Innovative Models for Cord Blood Banking


Friday, June 9, 2017
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM

ICBS's Friday Session to Include Snapshot of Perinatal Cell Trials

Frances Verter, PhD

The 15th International Cord Blood Symposium (ICBS) will feature a session on innovative models for cord blood banking. Moderated by Frances Verter, PhD, the founder and director of the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, the session will highlight industry trends, collaborative cord blood (CB) banking and therapy with cells derived from perinatal tissues.

Verter will kick the session off with a discussion of industry data from a soon-to-be-published paper that is an outgrowth of the launch of the CellTrials.org website. The website collects information about advanced cell therapy trials and cell therapy products and sells the raw data from its database.

Drawing from this database, Verter investigated the first decade of advanced cell therapy clinical trials using perinatal cells, along with coauthors Pedro Silva Couto, MSc, also from the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood, and Alexey Bersenev, MD, PhD, director of Advanced Cell Therapy/ Cell Processing Labs at Yale-New Haven Hospital. While the CellTrials database covers the years 2011 and after, they extended their search for perinatal trials back to 2005 for a decadal analysis.

A total of 278 advanced cell therapy clinical trials using perinatal cells from 2005 to 2015 were included in the study. To qualify as advanced cell therapy, the trials had to use perinatal cells in a manner that was either non-homologous or that manipulated the cells. Conventional oncology clinical trials were not included. The trials were analyzed using 15 parameters.

Verter and colleagues found that researchers in different countries tend to prefer different cell sources or cell types. China dominates the field of cord tissue research, accounting for 78 percent of trials. However, most of the world's advanced cell therapy trials with cells from cord blood are in the United States and South Korea, which collectively account for 69 percent of the trials in the study, according to the researchers. The United States also accounts for more than half of trials using perinatal cells from other sources (54 percent).

The findings highlight different perinatal-cell research paradigms in China, the United States and South Korea, said Verter. The predominance of China in cord tissue research may reflect substantial national regulation for cord blood banking but not for the Wharton's Jelly in cord tissue. The United States has a long history of CB banking that provides momentum for CB trials. In South Korea, the use of CB from unrelated donors is less regulated. This accounts for the rapid growth of the CB field in South Korea, despite its later entry to CB trials.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) from CB have been used for stem cell transplants since 1988. However, it wasn't until 2005 that CB was first used as a regenerative medicine, with Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, at Duke University performing autologous CB transplants for children with acquired neurological disorders.

That work launched the field of perinatal cell-based advanced cell therapy. Since then, interest has shifted from HSCs to mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from perinatal sources. Perinatal-cell MSC trials have grown much faster than trials with HSC from cord blood, Verter said. The next growth surge in trials is predicted to be epithelial stem cells (EpSC) that can be found in the amniotic membrane of the placenta.

The Friday session will also include presentations by Vinesh Arvind Mandot and Tomasz Baran, MD, MBA. Mandot, who is the technical lead at LifeCell International Private Limited in Chennai, India, will discuss a community pool model of collaborative CB banking in India. Baran, of PBKM/FamiCord Group in Warsaw, Poland, will address the use of Wharton's jelly-derived MSCs for graft-versus-host disease and other indications.

StemCyte, Inc. China CordBlood Corporation National Marrow Donor Program/Be the Match

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