypic Markers and Exert Neuroprotection Following Transplantation in Experimental Stroke,” was conducted by researchers at Cryo-Cell International, the University of South Florida , Saneron-CCEL Therapeutics and the Medical College of Georgia.

Stem Cells From Menstrual Blood May Benefit Stroke Patients

Because the cell damage after an initial stroke episode occurs over an extended time, treatment strategies directed at quickly rescuing these nerve cells have the potential to slow the disease progression and possibly restore nerve function. In this study, researchers found that transplantation of MenSCs, either directly into the brain or peripherally, significantly reduced behavioral and histological abnormalities, suggesting that the MenSCs had a protective effect on brain cells, averting further apoptosis, or cell death, and potentially reversing the neural trauma experienced during a stoke.

“The data shows immediate behavioral recovery at an early period after transplantation although the exact mechanism underlying the neural benefits of MenSCs remains unknown,” said lead researcher Cesar V Borlongan Ph.D., Professor and Vice-Chair of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida Health . “ We do know that several trophic factors have been identified post transplant that may potentially point to a secretion of therapeutic substances from MenScs versus one of cell replacement. Equally important, is that there was no instance of complications or negative effects such as detectable tumor, ectopic formation or overt graft-versus-host in any of the transplanted animals.”

During the study, the investigators analyzed shed menstrual blood and tissue to identify MenSCs. The samples were obtained using a menstrual cup and transferred to a laboratory for processing and cryopreservation. After inducing a simulated stroke (oxygen glucose deprivation, OGD) on adult rats, the researchers injected the rats withmenstrual blood –derived stem cells and found that those who were exposed to MenSCs exhibited a significantly reduced death rate. Behavioral assessments of motor coordination and neurological function were performed on the rats 14 days after stroke-transplantation and indicated improvements in both motor and neurological abnormalities.

“Compared to other stem cell sources, such as bone marrow and umbilical cord blood , MenSCs are harvested from a readily available and renewable source of adult mesenchymal stem cells. These novel and highly prolific stem cells are easily obtained using non-invasive methodology and create the potential for matched cell transplantations in large scale clinical trials,” said Julie Allickson, Ph.D., study investigator and Vice President, Laboratory Operations, Research and Development at Cryo-Cell International, Inc.

The benefits of stem cells derived from menstrual blood were first indicated in a study sponsored by Cryo-Cell that was published in Cell Transplantation in April 2008. That study demonstrated that MenSCs are stromal stem cells, meaning they have the capability to differentiate into important cells, such as such as bone, cartilage, fat, nerve and cardiogenic cells.

“Stroke is the third leading cause of death and disability in U.S. adults,” said Mercedes A. Walton, Cryo-Cell’s Chairman and CEO . “According to the American Heart Association, stroke will cost almost $68.9 billion in both direct and indirect healthcare costs in 2009. In view of these statistics, we are clearly encouraged by research study results that demonstrate significant promise for the development of regenerative medicine therapies to potentially treat and manage the debilitating conditions caused by stroke and possibly other neurological disorders.”

The Celle SM service is based on Cryo-Cell’s expansive IP technology portfolio and was introduced in November, 2007 as the first and only service that empowers women to collect and cryopreserve menstrual flow containing undifferentiated adult stem cells for future utilization by the donor or possibly first-degree relatives in a manner similar toumbilical cord blood stem cells. Based on the continued success of MenSCs in the research setting, Cryo-Cell is actively expanding its portfolio of research collaborations with world renowned scientists committed to study this novel stem cell population for a broad range of regenerative therapeutic development.

Via EPR Network
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