Scientists at Monash University Centre of Inflammatory Diseases (CID) are teaming up with Cryo-Cell International for an R&D collaboration that will evaluate whether menstrual stem cell’s derived using Cryo-Cell’s C’elle™ technology can be used for a gene-therapy strategy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS).
The Monash team at the CID and the university's faculty of medicine nursing and health sciences (MNHS) has previously published details of a gene-therapy strategy that involves combining the isolation and genetic manipulation of bone marrow cells with bone marrow transplantation to promote immune system tolerance.
The new work with Cryo-Cell will evaluate whether stem cells in menstrual blood can be harnessed to manipulate the immune system and remove or control autoreactive cells associated with MS, explains James Chan at MNHS. “The menstrual stem cell may potentially provide the added benefit of being highly prolific, noninvasive, and cost-effective in the development of future cellular therapies to treat this debilitating autoimmune disease.”
Cryo-Cell was established in 1989 as a specialist in the cryopreservation of umbilical cord (U-Cord®) stem cells for family use. The firm launched its C'elle service in 2007 for the cryopreservation of menstrual flow containing undifferentiated adult stem cells. The firm is in addition establishing research collaborations to study the use of menstrual stem cells in the development of regenerative cell therapies.