More MS news articles for Jan 2002

ViaCell to begin trials of stem-cell multiplication technology

01/15/2002 10:32 AM
By Adria Cimino

ViaCell Inc. said today that it is beginning clinical trials for Selective Amplification, its stem-cell expansion technology.

The system combines cell purification and cell culture techniques to result in an increased number of pharmaceutical-grade, stem-cell populations.

“We have demonstrated the ability of Selective Amplification to expand stem-cell populations up to 40-fold, and our preclinical studies show that these amplified cell populations develop into normal, functional blood and immune system components,” said Marc Beer, ViaCell chairman and chief executive officer.

Selective Amplification is meant to increase the number of quality stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood and used to repopulate the blood of patients who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

This ability to replenish the blood depends heavily on the number of cells transfused. Growing stem-cell populations has been a major challenge for those hoping to develop this kind of treatment.

Dr. Andrew Pecora, a member of ViaCell’s scientific advisory board and director of the Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, said Selective Amplification’s preclinical results are promising.

“The ability of this innovative technology to expand the therapeutic dose of stem cells for transplantation may provide many benefits, including the opportunity to treat a broader range of patients and to develop treatment options for many other untreatable diseases,” he said.

Viacell, based in Boston, offers umbilical cord blood stem-cell banking services and develops stem-cell products.

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