International research consortium on cord blood and adult stem cellsMay 21, 2008Novussanguis Launch
International research consortium on cord blood and adult stem cells
for therapeutic applications
Paris, May 12th 2008 : Professor Colin McGuckin and the research group on cord blood at Newcastle University and the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune in Paris created Novussanguis to promote responsible research on cord blood and adult stem cells. 200 international participants are expected to attend the launch of this consortium on Wednesday 14th May at the Medical School of University Paris Descartes, in France.
The launch is supported by the French Research Ministry, and placed under the Patronage of Mr Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament.
Cord blood and adult stem cells are very attractive for research in cell therapy and regenerative medicine because of their high differentiation and expansion potential.
Adult stem cells play a key role in research for treatment of several diseases. Today, over 80 diseases are treatable with cord blood stem cells, mostly linked to the blood system (e.g. leukaemia) or the immune system ('babies in a bubble'), but also diseases affecting the bone marrow, nervous system, heart or metabolism such as juvenile diabetes.
Novussanguis aims to meet the expectation of patients who could benefit from treatment with adult and cord blood stem cells.
Novussanguis aims to be a pragmatic consortium understanding the realities of modern research, including the necessity to collaborate with biotechnology companies, in order to have an impact on tomorrow's patients health.
About Novussanguis' co-founders
Professor Colin McGuckin, Chair in regenerative medicine, Newcastle University.
The English team is internationally recognized as a leader in this field, with numerous publications on cord blood and adult stem cells.
In 2005, Prof McGuckin and Dr Nico Forraz demonstrated for the first time in the world, the existence of pluripotent stem cells in cord blood, called Cord blood-derived Embryonic-like stem cells (CBE's) since they bear characteristics similar to embryonic stem cells. These cells have the ability to form different tissues: blood, neural, hepatic, for example.
In 2005 and 2006, Professor McGuckin published other important results: the world first report on creating hepatic liver tissues in three dimensions from cord blood stem cells. Although these cells in the body do develop in three dimensions, it is rather difficult to reproduce this process in