PerkinElmer, Inc., a global leader focused on the health and safety of people and the environment, today announced that its family cord blood banking business, ViaCord, has released its 200th umbilical cord blood stem cell unit for treatment purposes. The 200th unit will be used in a clinical trial intended to treat cerebral palsy with a re-infusion of a child's own umbilical cord stem cells.
“This milestone provides an opportunity to think about the future potential of cord blood stem cells. A growing number of families are preserving their baby's cord blood for its potential value in treating debilitating indications where there may otherwise be limited options.”
Twenty years ago, cord blood stem cells were used to treat just one disease, Fanconi's anemia, but today there are nearly 80 diseases treatable with cord blood stem cells, including cancers, certain blood disorders and immunodeficiencies. Cord blood stem cells are also being studied by scientists in regenerative medicine trials for the treatment of cerebral palsy and type 1 diabetes. Regenerative medicine applications require a patient to use their own cord blood stem cells for treatment.
Morey Kraus, chief scientific officer, Specialty Diagnostics, PerkinElmer, said, "This milestone provides an opportunity to think about the future potential of cord blood stem cells. A growing number of families are preserving their baby's cord blood for its potential value in treating debilitating indications where there may otherwise be limited options."
At the 2010 Cord Blood Transplantation Symposium, ViaCord presented its data demonstrating survival rates from transplants in hematopoietic transplants using ViaCord units. The study looked at children affected by malignant and non-malignant hematological disorders and showed an overall survival rate of 87 percent at one year in children after transplantation. At eight years, the survival rate was 84 percent.
This is the first time eight-year data was published by a family cord blood bank, and these survival rates represent the highest published survival rates in family banking. The results show that the cord blood collected and processed by ViaCord met or exceeded expectations regarding their clinical utility and confirm the importance of cord blood banking.
Dr. Mahendra Patel, MD, pediatric hematologist/oncologist in San Antonio, Texas, said, "Cord blood banking is critical to society as a whole given cord blood stem cells' multiple medical uses. Companies such as ViaCord provide families with access to stem cells at a time when other medical options are limited or non-existent. ViaCord is a leader in bringing this valuable resource for families to the forefront of public awareness."
ViaCord intends to continue publishing its updated post-transplant survival rates and provide excellence in family cord blood banking services. ViaCord will also continue to raise awareness about the importance of cord blood banking in the hopes of giving more families access to cord blood stem cells for current and future potential treatments.
ViaCord allows expectant families the opportunity to preserve their baby's umbilical cord blood for potential medical use by the child or a related family member. To date, ViaCord has preserved over 230,000 newborns' umbilical cord blood.