Unfortunately only a fraction of patients in need of transplantation with hematopoietic stem cells can benefit from this life saving treatment. Successful transplantation requires sufficient numbers of immunologically-matched stem cells, a highly limited resource. Cord blood collected after the birth of the baby, is a validated source of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC). However, while the utilization of umbilical cord blood for transplantation is expanding, the cellular content of each unit severely limits its application. Moreover, more than half of the cord blood units collected are not stored in public cord blood banks, as the stem cell count does not warrant storage for future use. PlaSalus aims to define protocols that will overcome these limitations, by the use of human term placenta. Using novel technology we propose to develop the placenta as novel source for HSPC to augment and drastically improve the current available cell resources for bone marrow transplant.
We aim to 1. Define collection and preparation protocols, compatible with various child birth settings, 2. Define cryopreservation protocols to allow long-term storage of placenta, compatible with current cord blood storage efforts, and 3. Define stem cell harvesting protocols, compatible with use in human transplant settings. PlaSalus will closely collaborate with experts from Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and the Cancer Research Centers NIDDK funded Core Center of Excellence in Hematology in Seattle, to set the stage for the commercialization of this important resource.
To enable the use of placental derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in bone marrow transplant, we propose to develop a standard protocol for the collection and harvest of these cells from human term placentas. In this Phase 1 SBIR proposal we aim to establish this technology for commercialization in a collaborative effort between a small company, PlaSalus LLC, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. PlaSalus LLC has acquired the proprietary technology for the harvest of these cells, and we aim to independently confirm, and then extend the exciting results as published by researchers at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. We envision that this technology will have a major impact on bone marrow transplant practices as it will provide a significantly expanded resource for patients in need of a stem cell replacement.