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SPONSORED: Peace of Mind Today, Protection for Tomorrow

By Abbe Herman

This content is sponsored by our friends at Cord Blood Registry. 

What’s the story with newborn stem cells? When did they start being used, and why? And where is the science going, both in potential future applications and in the research involving COVID-19?

Let’s take a look.

What Are Newborn Stem Cells?

A baby’s umbilical cord blood and tissue contain rich sources of powerful newborn stem cells. Newborn stem cell preservation is the process of saving the blood and tissue from the umbilical cord, after birth, for potential future use. 

For over thirty years now, newborn stem cells from cord blood have been used in transplant medicine to regenerate healthy blood and immune systems.  

One example? Take Keegan. After he initially beat leukemia and then relapsed, the doctors gave him a 50/50 chance for survival. His doctor decided to try a stem cell transplant using the stem cells from his brother’s cord blood. 

The transplant helped him rebuild a healthy blood and immune system—and he’s been free of leukemia ever since! 

The Future of Newborn Stem Cells

 Newborn stem cells are already being studied in 500+ clinical trials for regenerative medicine uses.1,2  Regenerative medicine is an area of science that aims to restore or establish normal function in the body. Basically, it involves repairing damaged cells.  

 Many diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, and neurological conditions like autism, have an underlying inflammatory component. Newborn stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties and are great candidates for helping the body heal itself. See what research is underway here. 

 Hope for the Holemons

To see how newborn stem cells are being used today, let’s hear from the Holemon family. When Dr. Holemon, an OB/GYN in Phoenix, Arizona, decided to preserve his grandchildren’s newborn stem cells, he had no way of knowing the health challenges that his family would face. In short, his granddaughter, Abigail, was born with cerebral palsy. And a few years later, she was able to use her own cord at Duke University as part of an investigative protocol. 

 Newborn Stem Cells & COVID-19

Newborn stem cells are already being studied in 500+ clinical trials for regenerative medicine uses.(Source: 1,2 ) Regenerative medicine is an area of science that aims to restore or establish normal function in the body. Basically, it involves repairing damaged cells.  

 Many diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, and neurological conditions like autism, have an underlying inflammatory component. Newborn stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties and are great candidates for helping the body heal itself. See what research is underway here. 

Recently, we announced wed be partnering with top research institutions to study how cord tissue mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) might help treat the symptoms of COVID-19. 

Now we’ve announced our collaboration with NantKwest, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, to develop a COVID-19 treatment using newborn stem cells

Anticipating the relevance of regenerative medicine, we developed a new way to create an MSC cellular product from cryopreserved tissue suitable for on-demand manufacturing. 

We’ll be providing the research-donated umbilical cord tissue-derived MSCs to NantKwest, who will be expanding them with a proprietary system from their affiliate, ImmunityBio, Inc. 

This partnership marks a series of exciting firsts: 

  • We are the first private newborn stem cell bank to participate in an FDA-approved human clinical trial with cord tissue derived MSCs for COVID-19. 
  • This is a first step toward meeting a therapy for COVID-19. Even more opportunities exist for treating chronic inflammatory diseases and other conditions that have minimal treatment options today.3 
  • We are the first U.S. newborn stem cell bank to demonstrate the feasibility of isolating and expanding MSCs from previously frozen composite cord tissue (comparable to fresh cordtissue). This expansion method opens the door to partnerships with companies like NantKwest, who have previously relied on fresh sources only. 

Advancing the science of newborn stem cells has always been central to CBR’s mission. We also believe in supporting new and innovative ideas, especially when solutions are urgently needed, like in the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please visit our website at cordblood.com or call us at 1.888.CORD BLOOD (1.888.267.3256) to learn more about newborn stem cells and get your collection kit so you’re prepared for your big day.  You can also bookmark our family-focused blog at blog.cordblood.com for ongoing news and research into current and future uses of cord blood and cord tissue. 

This content is sponsored by Cord Blood Registry. 

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Blog References: 1. Verter F, Couto PS, Bersenev A. A dozen years of clinical trials performing advanced cell therapy with perinatal cells. Future Sci OA. 2018;4(10):FSO351. doi:10.4155/fsoa-2018-0085  2Clinicaltrials.gov  3. Liu, S., Peng, D., Qiu, H. et al. Mesenchymal stem cells as a potential therapy for COVID-19. Stem Cell Res Ther 11, 169 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-01678-8 

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