StemCyte Presents Six Abstracts on the Applications of Plasma-Depleted Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Products at BMT Tandem Meetings

Feb 21, 2008, 00:00 ET from StemCyte, Inc.

    SAN DIEGO, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The benefits of plasma-depleted cord
 blood stem cell products were the subjects of six abstracts presented this
 week by StemCyte, Inc. and collaborators at the Bone Marrow Transplant
 (BMT) Tandem Meetings in San Diego.
     The abstracts reported data obtained in both pediatric and adult
 patient populations that were treated with StemCyte's umbilical cord blood
 (UCB) stem cell transplant products for multiple diseases, including
 thalassemia, non-malignant diseases and blood cancers. StemCyte submitted
 five of the abstracts, three of which were presented orally, with the sixth
 submitted by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles.
     "The BMT Tandem Meetings were an excellent opportunity for StemCyte to
 demonstrate the strength and breadth of applications of our UCB stem cell
 products for treating patients with multiple diseases," said Kenneth J.
 Giacin, chairman and chief executive officer of StemCyte. "We are pleased
 that our research collaborators were able to present this important data."
     Cord Blood Transplantation for Transfusion-Dependent Thalassemia
     The first oral presentation, delivered by Dr. Tang-Her Jaing of Chang
 Gung Children's Hospital, showed that UCB transplantation has resulted in
 cures for patients with transfusion-dependent thalassemia in pediatric
 patients. His results were drawn from the largest multi-institutional
 series to evaluate umbilical cord blood transplantation as treatment for
 thalassemia, which is a congenital disease that causes serious morbidity
 and a significantly shortened life-span.
     In the study, 58 thalassemics with a median age of 5 years were
 analyzed in a comparison of the two leading strategies of reducing
 umbilical cord blood volume, StemCyte's proprietary plasma depletion and
 the standard red cell reduction method. Matched pair comparisons show that
 patients treated with transplantation of plasma depleted cord blood
 products had lower transplanted related mortality (p=0.001) and better
 overall (p=0.001) and thalassemia-free survival (p=0.0001) compared to
 those treated with standard red cell reduced cord blood. Dr. Jaing's data
 showed that at experienced centers (greater than or equal to 10 cases)
 using mostly unrelated donor HLA-mismatched plasma depleted cord blood,
 there was a 96 plus or minus 4% cumulative incidence of neutrophil
 engraftment, and 89 plus or minus 6% overall survival and thalassemia-free
     Reduction of Incidences of Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease
     Plasma-depleted cord blood can be effectively transplanted into
 patients without first undergoing post-thaw washing, and was found to
 reduce the incidence of extensive chronic Graft versus Host Disease
 (cGvHD), according to research presented by Robert Chow, M.D., founder and
 vice chairman of StemCyte.
     In a study of 387 patients treated with plasma-depleted cord blood, 205
 were provided with washed products, while 182 were treated with products
 that had not been washed. Patients treated with the non-washed products had
 a significantly lower rate of extensive cGvHD. Overall survival and
 disease-free survival at one and three years were significantly higher for
 participants in the non-wash group, while transplant-related mortality was
 significantly lower in the non-wash group.
     Treatment of Non-Malignant Disorders with Plasma-Depleted Cord Blood
     In what was named one of the six Pediatric Best Abstracts, 120 children
 received treatment for non-malignant disorders through a transplant of
 plasma depleted cord blood products. The study, presented by Dr. Rosenthal,
 M.D., Director of Pediatric Transplantation at the City of Hope National
 Medical Center, reported that outstanding overall (88 plus or minus 4%) and
 disease-free survival (84 plus or minus 5%) rates can be achieved if the
 products were not washed prior to infusion.
     In the study, cord blood products were used to treat 120 pediatric
 patients with hemoglobinopathies, congenital immunodeficiency syndromes and
 other non-malignant diseases. Two strategies pioneered by StemCyte were
 used to increase the cell dose -- the use of plasma depleted cord blood
 products and the avoidance of post-thaw wash.
     Plasma-Depleted Cord Blood Effective in Treating Adult Malignancies
     According to an abstract submitted by Auayporn Nademanee, M.D., of City
 of Hope National Medical Center, single and double plasma-depleted cord
 blood transplantations can be safely and effectively performed in adult
 patients. In a study, 107 patients with a median age of 35 years were
 treated for numerous forms of leukemia, including acute myelogenous
 leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and other malignant disorders.
     The study also demonstrated that foregoing post-thaw wash decreased the
 incidence of extensive cGvHD (p=0.05) without increasing the relapse rate.
 Patients with double cord blood transplantation with plasma-depleted
 products did not demonstrate higher rate of acute or chronic GvHD than
 those who received single cord blood transplantation.
     Matched Pair Comparison of StemCyte's Plasma Depleted versus Standard
 Red Cell Reduced Cord Blood
     An abstract presented by Michael Graham, M.D., of the University of
 Arizona Medical Center demonstrates that StemCyte's proprietary
 plasma-depleted cord blood may have potential advantages over the standard
 cord blood products. In the study, 174 pediatric patients with hematologic
 malignancies were treated with transplantation of plasma-depleted cord
 blood in the study, while 100 patients received the standard red
 cell-reduced cord blood.
     To compare the benefits of plasma depletion and red cell reduction,
 researchers matched patients from the two groups on the basis of disease
 type, disease status, age, weight, and tissue type matching. With 92 pairs
 of matched patients, Dr. Graham showed that patients transplanted with
 plasma-depleted cord blood received higher cell dose, had lower
 transplant-related mortality, superior engraftment and overall survival.
     Stem Cell Transplantation for Treatment and Immune Reconstitution of
 HIV patients
     Tempe Chen, M.D. of UCLA Medical Center presented an abstract that
 summarized collaborative work with StemCyte and City of Hope to evaluate
 the capabilities of cord blood stem cells homozygous for the CCR5-delta 32
 mutation to protect against HIV infection. With a StemCyte patent pending
 on this technology, City of Hope researchers screened the StemCyte cord
 blood inventory for the CCR5-delta 32 allele, and identified 30 homozygote
 and 754 heterozygote cord blood products. Dr. Chen identified a number of
 HIV patients that can be matched to the StemCyte homozygous CCR5-delta 32
 inventory. StemCyte is working with City of Hope and UCLA to initiate a
 clinical trial to test this technology.
     About StemCyte
     StemCyte is a global leader in stem cell therapeutics with a marketed
 umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation product. Its proprietary
 plasma depleted cord blood stem cell products have been used to cure
 hundreds of patients with life-threatening diseases. With its partners,
 StemCyte is actively involved in the development of new umbilical cord
 blood based cell therapies and has the largest clinical study for using
 unrelated cord blood transplantation for thalassemia, one of the most
 common genetic diseases in the world. The company is one of two, and the
 only commercial cord blood bank in the world dually accredited by AABB
 (Formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) and Foundation for the
 Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). StemCyte is also the only private
 company contracted by the Federal Government to establish a National Cord
 Blood Inventory. For more information, visit
StemCyte Media Contacts: Russo Partners LLC Ian Stone (619) 814-3510 David Schull (212) 845-4271

SOURCE StemCyte, Inc.