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GEN News Highlights : Nov 16, 2012

StemCyte and UC Davis Tethered in Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

StemCyte entered an agreement with the UC Davis Umbilical Cord Blood Collection (UCB) Program to advance the collection, processing, and registration of high quality and diverse cord blood cells from California mothers for public banking. According to the company, the agreement is the first of its kind under California’s statewide program. Legislation signed into law in 2010 called for the University of California to establish and administer a public umbilical cord blood banking program for the state, funded by a $2 fee on new birth certificates.

The partnership establishes an initial six-month period to accelerate the collection of donated cord blood units that will be used in treating patients facing life-threatening illnesses. Qualified cord blood units will be placed on the national registry that is searched by transplant physicians worldwide.

StemCyte has an over 10 year partnership supplying high quality units to the federally administered National Cord Blood Inventory.

"StemCyte strongly supported California in establishing a public cord blood bank system that draws upon California's unique diversity," said Calvin Cole, president of commercial operations, North America. "Through this new partnership, StemCyte continues to build on its global commitment to quality cord blood banking and advanced therapies."

StemCyte is also involved in the development of cellular therapies. The company recently participated in a clinical study involving the use of umbilical cord blood to treat thalassemia. After providing donated umbilical cord units to a research hospital in Taiwan, StemCyte assisted Taiwanese researcher T.H. Jiang, M.D., in investigating the feasibility of using umbilical cord blood transplants from unrelated HLA donors to cure the disease. All patients were alive at a median follow-up of 303 days after transplantation, with complete donor chimerism and transfusion independence. Chimerism shows that the transplanted stem cells have replaced the patient’s bone marrow.