Congress Encouraged to Continue Senator Kennedy's Legacy of Supporting Stem Cell Research & Development

Cryo-Cell Inc. CEO Mercedes Walton Hopeful that Momentum on Stem Cell Initiatives Will Continue

OLDSMAR, Fla., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mercedes Walton, CEO of Cryo-Cell International, a global leader in stem cell innovation, reflects with gratitude on the late Senator Ted Kennedy's legacy of championing initiatives for improving the health and well-being of all Americans, and with hope for the future that the momentum will continue.

Senator Kennedy's commitment to keeping the United States at the forefront of health research and innovation is far-reaching and affects many different aspects of health and human services around the country. One area in particular which experienced great strides during Senator Kennedy's 47-year Senate tenure was the field of stem cell research and development aimed to diagnose and treat diseases. Thanks in part to his passionate support, stem cells from umbilical cord treat more than 75 diseases today, including sickle cell disease, several types of acute and chronic leukemias, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease. Emerging science shows great promise for potential treatments including spinal cord injury, heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and many more.

Among the many examples of Senator Kennedy's commitment to biomedical research include his sponsorship of the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 and its reauthorization in 2003. These acts provided resources and funding for medical research. The NIH reports that there are more than 2,700 clinical trials underway today which utilize stem cells in some way.

Another example is Senator Kennedy's strong support of the Hematological Cancer Investment Research and Education Act of 2001. This bill increased research and education on blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Today, stem cells from cord blood treat several of these types of cancers, including four types of acute leukemias and four types of chronic leukemias.

Regarding stem cell research, Senator Kennedy said in his statement opening the 110th Congress:

        "The debate on stem cells touches the spirit of every [sic] Americans
        because it's about hope.  Hope is what stem cell research means to
        millions of Americans who seek better treatments and better drugs for
        cancer, diabetes, spinal injury, and many other serious [sic] illness.
        In this new century of the life sciences, we see benefits of discovery
        all around us. Leading scientists agree that the potential of stem
        cell research is extraordinary. We should stop delaying the hope and
        the help that stem cell research can bring."

While much of the debate and controversy surrounding stem cell research focuses on embryonic stem cells, the community which leverages less controversial stem cells - such as those from umbilical cord blood and even menstrual blood - benefits nonetheless. These areas are able to make great progress as a result of the ongoing discoveries and developments across the stem cell arena.

"Senator Kennedy was a true champion of all causes related to human rights, civil rights, and protecting the environment," said Walton. "I encourage our nation's lawmakers to keep firmly in their sights and their priorities the issues related to stem cell research and development, including H.R. 1718 and H.R. 2107," she added.

H.R. 1718, the "Family Cord Blood Banking Act," and H.R. 2107, the "Cord Blood Education and Awareness Act of 2009" would enable and promote continued research, public awareness and tax benefits related to storing and using cord blood.

"It is important that these initiatives be reinvigorated and passed, to help ensure that Americans have information and incentive to harness the potential miracles that stem cells offer," said Walton.

A pioneer in the non-controversial stem cell arena, Cryo-Cell has served nearly 185,000 clients worldwide and led the cord blood banking industry with the successful establishment of a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice/Good Tissue Practice (cGMP/cGTP) laboratory processing facility well ahead of emerging regulation and competition.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Cryo-Cell International executives, please contact Monica Kozak at (203) 545-1055;

About Cryo-Cell International, Inc. (OTCBB: CCEL.OB)

Based in Oldsmar, Florida, with nearly 185,000 clients worldwide, Cryo-Cell is a global leader in stem cell innovation. ISO 9001:2000 certified and accredited by the AABB, Cryo-Cell operates in a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Tissue Practice (cGMP/cGTP)-compliant facility. Cryo-Cell is a publicly traded company. OTC Bulletin Board Symbol: CCEL. For more information, please call 1-800-STOR-CELL (1-800-786-7235) or visit

SOURCE Cryo-Cell International, Inc.