NextCell Pharma AB: Breakthrough multiplication of blood stem cells
NextCell Pharma AB ("NextCell" or the "company") announces that the FDA has approved a product of multiplied stem cells from umbilical cord blood. It is a breakthrough that could lead to increased interest in saving stem cells for private use, where Cellaviva is the market leader in Scandinavia. Cellaviva is a part of NextCell with offices in Stockholm and Copenhagen.
On April 17, 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first product with expanded stem cells from umbilical cord blood. In the clinical trial that led to the approval, the number of stem cells was expanded an average of 60 times by cell culture.
"Multiplication or expansion of blood-forming stem cells is a significant achievement. The new method opens the door for the use of even smaller collections of cord blood in clinical practice." says Professor Edvard Smith, Medical Director of NextCell Pharma and Cellaviva.
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood have been used in healthcare for the treatment of over 80 different conditions, such as leukaemias, lymphoma and sickle cell anaemia, for more than 30 years. It has also been shown that in regenerative medicine, treatment with stem cells from umbilical cord blood provides clinical benefits for patients. More than 60,000 patients have already been treated with umbilical cord blood.
In addition to the above-mentioned already approved therapies, over 3,000 research studies are currently underway in various fields around the world to discover the full potential of stem cells. Umbilical cord blood is the source of the youngest, most powerful and most readily available stem cells. They can also be easily collected and stored after birth, to be used later in life. Due to the limited blood volume and number of stem cells isolated from umbilical cord blood; critics have pointed out that an average unit of umbilical cord blood is only sufficient for patients weighing up to 40-50 kg. The FDA's groundbreaking decision to approve expanded, also known as multiplied, umbilical cord blood means that this restriction is no longer a concern.
The product approved by the FDA is manufactured by Gamida under the name Omisirge (also known as omidubicel or NiCord).
Link to the scientific article about the study: