Researchers at Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc. of Tampa, Florida, (www.saneron-ccel.com) and the University of South Florida have received a patent relating to a method for obtaining and using umbilical cord blood cells from a donor or patient to provide neural cells for transplantation aimed at repairing a variety of neurodegenerative diseases of the brain and spinal cord, such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease as well as brain and spinal cord injury.
Human umbilical cord blood provides a rich source of hematopoietic (blood) multipotent stem cells that can differentiate and give rise to all of the blood cell types.
"A single cord blood sample provides enough hematopoietic stem cells to provide short and long-term engraftment with a low incidence of graft-versus-host disease," said Dr. Alison E. Willing, professor, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida and an inventor on the patent. "The object of this newly patented process is a method for isolating and inducing pluripotent stem or progenitor cells into becoming neural or glial cells for use in stem cell transplantation procedures to treat neurodegenerative diseases as well as spinal cord and brain injuries."
The cells can be provided by self-donors (autologous) or other-donors (allogeneic). Also, the umbilical cord blood sample may be fresh or frozen (cryopreserved).
According to Linda Kelley, PhD, chief scientific officer with Cryo-Cell International, a partner of Saneron-CCEL, "This novel patented process will facilitate the use of umbilical cord blood that is too often disposed of as medical waste. Now, umbilical cord blood can be used for the treatment of neurological conditions for which there are few alternatives."