~ Intends to achieve lowest costs per dose yet improved therapeutic benefit ~
Chennai, 24th January, 2018:
LifeCell, India’s first & largest stem cell bank in the country, a pioneer in stem cell research has embarked on a journey to develop large scale manufacturing of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs).
Mesenchymal Stem Cells are one type of master stem cells that have the potential to form bone, cartilage, muscle and adipose tissues, thereby making them capable of being used in the several therapeutic areas. Importantly these MSC’s can be made available off-the- shelf for immediate treatment as they don’t need donor-recipient matching.
The potential of these MSCs of medical conditions are being checked in 50+ clinical trials around the world, with several companies like TiGenix, Mesoblast, etc., are also receiving market approvals in many countries such as Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Even in India recently, the DCGI provided a limited approval to Stempeutics to market their MSC product for treatment of Critical Limb Ischemia.
Two novel features of the program initiated by LifeCell are that it would use newborn umbilical cord derived MSC’s instead of adult bone marrow derived MSC’s, as these umbilical cord derived MSC’s have a better survival rate, replicate faster and for a longer time before reaching senescence, mostly due to the fact that umbilical cord stem cells (UCSCs) are more primitive or youthful in nature than adult- derived bone marrow stem cell (BMSC).
Also LifeCell would employ large scale and automated 3D Bioreactors instead of traditional tissue flasks, resulting in faster growth and lowering the cost significantly. In due course, LifeCell would initiate clinical trials after procuring necessary regulatory approvals, and also setup a new manufacturing facility to support market needs.
Speaking about the initiative, Mayur Abhaya, MD, LifeCell said, “This initiative would allow people to have an access of high quality of MSCs and we are very happy to make the first move in the industry by making it affordable by providing high quality of stem cells for treatment. We are certain we would be able to make this product available in the country in the coming years which would meet the unmet need with better outcomes. For stem cell banking clients, it would offer many advantages as families can now get immediate, off-the- shelf access of these stem cells instead of having to wait upto 12 weeks for clinical expansion of their own baby’s stem cells.”
In the light of this development, LifeCell will also make changes to its stem cell banking program, whereby instead of private banking of umbilical cord tissue, it would alternatively offer donor-derived umbilical cord tissue MSC’s.
LifeCell, established in 2004, is India’s leading provider of preventive healthcare services for family wellness, such as stem cell banking and diagnostic testing, with facilities at Chennai & Gurgaon with a network spanning over 200 cities in India and abroad.BabyCord, LifeCell’s umbilical cord stem cell preservation services, is world’s second largest with over 50,000 parents preserving their baby’s stem cells with it each year and over 2,70,000 parents already having trusted LifeCell.
With the recent launch of BabyCord Share, a community-based approach towards stem cell access, is a global first and aims to provide families in India better future access to stem cells than even currently possible in advanced countries such as the US. LifeCell’s processing, storage and testing facilities are the most accredited having received recognitions from domestic and global bodies such as the AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks), College of American Pathologists, National Accreditation Board for Laboratories, World Health Organization, amongst many others, and is also US FDA registered.
BabyShield, LifeCell’s preventive genetic screening and diagnostic testing services, is India’s market leader for newborn screening services and recently forayed into prenatal screening.