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®, will now offer families the ability to extract stem cells from the tissue surrounding the umbilical cord vessels, a very rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
This new capability is exclusive to ViaCord, the only cord blood banking service with patent rights to expand MSCs from cord tissue as well as extract and expand MSCs from the tissue around the cord vessels. This proprietary service will be offered, as part of the current cord tissue stem cell service offering, to expectant parents through an exclusive licensing agreement with Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics (TRT).
"The agreement between ViaCord and TRT provides our customers with access to a very rich source of MSCs from umbilical cord tissue, increasing their chances of potential success and benefit from possible therapeutic applications. In addition, the agreement will further distinguish ViaCord's portfolio of offerings in the area of cord tissue banking," said Morey Kraus, chief scientific officer for ViaCord. "ViaCord will also collaborate with TRT on a research initiative investigating the therapeutic benefits and anti-inflammatory properties of this rich source of MSCs. This research is intended to achieve results that may guide clinical studies of stem cell applications for joint diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as autoinflammatory diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome."
"ViaCord has established a lead position in the study and identification of new uses for stem cell treatments within the clinical setting, and is an ideal complement to the robust scientific foundation that we, at TRT, have built in the MSC field," said John E. Davies, president and chief executive officer of Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics. "We are delighted that ViaCord customers will benefit from this exclusive licensing agreement and our collaborative research to advance therapeutic uses of MSCs."
The extraction is enabled through TRT's human umbilical cord perivascular cell (HUCPVC) technology, allowing ViaCord to extract the stem cells found around the umbilical cord vessels. This process creates access to perivascular MSCs, a highly potent type of stem cell, which offers a potentially significant medical advantage. ViaCord's added ability to expand the stem cells can also increase the available supply by tenfold or greater, providing more stem cells for more potential treatments. Banking newborn cord tissue stem cells in addition to cord blood stem cells provides a greater number and variety of cells, increasing chances of potential success and benefit from possible therapeutic applications.
The partnership with TRT augments the proprietary position that was initiated by the agreement between ViaCord and AuxoCell Laboratories, Inc., which was entered into in March 2011. The combined agreements provide ViaCord customers with exclusive access to both MSC extraction and expansion technologies.
ViaCord family cord blood banking services currently offers 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 the umbilical cord blood of more than 250,000 newborns. Twenty years ago, cord blood stem cells were used to treat just one disease, Fanconi's anemia. Today there are nearly 80 diseases treatable with cord blood stem cells, including cancers, certain blood disorders and immunodeficiencies.