PerkinElmer, Inc., a global leader focused on improving the health and safety of people and the environment, announced today that its family cord blood banking business, ViaCord®, entered into a collaborative study with Miracle Babies, a non-profit organization supporting families with newborns in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU).
This collaboration will study and promote the discovery of methods for optimizing collection of umbilical cord blood and cord tissue stem cells following premature births, providing a valuable resource for potential therapeutic use. Participating families will benefit from complimentary collection of their baby's umbilical cord blood, which has been shown to treat nearly 80 life-threatening diseases, and cord tissue, a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells expected to play an important role in regenerative medicine.
The study will focus on infants born prior to the 34th week of pregnancy and findings will provide insight into the unique characteristics of umbilical cord blood and tissue stem cells of babies born prematurely. Throughout the study, researchers will obtain data surrounding cord blood and cord tissue stem cell collection in premature infants, including volume, tissue mass, cellular composition and other variables. Collections for the study will be taken at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns in San Diego.
"The therapeutic benefits of umbilical cord blood and cord tissue stem cells have the potential to address significant unmet need in the treatment of severe illnesses in premature babies," said Morey Kraus, Chief Scientific Officer, ViaCord. "By understanding the conditions surrounding stem cell collection and the characteristics of stem cells from premature babies, we hope to improve therapeutic options in this particular demographic where access to stem cell therapies has been historically challenging, yet have the potential to be especially beneficial."
"Our collaboration with ViaCord aligns with our goal of holistically providing support for families with premature infants," said Sean Daneshmand, MD, founder of Miracle Babies. "This effort will have significant implications in improving treatment access for the one in eight babies born prematurely in the U.S. every year."
Individuals born prematurely have shown to be more susceptible to a range of health complications, including intellectual disability, lung problems and vision and hearing loss. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also found that babies born prematurely are at an especially increased risk for cerebral palsy, an indication which is currently under investigation in FDA sanctioned clinical protocols using cord blood stem cells. Current research is determining the role of umbilical cord-derived stem cells in the treatment of a variety of other diseases with no known cure, such as Type 1 Diabetes and leukemia. This advancement of stem cell research and extraction in preterm births may improve the availability of future therapeutic options for individuals born prematurely.