Boston, MA, August 10, 2001 - ViaCell, Inc., a fully-integrated cellular therapy company committed to enabling the development of additional therapeutic applications for umbilical cord blood stem cells, commended the Bush Administrations decision to support additional funding for alternative sources of stem cells. Umbilical cord blood is considered an attractive alternative source and is an abundant and non-controversial store of neonatal stem cells.
ViaCell has pioneered a platform technology, Selective Amplification, that enables the expansion of the umbilical cord blood stem cell population. This technology coupled with the companys premier cord blood banking division, Viacord, and the governments commitment to alternative stem cell source funding well positions ViaCells future.
4.2 million newborns are delivered in the United States each year. Their cord blood, previously discarded as medical waste, is now known to contain a rich supply of neonatal stem cells. Cord blood stem cells have the following key advantages. They are clinically used in the therapy of over 45 diseases. These cells are more tolerant to tissue type disparity than adult stem cells and cause less graft versus host disease (GVHD). Cord blood stem cells can be differentiated into various cell types and are not encumbered by the moral and ethical considerations that surround embryonic stem cells.
Research utilizing undifferentiated stem cells from umbilical cord blood demonstrates that these cells are capable of differentiating into various cell types, i.e. hematopoietic, mesenchymal and neural cells. These properties of cord blood stem cells are similar to those shown by embryonic stem cells, but are without the ethical and moral concerns.