SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - April 03, 2012) - Medistem Inc. (PINKSHEETS: MEDS) announced today collaboration with Dr. C.S. Chen, Head of the Division of Oncology and Hematology of Loma Linda University and Dr. Anatol Manaenko, Zhang Neuroscience Research Laboratories for animal studies assessing the ability of the ERC stem cell product in the treatment of traumatic brain injury. To date, preliminary data from the collaboration suggests behavioral improvements within 24, 48, and 72 hours after administration of the cells in animals subjected to intracerebral hemorrhage, a consequence of severe traumatic brain injury.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 1.7 million people in the USA per year that sustain traumatic brain injury. The website also states that this type of injury accounts for a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States. Furthermore, the CDC estimates that the annual cost of traumatic brain injury is 76 billion dollars (click here for link http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/statistics.html#3).
"It's my vision that one day we will have ready-to-use frozen stockpiles of ERCs for rapid treatment of serious brain injury in both civilian and military applications," said Dr. Vladimir Bogin, Chairman of Medistem. "As a practicing medical doctor in the USA, I witness first-hand the tremendous toll traumatic brain injury takes on our society. We are committed to rapidly translating this research into clinical trials, which if successful, will provide a new weapon in our fight against this condition."
The ERC stem cell population originates from the endometrium (lining of the uterus), which renews itself 500 times during a person's life. Medistem originally reported the existence of these cells in a peer-reviewed publication in 2007 (link to paper http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/pdf/1479-5876-5-57.pdf) where the company and academic collaborators demonstrated higher production of growth factors as compared to other adult stem cells including cord blood and bone marrow. Additionally, Medistem published that ERC caused no side effects in 4 patients administered ERC intrathecally, meaning directly into the cerebral spinal fluid which is in direct contact with the brain (link to paper http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/pdf/1479-5876-7-15.pdf). While cancer formation/acceleration is a concern regarding cell therapies, peer-reviewed data suggests that ERC actually inhibit glioma, a form of brain cancer (link to paper http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/cc/HanCC8-4.pdf).
"From the drug development perspective, the ERC appear ideal in that: a) they do not require matching with the recipient, thus making them an 'off the shelf product' that can be shipped to the site of use and stockpiled indefinitely until they are needed; b) they produce high concentrations of growth factors, that at least theoretically, would accelerate the process of tissue regeneration/healing; c) they have the capability of differentiating into neural tissue; and d) they are economical to produce," said Dr. C.S. Chen. "Given that the company holds a FDA IND for use of the ERC in critical limb ischemia and is also conducting a Phase II double blind, placebo-controlled trial for treatment of end-stage heart disease, we feel confident in the feasibility of clinically translating these initial findings."
Medistem has previously filed a patent application ("Endometrial Regenerative Cells for Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury" #61/618974) covering use of ERC for various cranial injuries including TBI.
About Medistem Inc.
Medistem Inc. is a biotechnology company developing technologies related to adult stem cell extraction, manipulation, and use for treating inflammatory and degenerative diseases. The company's lead product, the endometrial regenerative cell (ERC), is a "universal donor" stem cell being developed for critical limb ischemia and heart failure. A publication describing the support for use of ERC for this condition may be found at http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/pdf/1479-5876-6-45.pdf.
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