Our success is largely due to the novel studies performed by Simon Robinson, PhD and Patrick Zweidler-McKay, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children's Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson, who is presenting the work in Los Angeles.
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Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 4, 2008
America Stem Cell, Inc. announced today that exciting pre-clinical data on two of their breakthrough enabling technologies -Engraftin™ and its ensuing product, a CD26 Inhibitor - will be presented at the 6th Annual International Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation Symposium, June 6-7 in Los Angeles. America Stem Cell is developing both technologies to enhance and expand the therapeutic potential of stem cells in bone marrow transplants for improved patient survival and quality of life.
American Stem Cell, Inc. (ASC), founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Diego, California, develops technology platforms - Engraftin and their CD26 Inhibitor - that increase the therapeutic potential of stem cell homing and engraftment to treat various cancers such as Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma among a number of other diseases. Engraftin improves the adhesive interaction of stem cells with bone marrow micorvessels, while their CD26 Inhibitor increases directional homing of stem cells to the bone marrow. Currently, the company is focused on applying these technologies in the utilization of cord blood for patients who need a bone marrow transplant but do not have a donor. In the recipients of cord blood transplants infection rates are high, and recovery is longer than with bone marrow.
Patrick Zweidler-McKay, M.D., Ph.D., University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas and Kent Christopherson, Ph.D, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago will review their respective work on America Stem Cell's platform technologies at the symposium in a session entitled "Basic Science and Clinical Studies Addressing Obstacles to Successful Umbilical Cord Blood Transplants (UCBT)". Healthcare professionals from around the world who are involved or interested in cord blood transplantation are expected to attend. The symposium provides a venue where transplant physicians and other medical professionals in the stem cell transplantation field can gather and exchange current clinical information regarding cord blood transplantation.
Lynnet Koh, chief executive officer and founder of America Stem Cell, Inc., said, "We are particularly proud and excited to have our research results presented at this very prestigious symposium. Our strategic medical research center partners − the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago - have done a phenomenal job of researching these technologies and positioning us for human trials start in the next few months. The results show the tremendous potential of our Engraftin and CD26 Inhibitor technologies to improve the homing and rate of engraftment of cord blood derived stem cells to maximize their full therapeutic potential not only for children, but for adults too. Up until now, children have experienced most of the benefits of the cord blood transplantation.."
Koh said that the research results that will be presented at the symposium show that the two technologies can overcome the limitations associated with the use of umbilical cord blood and therefore expand its use. "Our technologies will accelerate immune system and platelet recovery, thereby reducing infection rates and improving patient survival and quality of life," she said.
Elizabeth Shpall, M.D. directs the Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Laboratory at M.D. Anderson and with her team has pioneered the use of manipulated cord blood in patients to improve the engraftment and outcome of transplants. "With the use of the new America Stem Cell reagent, Engraftin, to treat the cord blood before infusing it, we think we can make further improvements on the success we have already demonstrated and will make this safer for patients undergoing cord blood transplantation," she said. "Our success is largely due to the novel studies performed by Simon Robinson, PhD and Patrick Zweidler-McKay, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children's Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson, who is presenting the work in Los Angeles."
Zweidler-McKay will discuss the team's work with Engraftin. "What we have found is huge!" said Zweidler-McKay. "Our studies suggest that clinical application of Engraftin in cord blood transplantation will increase the rate of engraftment (reducing the period of immune compromise) and reduce graft failure, resulting in reduced patient morbidity and mortality. Employment of this technology will make cord blood transplantation more widely available to adults, and holds the potential of eliminating the need for dual donor cord units."
Christopherson, assistant professor of medicine and researcher at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, will present his research on the CD26 Inhibitor, a small molecule enzyme inhibitor that enhances homing of stem cells to the bone marrow by increasing the responsiveness of donor stem cells to a natural homing signal. In his discussion on "Strategies to Improve Homing." Christopherson says that results from his and other laboratories suggest "the beneficial effects of the CD26 Inhibitor usage and the potential of this technology to change hematopoietic stem cell transplantation."
Cord blood is increasingly being used by transplant centers as a source of stem cells for bone marrow transplants. Historically, a major limitation in the use of cord blood has been reduced rate of engraftment (repopulation of the bone marrow) which seriously impacts patient survival. Research results by Zweider-McKay and Christopherson show that both Engraftin and the CD26 Inhibitor overcome this limitation by enhancing the homing and rate of engraftment of cord blood in preclinical studies. In a clinical setting this will have a major positive outcome on patient morbidity and mortality in bone marrow transplants. This will result in the recruitment of more patients who can benefit from a bone marrow transplant.
"There are over 250,000 new cancer patients per year, who require or would benefit from stem cell transplantation and as many as 20% are unable to find a blood or marrow match," said Amelia Spiliotes, executive vice president of corporate development. "This opportunity is tremendous. ASC's platform technologies target a $3.0 billion market for the treatment of blood-related cancers which is estimated to grow by close to 20% per year."
Contact: Amelia Spiliotes, Executive Vice President,
Corporate Development, Tel: (617) 306-3278
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