Researchers from the University of South Florida (USF) and James A. Haley Veterans Hospital have reported in the journal "Cell Transplantation" that stem cells from umbilical cord blood effectively treated heart attacks in an animal study. Injected into rats' hearts after heart attack, human umbilical cord blood cells were shown to greatly reduce the size of heart damage and restored pumping function to near normal.
The USF study was supported by the American Heart Association, the Veterans Administration, a Florida biomedical research grant and Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc., an affiliate of CRYO-CELL International, Inc. Some study authors are affiliated with Saneron and are co-inventors on related patent applications by USF.
Paul Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., co-author of the study, commented, "Cord blood stem cells may be more amenable to cardiac repair than those taken from other sources like bone marrow or skeletal muscle. In addition, cord blood is readily accessible, easy to use, and non-controversial when compared to embryonic stem cells."
"Results from this recent study demonstrate that human umbilical cord blood cells have regenerative cardiac effects in animal studies," stated Mercedes Walton, CRYO-CELL's Chairman and interim CEO. "In view of the widespread prevalence of heart disease, cell therapies may have future human application, which could actually strengthen cardiac muscle, thereby restoring cardiac function. Although this research is preliminary and the reported trials are pre-clinical, early indications are very promising and its potential represents a compelling reason for parents to consider banking their newborn's cord blood." CRYO-CELL International, Inc. owns approximately 43% equity in Saneron CCEL.