Tampa, FL (July 8, 2010) - The University of South Florida's Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair has been granted a patent for a cell transplantation procedure combining human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) cells and a sugar-alcohol compound called "mannitol" that may make a big difference in treating life-threatening neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke, among others.
The technology administers the neuroprotective effect of umbilical cord blood cells along with mannitol to permeabilize the blood-brain barrier, allowing for the increased entry of therapeutic growth factors. Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology R&D USF spin-out company located at the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, has licensed the technology.
"Approximately 750,000 strokes occur every year in the United States, and nearly one third of them are fatal," said Saneron's President and COO, Nicole Kuzmin-Nichols, MBA. "Given the devastating effects of stroke, it is imperative that we develop new therapies to minimize damage to the brain as well as repair the damage. We are excited about this new technology and its potential to help us develop a variety of new products and therapies to do just that."
While transplanted HUCB cells may benefit several neurological diseases, getting them past the blood-brain-barrier has presented a problem. The blood-brain barrier separates circulating blood and cerebral spinal fluid in the central nervous system. The newly patented technology is based on mannitol acting as a blood-brain barrier permeabilizer to help get the therapeutic substances secreted by HUCB cells past the blood-brain barrier and into the central nervous system. Mannitol, which temporarily shrinks the tight cells that make up the barrier, allows HUCB cells, via their secreted factors, to reach the site of injury or disease.
"Human umbilical cord blood contains a high percentage of stem cells that when intravenously administered can survive and differentiate into neurons in the damaged brain. Equally appealing is their ability to secrete beneficial molecules that potentially promote behavioral recovery," said Dr. Cesar Borlongan, co-inventor and a USF neuroscientist and professor and consultant for Saneron. "Because the blood-brain barrier regulates the entry of many blood-borne substances into the brain, it may exclude potentially therapeutic substances."
"The use of stem cell therapy as a treatment for neurodegenerative disorders shows exciting promise, though several hurdles must be overcome and getting the cells correctly positioned is one of those," said Nicole Kuzmin-Nichols. "This technology provides the means to deliver the HUCB cells directly to the damaged brain to maximize their effect."
The mission of the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair is to develop new therapeutic strategies to promote repair and regeneration of aging and diseased brain. Building on a foundation of excellence in basic and clinical research, the Center focuses on translating innovative ideas into industrial partnerships, educational and clinical services to address key needs of the community and those suffering from brain injury and disease.
About Saneron CCEL Therapeutics, Inc.
Saneron is a biotechnology R&D company, focused on neurological and cardiac cell therapy for the early intervention and treatment of several devastating or deadly diseases, which lack adequate treatment options. Saneron, a University of South Florida spin-out company is located at the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator. An affiliate of Cryo-Cell International, Inc., Saneron is committed to providing readily available, non-controversial stem cells for cellular therapies and has patented and patent-pending technology relating to our platform technology of umbilical cord blood and Sertoli cells.
For further information please contact:
Saneron CCEL Therapeutics Inc.,
Nicole Kuzmin-Nichols, MBA
3802 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 147
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: 813-977-7664 x2
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 any adverse effect or limitations caused by any governmental regulations, proceedings or actions, foreign and domestic; any continued or increased losses, or any inability to obtain acceptable financing, where desirable in the future, in connection with our operating or growth plans; any increased competition in our business; any decrease or slowdown in the number of people seeking to store umbilical cord blood stem cells or decrease in the number of people paying annual storage fees; the effect of any future reduced cash position and future inability to access borrowings; any adverse impacts on our revenue or operating margins due to the costs associated with increased growth in our business, including the possibility of unanticipated costs relating to the move into our new facility or the operation of the facility; any adverse developments impacting our continued relationship with and success of our licensees, foreign affiliates or investments in, or relationships with, foreign companies; any inability to achieve increases in revenue or earnings from umbilical cord blood stem cell storage; any future inability to substantially achieve the objectives expected from the successful implementation of our strategy; any decline in public market interest in the Company's business sector; any added requirements imposed on us by new laws or SEC regulations and costs thereof; any technological breakthrough or medical breakthrough that would render the Company's business of stem cell preservation obsolete; any material failure or malfunction in our storage facilities; any natural disaster such as a tornado, other disaster (fire) or act of terrorism that adversely affects stored specimens; the potential impact of negative market influences on the Company's portfolio of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities; the costs associated with defending or prosecuting litigation matters and any material adverse result from such matters; decreases in asset valuations; any continued negative effect from adverse publicity in the past year regarding the Company's business operations; any new technology rendering the Company's patented equipment or business obsolete; any performance failures related to the Company's equipment or operations; any negative consequences resulting from deriving, shipping and storing specimens at a second location; any negative effect from the filed class action shareholder lawsuits; and other risks and uncertainties. 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 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.