Histostem Works With Korean Government Agency to Provide Cord Blood Storage for Multicultural Families

The US company Amstem through subsidiary signed a
partnership agreement with the Songpa-Gu Office of the Seoul Metropolitan
Government, to provide umbilical cord blood banking to multicultural families
for up to 15 years.  Cord blood is currently used for treatment of patients with
blood disorders such as leukemias as an alternative to bone marrow. 
Unfortunately many patients do not have suitable donors, this is especially true
in patients of various ethnicities.  The current program is designed to overcome
this problem.

The president of AmStem International, Inc., David Stark
 stated  "This provides AmStem and Histostem with another ‘badge of validity’
with government health agencies around the world. A diverse genetic catalogue of
autologous, HLA-typed stem cell resources such as cord blood is in extremely
high demand right now — not only by individual families, but by
government-sponsored scientists and other researchers worldwide. This is exactly
the kind of collaborative, networking opportunity that AmStem hopes to expand in
North America and Europe."

In recent years the use of cord blood for diseases not
associated with blood has been increasing.  For example, the Cord Blood Bank
Viacell has patents on the use of cord blood for treatment of Duchenne Muscular
Dystrophy (Kraus et al. US patent #7452529 – Treatment of muscular dystrophy
with cord blood cells
).  The Cellmedicine.com group has collaborated with
the US company Medistem at publishing use of cord blood together with other
cells for treatment of a patient with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that resulted
in functional improvement (Ichim et al. Mesenchymal stem cells as anti-inflammatories:
implications for treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Cell Immunol.
).  The reason why cord blood appears to be useful in
treatment of a variety of conditions is believed to be due, at least in part, to
ability of the cells to produce numerous therapeutic factors that stimulate stem
cells already in the body to start multiplying.  Additionally, numerous studies
have shown that cord blood derived stem cells can produce cells ranging from
liver to brain to heart muscle.  A description of cord blood stem cells may be
seen on this video


Dr. Hoon Han, AmStem’s Chairman, commented on the cord
blood bank, "With more than 1.1 million foreigners now living in Korea, the
number of multicultural marriages and families is on the rise. By providing
these families the opportunity to store the donated umbilical cord blood, we
give them access to autologous stem cells that may be used in the future
treatment of certain cancers, such as leukemia, as well as immune and genetic
disorders. In addition, by addressing the multicultural population in Korea,
this collaborative opportunity also increases the genetic diversity of the
available supply of umbilical cord blood derived stem cells — which may benefit
Korean and foreign patients alike.

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