Early Research Suggests Umbilical Cord Blood Cell Therapy May Reduce Progression of Alzheimer's Disease
Study Highlights Growing Therapeutic Value of Cord Blood Stem Cells
OLDSMAR, Fla., March 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Stems cells derived from umbilical cord blood are showing early potential in fighting Alzheimer's disease, according to results from a new preclinical study published in the March issue of Stem Cells and Development. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of South Florida and Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc., found that targeted immune suppression using stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood reduced Alzheimer's disease progression in a mouse model. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and incurable brain disease that affects more than five million people in the United States alone. The ongoing research project has been funded in part by Cryo-Cell International, Inc., an industry leader in stem cell innovation and one of the nation's largest and most established family cord blood banks. Additional study sponsors are the National Institutes of Health's STTR grant program, Florida High Tech Corridor Matching grant program, and the Johnnie B. Byrd, Sr. Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute."
An abundance of research conducted in the last two decades alone has demonstrated the life-saving potential of stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood. In fact, stem cells found in cord blood have been proven to treat more than 70 life-threatening illnesses, including leukemia, neuroblastoma, ischemic brain injury and Type 1 diabetes. Since the first successful cord blood stem cell transplant in 1988, cord blood stem cells have been used in more than 7,000 transplants. Each year, an estimated 12,000 Americans could benefit from a stem cell transplant.
"The scientific community has only skimmed the surface in uncovering the many potential therapeutic uses for cord blood stem cells, and this new research in Alzheimer's disease may pave the way for discoveries around the use of these cells for a host of neurodegenerative and other chronic conditions," said Mercedes Walton, Chairman and CEO, Cryo-Cell International. "Cryo-Cell is committed to supporting this important research, in addition to leading groundbreaking studies of our own to explore the potential of non- controversial stem cells. We are encouraged by studies that continue to reaffirm the benefit of cord blood, and the value of storing one's own cord blood for future use."
About the Study
During the study, researchers administered a series of low-dose infusions of umbilical cord blood cells into mice with abnormalities mimicking Alzheimer's disease. As they observed the mice, they found that the levels of amyloid-beta proteins, which are key markers of Alzheimer's progression in the brain, were reduced by nearly two-thirds (62%), and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA, another marker of the disease in which the amyloid proteins harden the brain's blood vessel walls) was improved by 86 percent. The cord blood infusions were shown to suppress the inflammatory activity, which indicates their potential to block the inflammatory response involved in Alzheimer's disease and also related disorders.
Importantly, these reductions were associated with managing circulating and brain soluble CD40L levels, amino acids that are key contributors to brain inflammation and disease progression. Previous research has suggested that blocking CD40L levels can help minimize amyloid protein activity, improve cognition and manage disease progression in Alzheimer's models. The study concluded that the therapy may alleviate several important pathological changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease, and should be studied further in human trials to fully understand its potential.
"We are looking closely at how stem cells can benefit particular conditions that involve degeneration of tissue, including Alzheimer's disease," said Cyndy Sanberg, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development for Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc. and co-author on the study. "Research suggests that we will continue to find positive outcomes from these cell therapies in this and other related diseases that are in need of significant therapeutic options."
Cryo-Cell offers an umbilical cord blood storage service to the public called U-Cord(R), in which cord blood stem cells are processed and cryogenically preserved in a safe and secure, state-of-the-art environment. Expectant parents receive a U-Cord Collection Kit when they are ready to give birth. Immediately after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, the health professional uses a blood collection bag to draw blood from the umbilical cord. This process is painless and poses no risk to baby or mother.
Cryo-Cell tests the blood for infectious diseases and microbiological contamination to ensure that it is safe for future use. The cells are then prepared for long-term storage through a technique called controlled-rate freezing. Research has shown the cells are viable after 15 years, but stored cells are available for immediate use if needed. Every Cryo-Cell sample used for transplantation has been viable after thawing and dozens have been used in successful transplants to treat life-threatening conditions.
About Cryo-Cell International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CCEL.OB)
Based in Oldsmar, Florida, with over 150,000 clients worldwide, Cryo-Cell is one of the largest and most established family cord blood banks. 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 www.cryo-cell.com.
Statements wherein the terms "believes", "intends", "projects" or "expects" as used are intended to reflect "forward-looking statements" of the Company. The information contained herein is subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated in such forward-looking statements or paragraphs, many of which are outside the control of the Company. These uncertainties and other factors include the uncertainty of market acceptance of any potential service offerings relating to types of stem cells other than cord blood stem cells, including the C'elle service, given that menstrual stem cells and other new stem cells have not yet been used in human therapies, and treatment applications using such stem cells are not likely to be developed and commercialized for many years and are subject to further research and development; the need for additional development and testing before determining the ultimate commercial value of the Company's intellectual property relating to the menstrual stem cells; the need to complete certain developments, including completion of clinical validation and testing, before any new process other than C'elle can be commercialized, and the Company's development of its final business and economic model in offering any such service; any adverse effect or limitations caused by recent increases in government regulation of stem cell storage facilities; any increased competition in our business; any decrease or slowdown in the number of people seeking to store umbilical cord blood stem cells or decrease in the number of people paying annual storage fees; any adverse impacts on our revenue or operating margins due to the costs associated with increased growth in our business, including the possibility of unanticipated costs relating to the operation of our new facility; any technological breakthrough or medical breakthrough that would render the Company's business of stem cell preservation obsolete; any material failure or malfunction in our storage facilities; any natural disaster such as a tornado, other disaster (fire) or act of terrorism that adversely affects stored specimens; the costs associated with defending or prosecuting litigation matters and any material adverse result from such matters; decreases in asset valuations; any continued negative effect from adverse publicity in the past year regarding the Company's business operations; any negative consequences resulting from deriving, shipping and storing specimens at a second location; and other risks and uncertainties. The foregoing list is not exhaustive, and the Company disclaims any obligations to subsequently revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements. Readers should carefully review the risk factors described in other documents the Company files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-KSB, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-QSB and any Current Reports on Form 8-K filed by the Company.
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SOURCE Cryo-Cell International, Inc.
Released March 27, 2008