What are the sources of the stem cells used at Stem Cell Institute in Panama?

Lately, especially on our Facebook Page many people are asking us, “What is the source of the stem cells?”

Stem cells under fluorescent microscope.At the Stem Cell Institute, we use two types of stem cells. Primarily, we use allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells harvested from human umbilical cord tissue. In addition to allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells, our spinal cord injury protocol uses autologous (patient’s own) stem cells harvested from bone marrow.

Umbilical cord tissue is donated by mothers after normal, healthy births.

All donating mothers are tested for infectious diseases and have their medical histories screened. We obtain proper consent from each family prior to umbilical cord donation.

All mesenchymal stem cells harvested from umbilical cords are screened for infectious diseases to International Blood Bank Standards before they are approved for use in treatments.

A small number of umbilical cords (about 1 in 10) pass our rigorous screening process.

Dr. Riordan on the Umbilical Cord Selection Process at Stem Cell Institute

“Through retrospective analysis of our cases, we’ve identified proteins and genes that allow us to screen several hundred umbilical cord donations to find the ones that we know are most effective. We only use these cells and we call them ‘golden cells’.

We go through a very high throughput screening process to find cells that we know have the best anti-inflammatory activity, the best immune modulating capacity, and the best ability to stimulate regeneration.”

What are the advantages of treating with allogeneic human umbilical cord tissue (HUCT)-derived mesenchymal stem cells?

  • Anyone can be treated since HUCT mesenchymal stem cells are immune system privileged. Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary.
  • The stem cells with the best anti-inflammatory activity, immune modulating capacity, and ability to stimulate regeneration can be screened and selected.
  • Allogeneic stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days in uniform dosages that contain high cell counts.
  • Umbilical cord tissue provides an abundant supply of mesenchymal stem cells.
  • No need to collect stem cells through invasive procedures such as liposuction or bone marrow collection
  • There is a growing body of evidence showing that mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cords are more robust than mesenchymal stem cells from other sources such as fat.

The body’s immune system is unable to recognize human umbilical cord tissue (HUCT)-derived mesenchmyal stem cells as foreign and therefore they are not rejected. HUCT stem cells have been administered thousands of times at the Stem Cell Institute and there has never been a single instance rejection (graft vs. host disease). Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells also proliferate/differentiate more efficiently than “older” cells, such as those found in the fat and therefore, they are considered to be more “potent”.

Watch Professor Arnold Caplan from Case Western Reserve University explain how this works.

After FDA Approval, Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy Patient Receives First Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Treatment in the United States

Ryan Benton, a 28 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patient from Wichita, Kansas, received his first umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell treatment yesterday at Asthma and Allergy Specialists of Wichita, KS following US FDA approval of his doctor’s application for a single patient, investigational new drug (IND) for compassionate use.

Wichita, KS (PRWEB) September 10, 2014

Picture of Ryan Benton

Ryan Benton

Ryan Benton, a 28 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patient from Wichita, Kansas, received his first umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell treatment yesterday following US FDA approval of his doctor’s application for a single patient, investigational new drug (IND) for compassionate use.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rapidly progressive form of muscular dystrophy that occurs primarily in boys. It is caused by an alteration (mutation) in a gene, called the DMD gene, which causes the muscles to stop producing the protein dystrophin. Individuals who have DMD experience progressive loss of muscle function and weakness, which begins in the lower limbs and leads to progressively worsening disability. Death usually occurs by age 25, typically from lung disorders. There is no known cure for DMD.

This trial, officially entitled “Allogeneic transplantation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSC) for a single male patient with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)” marks the first time the FDA has approved an investigational allogeneic stem cell treatment for Duchenne’s in the United States.

Ryan received his first intramuscular stem cell injections from allergy and immunology specialist, Van Strickland, M.D at Asthma and Allergy Specialists in Wichita, Kansas. He will receive 3 more treatments this week on consecutive days. Dr. Strickland will administer similar courses to Ryan every 6 months for a total of 3 years.

This is not the first time Ryan has undergone umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell therapy. Since 2009, Ryan has been traveling to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama for similar treatments. Encouraging results from these treatments prompted Dr. Strickland to seek out a way to treat Ryan in the United States.

The stem cell technology being utilized in this trial was developed by renowned stem cell scientist Neil H. Riordan, PhD. Dr. Riordan is the founder and president of the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama and Medistem Panama. Medistem Panama is providing cell harvesting and banking services for their US-based cGMP laboratory partner.

Funding for this trial is being provided by the Aidan Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Riordan in 2004 to provide financial assistance for alternative therapies to people like Ryan.

About Van Strickland, MD

Dr. Strickland came to Wichita in 1979 from his fellowship at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver. Since then he has spent one year in Wyoming, one year in Dallas, Texas and one year in Lee’s Summit Missouri before returning to full-time practice in Wichita, Kansas.

Dr. Strickland has been a clinical faculty member at The University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita in the department of Pediatrics and later in the department of internal medicine for most of his years in Wichita.

Dr. Strickland is certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and the American Board of Pediatrics. He graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and served a full residency in Pediatrics at Baylor and a fellowship in Allergy and Immunology in Denver at National Jewish. He has trained in allergy and immunology at the University of Texas School of Medicine in Galveston as an elective while at Baylor and was a student on the team with Mary Ann South, MD and John Montgomery, MD who put baby David in the Bubble (Bubble Boy).

Dr. Strickland is a fellow of The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, The American Association of Certified Allergists, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The American College of Physicians. Dr Strickland has been recognized in the “Top Doctors in Wichita” listing several times.

Allergy & Asthma Consultants
MHV Strickland M.D.
10021 W. 21st St. Wichita, KS 67205

Phone: +1 (316) 722-4800
Toll-free: +1 (800) 347-4800
Fax: +1 (316) 722-5117

Web Site: http://www.stricklandallergy.com

About Neil Riordan, PhD

Neil Riordan PhD is the co-founder of the Riordan-McKenna Institute, a regenerative orthopedics clinic that will open its doors in Southlake, Texas in late 2014. RMI will offer non-surgical stem cell treatments and stem cell enhanced surgeries for orthopedic conditions. He is the founder and chairman of Medistem Panama, Inc., (MPI) a leading stem cell laboratory and research facility located in the Technology Park at the prestigious City of Knowledge in Panama City, Panama. Founded in 2007, MPI stands at the forefront of applied research on adult stem cells for several chronic diseases. MPI’s stem cell laboratory is ISO 9001 certified and fully licensed by the Panamanian Ministry of Health. Dr. Riordan is the founder of Stem Cell Institute (SCI) in Panama City, Panama (est. 2007).

Under the umbrella of MPI subsidiary Translational Biosciences, MPI and SCI are currently conducting seven IRB-approved clinical trials in Panama for autism, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis using human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells, mesenchymal trophic factors and stromal vascular fraction. Additional trials for spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy are scheduled to commence in late 2014 upon IRB approval.

Dr. Riordan’s research team collaborates with a number of universities and institutions, including National Institutes of Health, Indiana University, University of California, San Diego, University of Utah, University of Western Ontario, and University of Nebraska.

Dr. Riordan has published over 60 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals and authored two book chapters on the use of non-controversial stem cells from placenta and umbilical cord. He is listed on more the 25 patent families, including 11 issued patents including a 2010 patent for a new cellular cancer vaccine.

In 2007, Dr. Riordan’s research team was the first to discover and document the existence of mesenchymal-like stem cells in menstrual blood. For this discovery, his team was honored with the “Medical Article of the Year Award” from Biomed Central.
Neil Riordan, PhD

Riordan-McKenna Institute
801 E. Southlake Bivd.
Southlake, TX 76092

Phone: +1 (817) 776-8155
Fax: +1 (817) 776-8154

Website: http://www.rmiclinic.com

Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Regeneration, Repair, Inflammation and Autoimmunity – Neil Riordan, PhD (Part 1 of 2)

Neil Riordan, PhD is the Founder of the Stem Cell Institute in Panama. He is also the Co-Founder of Medistem Inc in San Diego and the current President of Medistem Panama. Dr. Riordan is speaking at a Stem Cell Institute patient outreach event held in Miami in May 2013.
In part 1, Dr. Riordan discusses the background of Medistem Panama and the Stem Cell Institute (SCI) in Panama. He presents the types of stem cells used at SCI: Patient’s own bone marrow, Patient’s own fat tissue and umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells donated from live, healthy births. Dr. Riordans goes on to discuss: collaborations with UC San Diego, Indiana University, University of Utah and University of Western Ontario; patents and publications; Medistem Panama lab, clean rooms and equipment; Why the Stem Cell Institute is in Panama; Panamanian stem cell laws; What are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) ?, mesenchymal stem cell homing, how MSCs induce repair, how MSCs modulate the immune system, young vs. old MSCs, Are MSCs safe?; MSCs are actually pericytes. They are found throughout the body in all vascular tissues around blood vessels, bone marrow, umbilical cord, placental tissue, menstrual blood and teeth; Stem Cell Institute’s source of umbilical cord MSCs: live, healthy birth, mother screened for medical history, consent from family for donation, mother tested for infectious diseases, cord tested for infectious diseases and sterility; the mesengenic process; how pericytes respond to injury and form “medicinal MSCs”; MSCs are anti-apoptotic, anti-scaring, angiogenic, and mitotic.; MSCs are also immunomodulatory; MSC homing in rats; Human MSCs decline drastically with age; Stem Cell Institute uses umbilical cord-derived MSCs because they are non-tumorigenic, very robust – high number of doublings, faster doubling time,; What does ‘doubling’ mean?; Effects of aging on MSCs.

VIDEO – The Science of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine – Arnold Caplan PhD (Part 7 of 7)

In this final segment, Prof. Caplan discusses: Mesenchymal stem cells make anti-bacterial molecules, How retro-orbital injections of human MSCs cure mice with cystic fibrosis infected by pneumonia aeruginosa 70% of the time, The process by which MSCs kill bacteria in the body, Clinical trial for using MSCs to treat sepsis, “MSCs are drug stores for sites of injury or inflammation. They are site regulated, multi-drug delivery vehicles”, MSC transitions: ostegenic, trophic and immunomodulatory, MSCs are not stromal cells. They are not part of the connective tissue, The name of the MSC has changed. It is a “Medicinal Signaling Cell” and has nothing whatsoever to do with “stem-ness”, Cell plasticity, transdifferentiation in the mesengenic process.

VIDEO – The Science of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine – Arnold Caplan PhD (Part 4)

In part 4, Prof. Caplan talks about isolating mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow using specialized; calf serum choosing different assays to prove multipotency – osteogenesis, chondrogenesis, adipogenesis; point of care with autologous bone marrow in orthopedic surgery; tissue engineering bone with lineage restricted MSCs; banking bone discarded bone marrow from orthopedic surgeries for future use;

Arnold Caplan PhD of Case Western Reserve University and Riccardo Calafiore of Perugia University in Italy tour Medistem stem cell lab in Panama

Arnold Caplan PhD, Neil Riordan PhD and Riccardo Calafiore MD at Medistem Labs Panama

Arnold Caplan PhD, Neil Riordan PhD and Riccardo Calafiore MD at Medistem Labs Panama

Professor Arnold Caplan (left) and Professor Riccardo Calafiore (right) pose with Medistem Labs Panama Founder, Neil Riordan, PhD. Dr. Riordan is also the Founder of Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.

Prof. Caplan and Prof. Calafiore were in Panama City with Amit Patel MD to speak at “La Medicina Del Futuro En El Presente”, an event organized by the honarable Ruben Berrocal MD, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation SENACYT (National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation) and Prof. K. S. Jagannatha Rao, Ph.D., FNASc, FABAP, FASB, FLS (Reino Unido) Director INDICASAT-AIP (Instituto de Investigaciones Cientificas y Servicios de Alta Tecnologia – Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services).

Prof. Caplan is a Professor of Biology and General Medical Sciences (oncology) at Case Western Reserve University and the Director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve. Prof. Caplan is widely regarded as “The father of the mesenchymal stem cell”.

Prof. Calafiore is the Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Medical School at the University of Perugia, Italy and Director of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Endocrine and Organ Transplant at the University of Perugia School of Medicine. He is also a director at ALTuCELL.

Amit Patel, MD, MS, is an associate professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering at the University of Utah

Neil Riordan PhD is Founder of Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama and the President of Medistem Panama. He is also CEO of Aidan Products.

Stem cell treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome: Susan Lucey

“First I must say I have been steadily getting better. Everyone notices it. My long distance friends have all commented on the vitality and clarity in my voice. So much is changing in my body for the better. I can’t thank the staff at the SCI enough for saving my life. And of course, my beloved Dr Cheney, who knew better than anyone how sick I was … I feel such gratitude.

I was slipping into dementia from severe and unremitting CFS. I was desperate for help and when Dr Cheney invited me to go there in May, in my heart I knew I was going to get my life back. I was so sick that almost any quality of life was gone for me and I either wanted to die or get better. I was at the end of my rope as I was in constant and unrelenting pain, slipping away with dementia and fully bed-bound and home bound for several years after being vibrantly alive, loving life as an artist and a professor at the University of Minnesota, mother, wife and lover of life.

“I’ve regained peristalsis after 13 yrs. No more falling! No more chest pain, no more visits to the ER! I wake up the each day full of energy, not crashed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart… “

Although I state very enthusiastically my improvements, I still have a way to go; but because the improvements have been so marked I feel like there has already been an amazing transformation. Here are some of the improvements:

  • Anyone who speaks to me on the phone comments on how well I sound. Lately, I have heard in my voice an “authority” and sense of articulation that I once had when I was a professor and artist. My brain is healing and I have energy everyday. I still must rest most days but I want to get up and begin to rebuild my life. Incipit Vita Nova- Here begins the new life! I feel inspired! Before stem cells, I spoke often in a whisper as my vocal cord were weak and I would quickly tire, slur my speech and need to stop talking as it would exhaust me. I easily crashed from less than 10 minutes of phone conversation.
  • Comments from friends regarding getting well- ”woo yaa! Susan, you are lucid!” “You are back!…”look at you, your cognitive function is so much better.” I hear these comments everyday.
  • I was able to titrate from 40 mg to 5 mg of Cortef shortly after my 2nd visit to Panama. Now I plan to titrate off Cortef completely. With that, the bloating and weight gain is finally coming off my body.
  • I’ve regained peristalsis after 13 yrs.
  • No more falling! My balance is good and am able to climb out of, for example, a bath tub – I’m getting stronger! Falling was a constant worry and I did eventually fall and break my back recently. That was the final straw and I developed PTSD. I feel less pain now in the area of the herniated discs and I wonder if the stem cells will repair such injuries . Falling was a constant worry for my husband, there was a sense that my feet were not connected to my brain. Now that worry is in the past.
  • No more chest pain, no more visits to the ER! (15 visits last year!)
  • Fat turning into muscle, I can now stand up from a sitting position without the help of my arms pressing me up. My family comments on my form transforming.
  • Overall, more resiliency, vitality and cognitive improvement.
  • I am able to organize. I’ve been able to declutter and organize much of the piles of paperwork and miscellanea that have been piling up for a decade. . CFS made organizing impossible for me. I’ve heard that this is not uncommon.
  • I now have the energy to stay focused for 2 – 4 hrs at a time sitting in a chair doing paperwork or some task ( I have not had the strength to sit in a chair for 5 – 6 yrs. I wake up the each day full of energy, not crashed. Although I do feel muscle and joint pain from moving and so still need pain meds. But the most important thing is I rarely crash. I can be modestly active every day.
  • Memory! Although not perfect (I believe in part due to morphine) I am so much better. I can remember combinations of numbers on the spot. I know what I did the day before, the week before and what is planned in the future. I can remember what I wanted to do from day to day.

I am able to feel inspired and that is carried through the day to the next and the next. No amount of occupational therapy with strategies to support my memory ever worked. It’s hard to explain how far gone I was. I was lost to myself and I think it was the most terribly painful part of my experience of CFS. Regaining myself did not begin until after I was home from the 2nd stem cell protocol. And I am certain I needed the 30 day MS Protocol. None of these brain problems improved the first time and I could feel I was on a slow and disappointing slide backwards.

I wanted to thank you for all you have done for the benefit of myself and my family. My daughter, who moved home to help me out, has tears well up in her eyes regularly when she sees me interact with her in ways I haven’t since she was 14. You have been a bright light in the dark and desperate days of severe CFS. Thank you from the bottom of my heart from me and from that of my beautiful family, Chris and Christina.”

– S.L.

Neil Riordan PhD – Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury (part 3 of 5)

Mesenchymal stem cell homing to tissue damage, umbilical cord stem cells historically used for anti-aging, mesenchymal stem cells role in immune system modulation, inflammation reduction and stimulating tissue regeneration, donor stem cell safety and testing, the role of HLA matching in donated umbilical cord-derived stem cells, umbilical cord blood safety data and historical use in blood transfusions, allogeneic stem cell persistence in human mothers.

Neil Riordan PhD – Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury (part 2 of 5)

Case studies of spinal cord injury patients treated with CD34+ and mesenchymal stem cells harvested from human umbilical cord Wharton’s jelly and cord blood, animal studies using mesenchymal stem cells, immunosuppression requirements in allogeneic stem cell treatments, intrathecal and intravenous administration of autologous bone marrow stem cells in spinal cord injury patients, and the role adult stem cell trophic factors in tissue regeneration.