CellResearch Corporation, a Singapore-based biotech company, announced in July 2005 its discovery of a new source of stem cells found in the outer lining membrane of the umbilical cord. Not only does this source of stem cells yield an extremely high number of cells, it also avoids ethical objections as it is acquired from the afterbirth which is routinely discarded as medical waste. CellResearch Corporation is now ready to reveal new collaborations with various medical institutions in Singapore and around the world that will explore the use of Cord Lining Stem Cells in various regenerative therapies. These include the areas of cell biology, diabetes, immunology and wound healing.
The company is pleased to announce that it will be working together with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to study the use of Cord Lining Stem Cells in the treatment of diabetes. This research partnership further includes the study of Cord Lining Stem Cell immunology. These two projects, carried out jointly in the Departments of Surgery and Medicine, will be supervised by Sir Roy Calne and Professor K O Lee, both from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS. Sir Roy Calne, Visiting Professor to the NUS, is a pioneer in transplantation surgery and immunology from Cambridge University. Professor K O Lee is a specialist in endocrinology and diabetes from the Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS.
CellResearch Corporation is also disclosing some exciting and positive news in the area of wound healing. In case studies carried out in collaboration with the National Hospital of Traditional Medicine and Saint Paul's Hospital Burns Center, both located in Hanoi, Vietnam, it has been found that application of Cord Lining Stem Cells to severe burns and non-healing wounds from complex injury such as radiation wounds has produced revolutionary healing results. In one patient, complete wound closure in a full thickness arm burn was achieved in only 7 days. To achieve similar results would conventionally require a skin graft operation, which would require skin to be taken from another part of the body (called the 'donor site', and usually the thigh), to cover the wound. The Cord Lining Stem Cells thus allowed direct wound healing without the need for skin to be taken from elsewhere, meaning, for the patient, less pain and scarring. In these clinical studies, Cord Lining Stem Cells were grown on synthetic scaffolds which were then transferred to the patients' wounds for healing and coverage. Further research is being carried out to explore the enormous potential of Cord Lining Stem Cells on such skin regeneration.
Last year, CellResearch Corporation announced the successful differentiation of Cord Lining Stem Cells into skin, bone and fat cells. Since then, numerous other new research developments have emerged. Most recently, Cord Lining Stem Cells differentiated into skin keratinocytes and skin fibroblasts have been used to construct a novel full thickness Cultured Skin Equivalent; this is the laboratory equivalent of full thickness skin. The most immediate application of Cultured Skin Equivalent is its potential for use as replacement skin for severe skin injuries. It also raises the possibility of a skin equivalent cell bank for emergency purposes. Cultured Skin Equivalent can also be used as a laboratory tool to examine the effects of different compounds on skin, a potential that is immensely promising to skin healing and cosmeceutical industries.
Another interesting discovery is the differentiation of Cord Lining Stem Cells into mucin-producing cells. Mucin, a glycoprotein, is found in all mucous gland secretions (as mucus) and is necessary to warm and moisten entering air; it is also found between the connective fibres of tendons as a lubricant. Mucin-producing cells can be used to repair damage to glandular mucin-producing cells lining internal structures such as the air passages. Damage from hot smoke inhalation or other similar insult reduces the warming and moistening effect which is uncomfortable to the patient and can further injure the airways and lungs. This remains a significant clinical problem in burns patients who have suffered such inhalational injury. Mucin-producing cells can potentially repair this damaged lining by restoring its normal mucus-producing function. This additionally implies potential for the Cord Lining Stem Cells to repair mucus producing structures such as the intestinal lining, in the event of damage from injury or disease.
Broad-based patent applications have been submitted in relation to Cord Lining Stem Cells and their applications. Patent application WO 2006/019357 has been published. CellResearch Corporation will also be presenting their findings on Cord Lining Stem Cells in this year's BIO 2006 from 9 - 12 April in Chicago under the Singapore Pavilion, led by the Singapore Economic Development Board.
CellResearch Corporation made the announcement last year of the discovery of Cord Lining Stem Cells. This rich source of stem cells as a significantly higher stem cell yield compared to other stem cell sources. Additionally, both epithelial and mesenchymal stem cells can be obtained from it, both of which, in combination, can produce virtually any cell in the body. With these research collaborations in place with various institutions, CellResearch Corporation is able to work towards further characterising Cord Lining Stem Cells, as well as explore their true developmental potential: a significant step in ultimately unlocking the power of Cord Lining Stem Cells in regenerative medicine.
About CellResearch Corporation Pte Ltd
CellResearch Corporation, a privately held Singapore biotechnology company, is a supplier of high quality low passage primary skin cell culture systems and provider of customised research. It has possibly the largest private library of normal and diseased skin cell cultures for researchers around the world to tap into. The primary skin cell cultures are derived from various anatomical sites of the human body and are not pooled or transformed. The discovery of stem cells from the umbilical cord is the result of the techniques employed by our cell culture scientists.
For further information on cord lining stem cells, CellResearch Corp, please contact:
Business Director or Chief Medical Director
Edwin Chow or Dr Ivor Lim