BioE First to Clone and Comercialize Multipotent Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Umbilical Cord Blood
Rare Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cells provide new, viable platform for stem cell research free from public, political controversy surrounding use of embryonic stem cellsMay 4, 2005
ST. PAUL, Minn. May 4, 2005 BioE®, Inc., a biotechnology company, announced today commercial availability of its clonal stem cell lines defined by the company as Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cells™ (MLPC™). BioE is the first company in the world to make these multipotent, normal, adult stem cells available for research use to researchers and medical companies with an interest in regenerative medicine and drug development. This announcement is being made in conjunction with the 11th annual meeting of the International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT) being held May 4-7 in Vancouver, British Columbia, where BioE is presenting data on its MLPCs.
These rare stem cells were discovered by BioE in postpartum human umbilical cord blood, and provide a new, viable platform for stem cell research free from the public and political controversy surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately four million births occurred in the United States in 2002, with most stem-cell-rich umbilical cord blood being discarded.
“We are very pleased to be the first company to bring the thousands of clinical stem cell and regenerative medicine researchers a new stem-cell tool for conducting their studies,” said Michael Haider, president and chief executive officer of BioE. “We look forward to providing this community with stem cells that can be expanded without differentiating and prompted to turn into a variety of tissues, and pioneering an exciting new market within the fields of regenerative medicine and drug screening.”
During the past two years, scientists at BioE have successfully differentiated the cloned MLPCs into tissues representative of the three germinal layers, including neural stem cells, nerve cells, liver/pancreas precursors, skeletal muscle, fat cells, bone cells and blood vessels. Each of BioE’s MLPC clonal stem cell lines was derived from a distinct, individual cell and is genetically normal. BioE will provide genetic and cellular characterization of each clonal stem cell line with each research-use license.
“BioE’s studies utilizing its innovative stem cell isolation technology have led to the characterization of unique and interesting clonal stem cell lines,” said David McKenna, M.D., BioE research collaborator from the University of Minnesota. “The potential for this cell type derived from umbilical cord blood seems unlimited, with multiple applications in cellular therapy — including possibilities in cardiac and other organ-specific regenerative medicine; adjunctive therapy in bone marrow transplantation; and gene therapy based treatment modalities.”
According to a 2003 National Institutes of Health publication titled, “Stem Cells and the Future of Regenerative Medicine,” the Committee on the Biological and Biomedical Applications of Stem Cell Research reported that sources of human stem cells that can be cultured in-vitro are perhaps the most critical need of investigators, and most types of adult-source stem cells are difficult to grow in culture, and their potential plasticity has not been clearly established.
“MLPC clones provide a viable alternative to primary bone marrow and cord blood harvests for developing tissue engineering and regeneration protocols,” said Dr. Colin McGuckin, director of the Stem Cell Therapy Program and reader in Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering at Kingston University in London. “We have been working with BioE for two years on a number of projects, and it is one of the few companies developing protocols for the use of umbilical cord blood that accelerate our work towards finding clinical-grade therapies in hematology and tissue engineering research. With these cell lines, researchers should be able to develop repeatable protocols for tissue engineering research and to characterize the cytokine combination necessary for defined tissue generation. Similarly, biomaterials and bioengineering researchers should also benefit from this type of cell line.”