MediStem Laboratories, Inc. in collaboration with researchers from the University of Western Ontario, University of Alberta, and the Bio-Communications Research Institute, has published a paper describing a novel stem cell population derived from menstrual blood.
"I view the discovery of the Endometrial Regenerative Cell (ERC) as a great step forward in providing an ethical, easily accessible, and potentially highly useful adult stem cell for treatment of numerous degenerative conditions," said Dr. Xiaolong Meng, head of the research team. He continued, "ERC cells can be converted into basically all the major tissues of the body, including the liver, lung, pancreas, brain, heart, blood vessel, and muscle. Additionally, these cells produce 100,000 times the number of growth factors found in cord blood, opening the door to numerous regenerative applications."
This is the first publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal (Journal of Translational Medicine) demonstrating that stem cells from the menstrual blood can generate numerous tissues and possess unique molecular and cellular characteristics.
"The ability to take a cell and differentiate it into the tissue type needed by the body creates a world of opportunity in the world of organ and tissue regeneration," said Neil Riordan, PhD, President and CEO of MediStem. He added, "With IP filed around the cell line, we have begun taking the next steps in the commercialization process. Currently, our collaborators at Western Ontario, Alberta, and the Bio-Communications Research Institute are doing a series of pre-clinical studies to establish efficacy data in a variety of indications. The indications currently being assessed include diabetes, liver cirrhosis, lung fibrosis, organ rejection, and multiple sclerosis. Should the data gathered prove strong in one or all the indications the next step will be to file INDs with the FDA and move into clinical trials," said Riordan.
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Abstract (Journal of Translational Medicine 2007, 5:57doi:10.1186/1479-5876-5-57,
Published: 15 November 2007)