Research and development initiatives relating to the use of stem cells from menstrual blood continue to gain momentum, as evidenced by a recent international partnership. U.S.-based stem cell company Cryo-Cell International recently announced an exclusive license agreement with S-Evans Biosciences, Inc. (SEB), a privately-held stem cell and genomics technology company located near Shanghai, China.
The partnership enables SEB to exclusively market and manufacture C`elle menstrual stem cell technology, including the processing and storage of stem cells, throughout mainland China. The agreement also enables SEB to conduct scientific research studies using Cryo-Cell`s technology to identify future potential therapeutic applications for a broad range of diseases.
Launched in November of 2007, C’elle is the first and only service which enables women to collect and cryopreserve their stem cells from menstrual blood, much like the services of Cryo-Cell and other companies which offer collection and storage of stem cells from umbilical cord blood.
SEB is a privately-held company that collaborates with several institutions including Zhejiang University; local hospitals; and Zhejiang-California International Nanosystems Institute (ZCNI), a Sino-U.S. co-founded institute for biomedicine and nanotechnology research located on Zhejiang University campus. In addition to marketing and storing C`elle menstrual stem cells, SEB expects to offer other products and services associated with stem cell therapy; gene testing and disease diagnosis (i.e. gene chips; high-throughput sequencings and standard molecular technologies). SEB expects to receive funding from private agencies and the government for stem cell research.
In recent years, China has significantly increased its efforts in the field of stem cell research and practice. Clinical applications of stem cells to treat conditions such as acute heart failure, acute liver failure and lower limb ischemia have been reported by many hospitals.
In a recent statement, Dr. Charlie Xiang, CEO of S-Evans Biosciences said, "Stem cell research and development is well-recognized and fast-emerging in China. SEB believes that the innovative proprietary technology of C’elle may provide women with the novel opportunity to collect and cryopreserve their own stem cells that have demonstrated considerable potential to be used in future therapies and are easily harvested from a non-controversial source."
The strategic partnership between Cryo-Cell International and S-Evans Biosciences comes at a time when healthcare reform is a key initiative in China. The Chinese government has announced a new plan that is expected to allocate considerable resources towards stem cell research and development. The government also considers women’s health an area of priority and has continued to support expansion and improvement of women’s healthcare services and institutes throughout the country.
"We are clearly encouraged by the overall pace of clinical advances in stem cell therapeutic development underway in China. We share SEB’s belief that there may be a vast pipeline of potential opportunity to collaborate on the possible development of future therapies using menstrual stem cell technology," said Mercedes A. Walton, Cryo-Cell’s Chairman and CEO.