A major applied clinical hematology research clinic announced a major breakthrough in cord blood banking and cord blood stem cell therapy this week. If the research results are accepted by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), it could improve how patients in need of transplants are matched with donors in the US – potentially expanding into Canada and elsewhere in time.
HemoGenix, whose headquarters are in South Carolina, announced successful results from trials that identify the value and effectiveness of stem cells derived from banked umbilical cord blood units. The assessments were part of HemoGenix’s series of Hematopoietic Assays Via Luminescence Output (HALO) trials, and could help inform specialists of the likelihood that a stem cell transplant will be successful.
Positive results allow HemoGenix to share their assessments with the NMDP and that organization’s database of umbilical cord blood donors, which is known as EmTrax. Stem cell transplant specialists often use EmTrax to identify cord blood units that are viable matches to their current patients who require transplants.
Ivan Rich is CEO of HemoGenix who calls the successful trials great news for the cord blood industry. Rich says the HALO trials will allow stem cell specialists to select the highest quality cord blood units prior to transplant, which will reduce the potential graft failure rate.
He also believes that as more successful transplants are completed, it could reduce the cost to bank cord blood stem cells.
“We hope that people will see the value in promoting ‘best practice criteria testing’ of UCB stem cells using standardized and validated assays, such as HALO, because the patient is the primary beneficiary.”