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 survival. 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 www.stemcyte.com.
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SOURCE StemCyte, Inc.