The Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation®’s monthly newsletter reports on research and development of medical treatments using blood and tissues from human umbilical cords in language that is accessible to parents of children receiving or considering such treatments. The June 14 issue of the newsletter features a graphical presentation of stem cell biotechnology company Asymmetrex®’s KSC technology, which can provide, for the first time, the dosage of the therapeutic stem cells in umbilical cord blood and tissues.
The Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation® is well known for its excellence in advocacy and education to support parents negotiating medical treatments for their children that involve umbilical cord blood and tissues. The Parent’s Guide monthly newsletter has a goal of presenting new advances in umbilical cord medical research and treatments in terms that are accessible by parents and others who are not experts. The June 2022 issue, published June 14, provides a graphical presentation of stem cell biotechnology company Asymmetrex®‘s technology that provides the dose of therapeutic umbilical cord stem cells for the first time.
Determining the dosage of therapeutic tissue stem cells is a long-standing unmet need for all tissue stem cell therapies. More commonly mis-called “adult stem cells,” tissue stem cells include stem cells found in adults, children, and birth tissues like the placenta and the umbilical cord. Donor umbilical cords are currently a major focus for sourcing therapeutic tissue stem cells, which are found in both their blood (hematopoietic stem cells) and their walls (mesenchymal stem cells). Whereas the medical potential of cord mesenchymal stem cells is still under investigation, the medical efficacy of cord blood hematopoietic stem cells is well established for use in the treatment of childhood leukemias.
Cord blood treatments for children have a continuing need for a method to determine the dose of the therapeutic stem cells. The Parent’s Guide newsletter feature describes the two industry standards for certifying cord blood units, flow cytometry and the colony-forming unit (CFU) test. Although they are currently industry certification requirements, neither of these methods gives the stem cell dose or tells which cord blood units will be effective. By some reports, this deficiency leaves nearly 20% of treated children at risk for death.
This June’s article is the Parent’s Guide newsletter’s second feature on Asymmetrex’s tissue stem cell counting technology. The first feature appeared in the January 2019 issue of the newsletter. It related the historical context, envisioned applications, and potential impact of kinetic stem cell (KSC) counting, but did not delve into how the technology worked. The latest feature uses a graphical slide format to illustrate how Asymmetrex applies computational simulation to conventional cell count data to determine the number of tissue stem cells in a sample. Asymmetrex’s President and CEO James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is confident that the newsletter’s presentation “will help both non-experts and experts to understand how Asymmetrex counts therapeutic tissue stem cells.”
In the intervening 3 years, the company’s KSC counting technology has advanced greatly. Just in the previous week, at the Meeting in the Millyard Summit of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, the company announced rapid-counting algorithms that will make stem cell counting sufficiently efficient to be performed routinely for research and medicine. CEO Sherley says that he is looking forward to a future Parent’s Guide newsletter reporting the use of KSC counting to identify cord blood units that work all of the time for children, instead of only about 80% of the time as now.
Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. The company’s U.S. and U.K. patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – stem cell-specific quantification and stem cell expansion – that have stood in the way of more-effective use of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. Asymmetrex markets kinetic stem cell (KSC) counting, the first technology for determination of the dose and quality of tissue stem cell preparations for use in stem cell transplantation medicine and pre-clinical drug evaluations. Asymmetrex is a member company of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute | BioFabUSA (ARMI) and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio).