BioE Stem Cell to be Featured in Two Scientific Presentations at the Vatican
UK scientists to present findings on company’s cord blood MLPC, a new category of versatile stem cells that provide vast opportunities for regenerative medicine researchSeptember 7, 2006
ST. PAUL, Minn. Sept. 6, 2006 BioE®, Inc., a biomedical company providing human umbilical cord blood stem cells as enabling, high-quality cellular tools for drug discovery and therapeutic research, announced today its cord-bloodderived Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cell™ (MLPC™) will be featured in two scientific presentations at the Vatican’s Augustinianum Institute in Rome. Researchers from Newcastle University (United Kingdom) will present research data involving the MLPC during an International Congress about stem cells organized by the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and the Pontifical Academy for Life to be held Sept. 14-16, 2006.
Specifically, Professor of Regenerative Medicine Colin McGuckin, Ph.D., at Newcastle University’s United Kingdom (UK) Centre for Cord Blood, and Nicolas Forraz, Ph.D., clinical sciences business manager at Newcastle University and senior research associate in Professor McGuckin’s group, will discuss the use and benefits of cord blood stem cells and data demonstrating the MLPC’s similarity to embryonic stem cells with regard to its “high potential for multilineage tissue differentiation.”
“It is a very exciting time to be working with cord blood stem cells,” said Professor McGuckin. “Researchcontinues to demonstrate these cells, and the MLPC in particular, can turn into multiple cell and tissue types once thought to only be derived from embryonic stem cells. As a result, the readily available MLPC is leading a new and exciting category of highly functional cord blood stem cells immediately suitable for a variety of research applications. And, with their documented successful use in human transplant settings, cord blood stem cells have widespread appeal and the future potential to enhance human therapeutics and drug screening in the very near term.”
When comparing the MLPC against other cord blood cell subsets and a bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell, Professor McGuckin and Dr. Forraz found it expressed homogeneous, immature and uncommitted characteristics, with a high degree of stemness and quiescence.
“Stem cell research continues to be the subject of much discussion, particularly given President Bush’s recent veto of legislation to loosen embryonic stem cell research funding restrictions in the United States,” said Dr. Forraz. “The MLPC and its technical merits are intriguing as an option for conducting highly relevant therapeutic and drug development research — especially considering the cell is sourced from cord blood, which is readily available and often discarded as medical waste.”
“We are pleased to offer regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical researchers our MLPC, a tool unlike anything they’ve worked with to date,” said Sarah Haecker, Ph.D., vice president of corporate development for BioE. “This cell more closely resembles an embryonic stem cell in form and function than ‘adult’ cells that are years instead of weeks old and whose plasticity is often limited. And, since cord blood has been successfully used in transplant settings for nearly 20 years, adoption of our MLPC continues to increase as more audiences are exposed to its unique and beneficial attributes.”
While the MLPC is slightly more mature than an embryonic stem cell, research conducted both internally at BioE and independently by external research collaborators, including Newcastle University, has demonstrated its ability to turn into neural stem cells, nerve cells, lung cells, early stage liver and pancreas cells, skeletal muscle, fat cells, bone cells, and blood vessels. Since July 2005, BioE has licensed its MLPC to academic research institutions, corporate laboratories and pharmaceutical organizations located around the world for stem cell and regenerative medicine research and drug development.
Dr. Haecker, who holds a doctorate degree in molecular biology and bioethics and conducted her post-doctoral work in gene therapy, continued, “It’s important industry, academia and religious organizations continue to hold forums and discussions about stem cell research of all types to ensure this complex topic is debated openly and freely to facilitate the practice of technically sound science. Ultimately, the end result of such forums and discussions will be better patient outcomes, a goal all stem cell researchers and companies are striving to achieve — including Newcastle University and BioE.”
For more information about the International Congress on stem cells organized by the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and the Pontifical Academy for Life, please visit www.stemcellsrome2006.org.
Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., BioE is a biomedical company providing human cord blood stem cells as enabling, high-quality cellular tools for drug discovery and therapeutic research. The company’s novel Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cell™ (MLPC™) — derived from human umbilical cord blood and obtained using PrepaCyte®, the company’s proprietary cell isolation platform — provides clinicians and researchers a flexible, long-term and non-controversial tool for therapeutic research and drug discovery and screening. BioE is privately owned and was founded in 1993. For more information about the company, please visit www.bioe.com or call (800) 350-6466.
About Newcastle University and NESCI
The North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI) draws together Durham and Newcastle Universities, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and other partners in a unique interdisciplinary collaboration to convert stem cell research and technologies into cost-effective, ethically robust 21st century health solutions to ameliorate degenerative diseases, the effects of ageing and serious injury. The Institute has received substantial funding and other support from the regional development agency, One NorthEast.