Researchers work year round to identify and understand new benefits derived from umbilical cord blood stem cells to improve the lives of patients around the world. A Canadian team of researchers uncovered a new molecule that they believe will provide stem cell transplant specialists up to “10 times as many cords in banks.”
The molecule is called UM171, which was originally created for another project that was shelved after further review. But a new team led by Dr. Guy Sauvageau, a stem cell specialist at the University of Montreal, tested UM171 in a trial to expand the number of stem cells within a banked sample of cord blood – and the results were very promising.
The molecule was discovered in Montreal, but relies on a bioreactor that was developed at the University of Toronto. This bioreactor will generate new cord blood stem cells to conduct a clinical trial scheduled to begin in December.
The trial will be the first important test in UM171’s viability for cord blood stem cell therapy. The University of Montreal will be the primary location for the clinical trial, while other facilities in Quebec City and Vancouver will also participate in the study.
Dr. Sauvageau believes that if the clinical trials are successful, UM171 can provide new options for therapy to a growing segment of Canada’s increasingly diverse population.
“Simply, the more stem cells you give, the faster the recovery after transplant. So instead of taking 25 days, they can probably do it in 10 days.”
News about UM171 was commended by many stem cell experts that agree the molecule should improve options for cord blood therapy. More details about the announcement can be found by following the link here.