OLDSMAR, FLA. – August 17, 2010 – Cryo-Cell International, Inc. (OTCBB: CCEL.OB), one of the largest and most established leaders in stem cell innovation today announced a research and development collaboration agreement with Monash University in Australia. The partnership will allow scientists from the University’s Centre of Inflammatory Diseases to conduct pre-clinical studies using Cryo-Cell’s proprietary CélleSM menstrual stem cell technology (MenScs) to identify potential future therapies to treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Research published in the prestigious American Society of Immunology publication, Journal of Immunology describes how Monash scientists have used a gene therapy strategy to treat autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes affect significant numbers of the population as a result of an individual's immune system attacking its own tissues.
In their research with bone marrow stem cells, Dr. James Chan and his colleagues at the University's Centre of Inflammatory Diseases, Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences (MNHS), developed a strategy that involves the isolation and genetic manipulation of bone marrow cells together with bone marrow transplantation to promote tolerance by the immune system. Bone marrow stem cells are routinely isolated from humans for various disease treatments and may potentially be used to promote tolerance. This approach may offer a viable strategy of manipulating the immune system to remove or control autoreactive cells that would normally be involved in inducing disease.
“Our research collaboration with Cryo-Cell will determine if the stem cells found in menstrual blood may potentially be utilized to manipulate the immune system to remove or control autoreactive cells associated with multiple sclerosis” stated Dr. James Chan from MNHS at Monash University. “The menstrual stem cell may potentially provide the added benefit of being highly prolific, non-invasive and cost-effective in the development of future cellular therapies to treat this debilitating autoimmune disease.”
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the body's immune system erodes the protective sheath covering the nerve. As a result, communication between the brain and the body is disrupted. The disease may cause the irreversible deterioration of nerves and in severe cases, individuals may lose the ability to walk or speak. Multiple sclerosis is estimated to affect approximately 2.5 million people worldwide.
The partnership between Cryo-Cell and MNHS will support an exciting new area of research that will investigate potential benefits of a new and non-invasive way to utilize Cryo-Cell’s proprietary menstrual blood stem cell technology to potentially manipulate the immune system to remove or control autoreactive cells that would normally be involved in inducing multiple sclerosis. This concept may further demonstrate potential to reverse established disease.
“We are quite honored to partner with Dr. Chan and Monash University, a world-class globally recognized research institute to explore the potential utilization of Cryo-Cell’s proprietary Célle menstrual stem cell technology in the future development of novel therapies to treat the devastating disease of multiple sclerosis that affects millions of people,” said Mercedes A. Walton, Cryo-Cell’s Chairman and CEO. “In the U.S. alone multiple sclerosis statistics show that approximately 250,000 to 350,000 individuals have been diagnosed with this life-impacting disease at an estimated annual cost of in the billions of dollars.”
Cryo-Cell’s expansive intellectual property portfolio is based on the Company’s proprietary menstrual stem cell technology. Célle was introduced in November, 2007 as the first and only service that empowers women to collect and cryopreserve menstrual flow containing undifferentiated adult stem cells for future potential utilization by the donor or possibly first-degree relatives in a manner similar to umbilical cord blood stem cells. Based on the continued success of MenSCs in the research setting, Cryo-Cell is actively expanding its portfolio of research collaborations with world renowned scientists committed to study this novel stem cell population for a broad range of regenerative therapeutic development.
About Monash University's Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (MNHS)
Monash University's Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences is the largest research element at Australia's largest university, with an annual budget excluding philanthropic donations of over $400 million per year. The Faculty is at the forefront of research into stem cells as a means of solving debilitating medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, Type 1 diabetes, cancer and spinal cord injuries. Stem cell research is undertaken by various components of the Faculty, often as part of international collaborations such as the Australia-China Centre for Excellence in Stem Cell Research in partnership with the University of Peking.
The CélleSM service was introduced in November 2007 as the first and only service that empowers women to collect and cryopreserve menstrual flow containing undifferentiated adult stem cells for future utilization by the donor or possibly their first-degree relatives in a manner similar to umbilical cord blood stem cells. For more information, visit www.celle.com.
About Cryo-Cell International, Inc. (OTCBB: CCEL.OB)
Based in Oldsmar, Florida, with nearly 215,000 clients worldwide, Cryo-Cell is one of the largest and most established family cord blood banks. ISO 9001:2008 certified and accredited by the AABB, Cryo-Cell operates in a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Tissue Practice (cGMP/cGTP)-compliant facility. Cryo-Cell is a publicly traded company. OTC Bulletin Board Symbol: CCEL. For more information, please call 1-800-STOR-CELL (1-800-786-7235) or visit www.cryo-cell.com.
Statements wherein the terms “believes”, “intends”, “projects” or “expects” as used are intended to reflect “forward-looking statements” of the Company. The information contained herein is subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated in such forward-looking statements or paragraphs, many of which are outside the control of the Company. These uncertainties and other factors include the uncertainty of market acceptance of any potential service offerings relating to types of stem cells other than cord blood stem cells, including the C’elle service, given that menstrual stem cells and other new stem cells have not yet been used in human therapies, and treatment applications using such stem cells may not be developed and commercialized; or if they are not likely to be developed or commercialized for many years and are subject to further research and development; the need for additional development and testing before determining the ultimate commercial value of the Company’s intellectual property relating to the menstrual stem cells; the need to complete certain developments, including completion of clinical validation and testing, before any new process other than C’elle can be commercialized, and the Company’s development of its final business and economic model in offering any such service; any adverse effect or limitations caused by recent increases in government regulation of stem cell storage facilities; any increased competition in our business; any decrease or slowdown in the number of people seeking to store stem cells or decrease in the number of people paying annual storage fees; any technological breakthrough or medical breakthrough that would render the Company’s business of stem cell preservation obsolete; and any other risk factors described in our filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The foregoing list is not exhaustive, and the Company disclaims any obligations to subsequently revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements. Readers should also carefully review the risk factors described in other documents the Company files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-KSB, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-QSB and any Current Reports on Form 8-K filed by the Company.